NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/20/12

January 20, 2012

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Carmen Lynch

Carmen Lynch performs at Beautiful Comedy...

The Magnet's Search Engine

...and sharp improvisors provide the answers you've been seeking at Search Engine

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 Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star;Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1), Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Damien Lemon (MTV2), Josh Carter (College Humor, SiriusXM), and George Gordon performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) for this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): A Magnet one-man show by Justin Peters about—wait for it—condiments. “Mitch ‘Packets’ Franco has demonstrated condiments at groceries, farmers’ markets, superstores, and gas stations in all 50 states; over the course of 25 minutes, he’ll give you the inside squeeze on how all your favorite condiments are marketed, shipped, distributed, and sold; how to seduce a checkout girl; how to tell a supermarket by its odor; and other lessons learned during his wild life in America’s grocery aisles:” Confessions of a Condiment Hustler

7:00 pm ($5): PIT improvisors Nate Starkey & Chris Grace makes stuff up as Starkey & Grace

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It more than earned the slot with its first Friday effort, This is Not Art, which was one of the very best comedy shows of 2011. Last week it debuted its second show, Crisistown—which so far is a mixed bag. The good news is the cast has developed into one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough to be a star on his or her own. However, the writing was often sloppy and repetitive rather than tight and sharp. Perhaps the problem is the new format: “A scripted interactive comedy show that puts you, the audience, in charge. You get to vote on what happens next.” It’s a fun approach designed to tempt audiences to see the show repeatedly (just as people will return to a favorite improv group week after week). But it means generating a lot more material than will be performed on any given show; and spreading the writing out like that has, so far, resulted in a lot of weak scenes. The up side of the open-ended structure is it’s never too late to improve the writing, and to even entirely replace dull scenes with great ones. Meanwhile, between the material that’s solid and the all-star cast, this top troupe is still delivering a quite enjoyable way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot:Diamond Lion

[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

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[$] [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?

[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 James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Emily Heller, Keith Alberstadt, Greg Stone, and J.F. Harris performing at Queens LIC’s The Creekupstairs theatre hosted by Charlie Kasov & Gabe Pacheco: Anecdotal Evidence

[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 ($5): This new Magnet improv show makes clever use of the Web: “Give us a topic, a name, a question on any subject and the cast—including ace improvisors Alex Marino and Jesse Falcon—will answer it using the full power of the Internet and the combined mental acumen of five intellectual juggernauts. Also, maybe some improv. What you will learn cannot be unlearned! What do you want to know?”: Search Engine

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who performed the Comedy Central hour-long special The Things We Do For Love, and on David Letterman and Jay Leno, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pete Correale

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

9:00 pm ($10): The writers and correspondents of Web site HelloGiggles.com performing at UCB East to discuss their Growing Pains

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($25): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

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

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

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart welcomes NYC talents for a TV morning talk show—that’s happening at The PIT upstairs theatre late at night—with guests Taylor Negron (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Better Off Dead), twin comedians Stone & Stone (Last Comic Standing), and musical guests Function for Fiction: The Morning Show

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

[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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigiousUCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

[TOP PICK] [$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Paul Mooney

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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