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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:
[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Surge, Grappler, Leviathan, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Featherweight, Horses, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Leviathan at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Kevin McCaffrey (TruTV), Kara Klenk (host of If You Build It), Scott Reynods (McSweeneys), George Gordon, and Katie Compa, performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with host Selena Coppock: Connotation
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful writer/improvisor/sketch comic DC Pierson (Derrick, Mystery Team, author of The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To) briefly returns to NYC and UCB Chelsea to perform a one-man show about how “he’s good at comedy but bad at girls; join him tonight for an hour of stories about completely blowing it:” DC Pierson is Bad at Girls
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of both stand-up and storytelling. This show is the latter—a carefully constructed, detail-packed theatrical tale of two people and the small, quiet moments that make up their lives. Daniel says it’s “about everything and nothing,” and that’s precisely right. After you see it, you may find it hard to not consider all the small moments lived by any person you pass by…and what the moments of your own life add up to. This one-man show played to packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is now running every day except Mondays through January 29th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street). Read the review from The New York Times, and the grab tickets for It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later
[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at the only notable weekly comedy show I know of taking place in Astoria Queens—specifically, the Astoria Brewhouse (2850 31st Street): Brewhouse Comedy
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites asYouTube.com, NewYorkTimes.com, and EntertainmentWeekly.com. But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process. Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this debuted in December and was instantly one of the very best solo shows of 2011: Commercial Interruption…
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Jena Friedman (staff writer for David Letterman), Brandon Gulya (Stone Cold Fox, Sandino, This is Not a Sketch Show), and David Cope (co-host of Hot Soup); for the complete list, please click here. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night
[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
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