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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] 6:30 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
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
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of The Adam Wade Show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) hosts a show at The Magnet that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with tonight’s guests Michelle Markowitz (host of Failing Our Twenties), Bruce Cherry, Deborah Gross, Chano Garcia, and Dan Berman: Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites as YouTube.com, NewYorkTimes.com, and EntertainmentWeekly.com. But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process (for a trailer, please click here). Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this is one of the very best solo shows in NYC: Commercial Interruption…
…and in the second half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a meta-comedy about 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
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Inspired by the popular blog My High School Boyfriend Was Gay, this superb show at UCB East “celebrates our most tragic, hilarious, and heinous teenage memories, full of chaste hugs, Grease sing-alongs, and trips to the stage door to accost the cast of Rent,” with true stories tonight from Jeremy Jordan King (author of upcoming novel In Stone), Shawn Hollenbach (Logo TV), and Michelle Wolf (Cats in Pants) hosted by Damian Bellino, and the super-delightful Camille Harris whose piano playing and singing will make you grin and dance in your seat—and who currently needs your money for her first CD, so please visit her Indiegogo campaign by clicking here to watch her super-delightful video: My High School Boyfriend Was Gay
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), and Nimesh Patel performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1) performs her college stand-up show, which covers “drunk dialing her parents, hitting on married men, and losing her keys and pride” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Jamie Lee: Can You Call My Mom?
[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($11.34 [vs. $21.69] online using discount code LLED10): NYC stand-ups specializing in political humor make fun of our current election cycle at The Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street); take advantage of discount code LLED10 to see this off-Broadway show for under $12: Laughing Liberally: Electile Dysfunction
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Gramp’s (the finest of UCBT’s Maude sketch troupes, thanks to such talents as Laura Grey, Abbi Crutchfield, Don Fanelli, Rachael Mason, and a strong writing team) and Onassis (which has seldom been strong on the writing side but includes superb actress Lauren Conlin Adams): Maude Night: Gramp’s and Onassis
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Debates by NYC comics at UCB East, with tonight’s participants Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Jeff Wesselschmidt, Dan Licata Jake Young, Kenny & Keith Lucas, Reid Faylor, and Andrew Short, hosted by Michael Shawki: The Great Debate
[FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off a stand-up set by Josh Gondelman, with the improvisors typically including such talents as Micah Sherman, Cathleen Carr, Nick Vatterott, and Sarah Nowak performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun
[FREE] 9:30 pm: Becky Yamamoto, Seaton Smith, Jon Savoy, Kyle Bostic, Angela Cobb, and Jason Kanter performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea and hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash
[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! 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 PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh
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