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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: Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Mike Recine, Josh Homer (Comedy Central), and Neil Charles 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 ($8): At this PIT double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident inCrisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. The down side is a vast amount of writing is needed to cover every possible audience-driven scenario…which means every scene won’t necessarily be of consistent quality. That actually was a huge problem on opening night; but now that the production’s had time to mature, it’s delivering gold (though you might consider playing it safe and voting for the “giant mice” story just in case the Kevin Costner material hasn’t been entirely cleaned up yet…). A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown
[FREE] 7:30 pm: Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die), Margaret Dodge (Manson Family Singers), Adam Cozens (freelance writer for Jimmy Fallon), Andy Kleiman (Spike TV), Taylor Ketchum, and Nhan Du performing stand-up at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with hosts Calvin S. Cato & Justin Murray: The Pregame Comedy Show
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups delivering their A game—since they’re being videotaped as they perform sets—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with a different host each week: Mixed Tape
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred in a Comedy Central Presents special, and performed on Last Comic Standing and VH1, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Kyle Grooms
[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead) and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sharp stand-ups (not announced, but check out the podcast) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, and Ben Roy: The Grawlix
[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
[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 Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling showRisk!), clown troupe Everybody Nose, musical guest Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), and guest co-host Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team): 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
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail
[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
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