NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/18/11

November 18, 2011

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Year of a Million Dreams

Rising stars & best buds Dan St. Germain & Jared Logan debut a show devoted to sketch comedy: Year of a Million Dreams...

Todd Barry and Stephen Rannazzisi Todd Barry headlines at the Eastville Comedy Club and Stephen Rannazzisi headlines at the Carolines Comedy Club

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Some of The Magnet’s finest comics—including the brilliant and delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year’s FringeNYC, improv group Dunk)—team up with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz to deliver sketch comedy as troupeGood Morning, Ladies

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): “Coinciding with the nationwide midnight screening of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, a bunch of PIT improvisors who know nothing about the story reenact scenes from the book as narrated by a true fan. Team Jacob. Team Edward. Who wins? Nobody…:”Twilight by Dummies

7:00 pm ($5): Nate Starkey and Chris Grace performing improv at The PIT as duo Starkey & Grace

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the finest scripted shows to ever grace UCB Chelsea, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long production directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp. Don’t miss one of the sharpest and funniest comedy shows of the year from the first sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCBT weekend schedule: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Ben Rodgers (The Curfew), Nate Dern (Sandino), and improv pianist supreme Frank Spitznagel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Evan Morgenstern, Raquel D’Apice, Calvin Cato, Beth McGregor, and Alison Leiby performing at Karma Lounge (51 First Avenue, off 3rd Street) hosted by Evan Morgenstern: SNC Hot Blooded

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass—executed by a Broadway-caliber cast, and with several memorable show-stoppers—is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($26.75 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’dand is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello; plus in the other half of this double-bill, troupe Epic Beards

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: At this unique show, comics play videos they’ve made about themselves and then perform sets, with tonight’s guests Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Daniel Kilpatrick (Comedy Central), Kate Berlant (, Greg Stone (host of Savage Practice), and Taylor Clark (“funny, weird man visiting from Seattle”) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Charlie Kasov & Gabe Pacheco: Anecdotal Evidence

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): This acclaimed 10-year-and-counting sketch troupe has “amassed a cultish following and a cast who blindly throw themselves into the most questionable of onstage situations, bless their black little hearts….join them for a hilariously unsettling look at growing older, having children, killing your dreams, and settling.” For examples of the troupe’s work, please clickhere and here, and then come to The PIT downstairs lounge to see Spurn

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($18): The winning team that created Pope!: An Epic Musical (a big hit at last year’s FringeNYC) and The Spidey Project (a media sensation) is now developing a pirate musical at The Magnet about “the dashing young hero Declan as he seeks out the vicious Martin La Foe, the second most famous pirate ever,” with book and lyrics by Justin Moran & Jon Roufaeal, and music by Adam & Matt Podd: Nightfall on Mirango Island

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who hosted FX’s The X-Show and starred in Hurt Bert, and also starred in his own hour-long special for Comedy Central, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Bert Kreischer

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Stellar comics Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill) and Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star;Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here) debut this show atUCB East focused on sketch comedy, with tonight’s guests Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Stuckey & Murray (terrific comedic singing duo; Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse), and Henry Zebrowski (award-winning troupe Murderfist): Year of a Million Dreams: A Night of Comedy Skits

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Todd Barry (one of the finest stand-ups on the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead) and other NYC stand-ups performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): Duo Andy Emeritz & George Lakis performing at The PIT downstairs lounge “a musical comedy about America’s once greatest boy band. In the 80’s, Five Alive was on top of the world…until they were fleeced by their manager. Years later, their now-deceased manager’s fortune is up for grabs to the first of his washed-up bands to score a number one single. With their chart-topping ‘Kiss You With Tongue’ a distant memory, Five Alive reunites as a duo of desperate has-beens, exploring a montage of hilarious original songs and classic 80’s tunes for a final shot at fame and redemption:” Five Alive! The Musical

[$] 9:30 pm ($15): A fundraiser for raising awareness about men’s health issues (with a special focus on cancer) featuring 23 NYC comics performing at The PIT upstairs theatre—and somehow it’ll all tie into November being the official month for moustaches: Movember Live

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor, YA novelist; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), Henry Zebrowski (award-winning sketch troupeMurderfist, College Humor), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Louis Katz (HBO, Comedy Central), Anthony DeVito (Jerk Practice), and Kevin Barnett (College Humor) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek for the First Year Anniversary of this free monthly show hosted by Jackie Zebrowski, Julia Johns, and Sharron Paul: Twat’s Up!

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a TV morning talk show—that’s happening at The PIT upstairs theatre late at night—with guests Baratunde Thurston (The Onion, How To Be Black), Leslie Guyton’s Movement Workshop dance group, and musical group The Spring Standards: The Morning Show with Hobart and Grace

11:00 pm ($5): Comedic magician Arthur Meyer, prop comic Cameron Esposito, and the reportedly funny Cocoon Central Dance Team performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Six stand-ups you might not have heard of and and three judges who may or may not be well-known in a competition at The PIT—which is a theatre that isn’t really associated with stand-up. So this is a show I don’t quite understand, but maybe you’ll have fun anyway: The PIT Stand-Up Competition

11:30 pm ($10): improvisers Bianca Casusöl as Madam Ant, Nina Klemow as Fanny Price, and Alex Marino as Larry Lazlo use burlesque dancing at The Magnet to tell a story “and titillate the audience with some seductively fun choreographed burlesque numbers:” Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Burlesque Improv Revue

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT upstairs theatre from troupe FUCT

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

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