NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/12/12

March 12, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman (John Oliver's writing partner) makes a rare NYC visit...

Kristen Schaal

...to Kristen Schaal's Hot Tub Variety Show

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show, The Jon Friedman Internet Program), at Under St. MarksThe Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Andy Zaltzman (John Oliver’s comedy writing partner for their show Political Animal), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Michael Che, and Front Page Films performing at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from host Kristen Schaal (one of the sharpest & funniest comics alive): Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a meta-comedy involving a real estate agent who tries to convince a couple that the actual theatre you’re in would be a great home for them. He does this by putting on a series of sketches that are presented as a random sampling of what UCBT has to offer but that, directly or indirectly, each promote the stage as a wonderful residence. It’s a way fun idea—for a 5-minute sketch. However, this entire show is handled like a single multi-jointed sketch, and 30 minutes is an awfully long time to essentially tell one joke. If the script was further developed to use the internal sketches as stepping stones to achieve a larger and emotionally compelling story, this could become something quite special. Even as is, though, it’s great fun at the start; and if you find it wearing out its welcome after that, you’ll still enjoy sporadic laughs from individual bits and performers—especially standouts Brandon Gulya and Brandon Scott Jones—in the a-bit-too-clever-for-its-own-good This is Not a Sketch Show—A Sketch Show

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the debut of a musical about 19th century New York in which “uptown the aristocrats and robber barons think they own the city, while downtown thieves, pimps, and she-males believe they do; but the real kings of the city, the only truly free ones, are the news boys—and for some reason, they’re all British!,” with book & lyrics by Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau & Kevin Carter, and direction by Christopher Gladysz & Lauren Conlin Adams:Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, “an improv show inspired by the drama and love of a highbrow upper class British family contrasted with the turmoil and the relationships of the servants downstairs. Will Lady Grantham continue to have strong opinions? What obstacles will Matthew and Mary confront? Will Mr. Bates get any sweeter? All of these questions will be addressed”—by such top improvisors as Ed Herbstman (Magnet co-owner) and Megan Gray (Magnet Artistic Director): Downtown Abbey-Prov

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Becky Yamamoto, Ben Kissel, Dan Goodman, and Ben Conrad 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

9:00 pm ($5): Musical guest Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC), plus NYC stand-ups Josh Homer, Anthony DeVito, Jessie Geller, and Julia Segal, performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Unique and relentlessly silly performer Brandon Gulya does a one-man sketch show at UCB East that’s at times hilarious (the restaurant bit, which is an instant classic) and other times settles too quickly for the lightweight (the “does she like me” diary). A lot more hard, disciplined work is needed before his show’s title comes true; but this is a promising start from a comic with a memorable style, genuine potential, and the faith that Brandon Gulya Will Be Famous Soon

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, Ray Munoz tells true stories about growing up in NYC and having a run-in with the law at Off the Cuff

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new bits: Neighbor Boy (which tends to be weak on material, but includes such talents as Kate Hess, Tim Dunn, and Beth Appel, and may get a shot in the arm with the addition of writer Caitlin Bitzegaio), and Fambly (which includes wonderful rising star Mamrie Hart, Nicole Byer, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, and a sharp crew of writers): Maude Night: Neighbor Boy & Fambly

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off sets by NYC stand-ups, with the improvisors including such talents as Micah Sherman, Cathleen Carr, Nick Vatterott, and Sarah Nowak, all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t been announced yet for tonight, but you can check for an update by clicking here—performing at UCB ChelseaWhiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

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:

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