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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: 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 (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox
[FREE] 7:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup andWe’re All Friends Here), Carla Rhodes (rock ‘n roll ventriloquist; 30 Rock), Joe Machi (Comedy Central), Josh Carter (College Humor), Amanda Baramki, Gabe Pacheco, and Sam Morril 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): Improv revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in Double Date; and in the other half of this Magnet double-bill, the young and silly improvisors of Honey
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a troupe specializing in meta-comedy—that is, comedy about the process of making comedy—performs their most meta show yet, which is billed as a “best of” show but actually is a series of internal spats that delay any of the promised sketches from being performed. It’s smart and clever, and all four members of the group are highly appealing. But it’s such a purely “from the head, not the heart” show that it feels increasingly repetitive and one-note as it goes on. I wish the guys had been less concerned with the purity of their one-joke idea and more with creating an emotional rollercoaster experience for the audience. (The reason their best sketch ever is a spelling bee for fart jokes is because it’s a perfect blend of their conceptual approach with laugh-out-loud funny. Sadly, no such sketch is in this show…) If you like concept comedy, though, these guys are great at it; and you’re likely to enjoy at least the first 10 minutes before the novelty wears off from Pangea 3000: 12 Years of Hard Work…
…and in the second half of this double-bill, a one-woman show by Sue Galloway about a woman’s publication: POSE Magazine
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups delivering their A game—since they’re being videotaped as they perform sets—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with a different host each week: Mixed Tape
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A razor-sharp writer/performer and star correspondent of The Daily Show headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Wyatt Cenac
8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30ish pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Nate Fernald (Team Submarine), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Kurt Metzger (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Jeff Wesselschmidt (Rooftop Comedy), and Jacqeline Novak performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Amber Nelson, Annie Lederman, and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts: Pirate Party
[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in his own Comedy Central Presents 1/2-hour special, was host of Oxygen’s Love Games, and performed on ABC and Showtime headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Bret Ernst
9:00 pm ($10): UCB East hosts “Thin Skin Jonny. They had it all. They were icons, legends, anti-folk superstars. However, tragedy struck and they broke up, citing an alleged statutory charge, gay porn addiction, and Four Loko abuse. Now, two months later, they’re back to do one last show—a benefit! Can they find a way to get along long enough to raise the money needed to re-animate the corpse of Bea Arthur? Maybe, with your help!” Performers include Ari Scott, with direction from Pam Murphy: Thin Skin Jonny: Farewell Reunion Tour
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Aaron Berg, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
9:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Ben Kissel (Spike TV), Morgan Miller (Rooftop Comedy), and The Lucas Brothers, plus sketch from Matt Hobby & Mary Grill (Comedy Central), performing at The PITdownstairs lounge with host Jeremy Wein: Undefined
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Dave Stone (Adult Swim’s Squidbillies), Andy Sanford (TBS), Joe Zimmerman (Rooftop Comedy), and TJ Young “deliver an original brand of humor that’s deeply rooted in stand-up and lightly blended with avant-garde elements of music, sketch and improv.”Tonight they’re joined by stand-up guests Katie East, Kristen Becker, Nate Fridson, Josh Gondelman, Steve Forrest, and Taylor Ketchum, all performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Beards of Comedy & Friends
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 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 The Magnet with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. Chicago-based Joe tends to visit NYC at the start of every month, so he’ll probably be at tonight’s performance. But either way, the other superb players are Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer), all declaring Lights Out, Shirley!
[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with host Andy Haynes promising “a rowdy late night comedy melee with beers being thrown, jokes being told, partial nudity, audience participation…there’s no telling what might happen:” Midnight Run
[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigiousUCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage
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