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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:
[TOP PICK] 3:00 pm to 1:00 am (prices vary by show; $45 festival pass lets you see everything):The PIT is aiming to begin a proud tradition with its first annual improv festival. Will it be competitive with UCB’s legendary summer Del Close Marathon? Read about the new festival here, check out its entire schedule here, and then come out to enjoy this final night of The PIT’s First Annual NYC Improv Festival
[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball
8:30 pm ($10): Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), Greg Johnson (Sirius XM Radio), Alice Wetterlund, and Team Submarine performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo
[$] [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): Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sharp NYC stand-ups are invited to perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Kelly Fastuca, Reid Faylor, and Andrew Short: Underbelly
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “For over six years, you have been able to count on the UCBW to bring you hot comedy wrestling action each and every Thursday night at Cage Match. For an unprecedented seventhyear, UCBW will present its signature show—the grandpappy of ’em all—WrestleSlamMania VII! Rivalries have been brewing, and everything will come to a full boil when the full stable of UCBW MegaStars appears in the squared circle! Hilarious real wrestling matches live! Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” WrestleSlamMania VII: The Final Orbit
[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer
[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad Steuernagel: Comedians Off Of the Leash
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.