NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/10/11

December 10, 2011

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The Weird Sisters

4 1/2 hours of all-gal improv, including The Weird Sisters (above), at The Magnet's Ladies Night...

Mindy Raf as Leibya Rogers

...wonderful singer/songwriter Mindy Raf celebrates the release of her character Leibya Rogers' vinyl comedy album at LeibyaFair Live...

Screw Doggies

...improv legend Joe Bill and other phenom improvisors play with lights and your head at Screw Doggies...

Katey Healy-Wurzburg

...and Katey Healy-Wurzburg probes the knowledge & wit of comedic contestants at her fun new quiz show The Fascinator

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:

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm ($14.45 online using discount codeLAUGHTRACK): One of my favorite theatre duos, Rachel Buethe & James Presson, have come out with a new play that updates Hedda Gabler to the world of network TV. It’s a fresh, ambitious work that pushes at the borders between art and reality, entertainment and meaning. And while it’s not a comedy—in some ways, it’s actually an anti-comedy—at its core is a sitcom. For my full review, please click here. If you’re open to something different, don’t miss the too-brief run (ending December 18th) of this vibrant show at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street, near the Canal Street stops of the A/E/C/N/R/1/2/3/6 subways): Friends Don’t Let Friends

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A “sacrificial” improv team performs a quick set, then is split up among three other waiting improv troupes, each of which then performs a full set. This ritual letting go for the good of the whole takes place at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Sacrifice

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre), spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off for this show at The PIT downstairs lounge where the lights might go off or on at any time. The other players are Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Jordan Klepper (iO, UCB, Klepper & Grey), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor, Theory of Everything), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer, Mint Condition), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer, The Boss): Screw Doggies

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10 at the door): Brilliant singer/songwriter Mindy Raf celebrates the release of the vinyl album of her ultra-feminist man-hating tofu-loving folk hero character Leibya Rogers along with white rapper Carolyn Castiglia (Comedy Central, VH1) and accordion player Matt Dallow (Amour Obscur, The Pendulum Swings) at Sullivan Hall (214 Sullivan Street, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets): LeibyaFair Live

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A comedy quiz show full of heavily researched quirky facts in whichcontestants Silvija Ozols, Johnny McNulty, Caitlin Bitzegio, and Jeremy Bent get points if their answers are correct but get more points if their answers are “quite interesting” at UCB East created & hosted by Katey Healy-Wurzburg: The Fascinator

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:30 pm ($10): Four and a half hours of all-female improv at The Magnet, consisting of troupes Taco Supreme, Funkle Todd, The Storks, The Weird Sisters, The Human Pyramid, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, plus three mix-em-ups: Ladies Night

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): The comics who train, teach, and perform at UCB-NY are among the finest improvisors in the world. The UCB Touring Company consists of the cream of the crop, with the mission of showing audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For just this evening, however, the traveling troupe—which includes brilliant comics Neil Casey, Shannon O’Neill, John Murray, Brandon Gardner, Brandon Scott Jones, and Abra Tabak—will be strutting its stuff on the UCB Chelsea stage: UCB TourCo All-Stars

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 plus 2-drink minimum): A former Saturday Night Livestar, cast member of Showtime’s Weeds, star of his own Comedy Central special, and actor in over two dozen comedy feature films—including Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Daddy Day Care, Get Smart, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan—headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Nealon

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This show normally invites NYC stand-ups to perform sets and then be interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like “oh yeah, that guy is a mess”). But tonight, after an opening set by Dan Soder, Matt & Mark will interview each other. Expect an especially intense night of laughs at We’re All Friends Here

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Ann Carr (The Actress, Louie), Matt Koff (The Newlywed Game), and Jenn Dodd (Identity Theft) perform comedic characters at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Delilah Dix: What a Bunch Of Dix!

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pablo Francisco

8:30 pm ($10): Streeter Seidell (MTV, College Humor), Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show), Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), Team Submarine (SketchFest NYC), and Phil Hanley performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[$] [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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won the 2010 ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing this monthly show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm (sold out online, there might be some standby $5 tickets at the door): Stand-up and burlesque are weirdly blended together at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($20): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are considered to be among the finest long-form improvisors alive. Just by feeling their way through moment by moment, they create one-hour tales that, if all goes well, will thrill you as powerfully as any scripted work. Tonight is the second of their four-evening run—through this Monday—at The Barrow Street Theatre: TJ & Dave

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

11:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from Taylor White & Dave Maulbeck performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Slamborghini

Midnight ($5): Caitlin Tegart directed this UCB Chelsea sketch show that’s “a super-positive lifestyle program for teenage girls hosted by two guys with a huge passion for glossy pop music, Lisa Frank school supplies, and all that the world presents as ‘hip’ to young women during the melodramatic years of adolescence. With help from their outstanding panel of experts, Dan Chamberlain & Jason Flowers rap about entertainment, fashion, boys, and more in an effort to bring empowerment and enlightenment to the teen girl inside all of us:” Cool Show 4 Teen Girlz

Midnight ($5): Writers & performers at UCB East—tonight including such talents as Fran Gillespie, Tim Martin, and Beth Appel—attempt to combine the organic energy of improv with the consistency of scripted comedy by putting on a sketch show written & rehearsed in a single day: Sketch Cram

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups in a late-night talk show format at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Che: Michael Che’s Community Service

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

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

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