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Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18, plus $15 food/drink min.; if you don’t drink, either the burger or lasagna is a fine choice): One of the highlights of FringeNYC 2011 was Andrea Alton playing Molly “Equality” Dykeman, a security guard at PS 339 who writes poetry while popping Cheetos and anti-depressants and chasing after every woman she sees. While in lesser hands Molly might be offensive, Alton walks the comedy tightrope Molly requires with skill and grace. Alton’s spent years learning her craft as a razor-sharp New York sketch comic and stand-up, and as a superb comedic actress. So if you have an open mind, and love comedy and/or gay parody, you’ll probably grow to love her hilariously over-the-top lesbian character. To get a feel for Molly, click here and here; and then go see her live at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (in the West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42 Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). Helping Molly out tonight will be Michael Musto (renowned Village Voice columnist and author), Victoria Libertore (actress & solo performer as Liza Minnelli), Colton Ford (Peace Bisquit/Woop Woop Music recording artist & actor), and The Mollettes (dancers Victoria Smalc & Meliza Fernandez). Just be aware that if you’re a woman sitting near the front, you’ll probably be propositioned. (Repeatedly…): A Molly Jolly Christmas
7:30 pm ($5): An improv troupe attempts to abandon rules for the sake of achieving new levels of hilarity at UCB East in Fuck That Shit; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv based on the iPods, CDs, and mp3 players provided by audience members, executed by superb performers Fran Gillespie, Ryan Karels, Megan Neuringer, Jesse Falcon, Silvija Ozols, Doug Moe, Lou Perez, Sue Galloway, and Emily Axford: Soundtrack USA
[TOP PICK] [$] 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 click here and here, and then come to The PIT upstairs theatre for the last time this year to see Spurn
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The debut of two one-woman shows by Sues at UCB Chelsea: Sue Galloway (30 Rock, SNL, The Law Firm) spoofs women magazines and “how to live the perfect life” in Pose; and Sue Smith has anger issues she expresses in Minimum Rage
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for tonight’s lineup, please click here) performing at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City accompanied by banjo music from Doug Goldstein and hosted by Andy Kleinman: Happy Sounds Comedy
8:00 pm ($5, which includes FREE BEER): NYC stand-ups Nick Turner, Justy Dodge, Jared Freid, Aminah Imani, Justin Shanes, and Rae Sanni performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Sandbox Underground (257 Grand Street, near the L subway’s Bedford stop) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and featuring free beer: Broken Comedy
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced less than eight hours before showtime; for an update, please click here) performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Sean Conroy (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, legendary improv troupe The Swarm), Ted Travelstead (reporter/researcher for Vanity Fair, co-author of Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk), and more performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K
9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Ross Hyzer, Sean Donnelly, Jacqueline Novak, and more performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a witty and ultimately exhilarating exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman (who I had the great fortune of seeing about a decade ago as she walked around with zero clothing, like a glorious tigress, in broad daylight on the streets of the East Village): Naked People…
…and in the second half of this double-bill, Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show that would’ve benefited from more development, but Bradley’s an interesting talent worth experiencing: Everybody’s Dumb and Boring
[$] 10:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) Utilizing its network of enterprising talent scouts, the Carolines Comedy Club has spared no expense to locate and bring to you a few specimens of that rare breed: New York City Jewish comedians. The results are on stage tonight though Saturday celebrating the Festival of Lights: The Chosen Ones
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In celebration of the holidays, improvised Jews battle improvised Christians for supremacy—via audience laughs and votes—at UCB Chelsea. Overall, history favors the Christians. But this is New York, where Jewish comics may well have the edge. There’s no telling what will happen…which is one of the great pleasures of the extravaganza men call Cage Match: Jews Vs. Christians
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