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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] 7:00 pm ($7): A wonderful lineup of all-gal storytellers: Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion), Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko), Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, burlesque star, co-host of And I Am Not Lying and The Standard Issues), Tracy Rowland (NPR, The Moth), and Sara Peters (The Moth podcast) telling hilarious tales at The Magnet with host Adam Wade Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here):Super Stories: Ladies Night Edition
…and by the way, be sure to read Jason Zinoman’s fine recent article on NYC storytelling—mentioning some of the folks in this show—in The New York Times
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring ace guest improvisors Fran Gillespie (Stone Cold Fox, The Law Firm), and Tim Martin (Airwolf), plus monologues from Hallie Haglund (The Daily Show): Diamond Lion
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10):A parody of The Bachelor written by UCB Chelsea faves Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN, writer or director of numerous UCBT sketch shows) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox, Pig: A Restaurant), and worth catching if only to experience the delicious comedic performances of standouts Morgan Grace Jarrett (Big Fish, Love Liza, Buffy fan) and Nicole Byer (Doppelganger)—who are especially fun when they turn into an unlikely a comedy duo…: The Bachelor: Romance, Roses, and Romance…
…and in the second half of this double-bill, 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
8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form
[FREE] 8:00 pm: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will triumph. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 4
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson
[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, top Maude sketch troupe Gramp’s, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w
[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joey Kola
[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Killer lineup of 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.) and Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): At UCB East, an improv troupe that recently clobbered top rivals at Cage Match—thanks to such talents as Don Fanelli, Kate Riley, and Tim Martin—attempts to abandon rules for the sake of achieving new levels of hilarity in Fuck That Shit
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Joe Zimmerman (Rooftop Comedy), Dave Stone (Adult Swim’sSquidbillies), Andy Sanford (TBS), 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.” This bearded quartet’s credits include the album Cardio Mix from Comedy Central Records. Tonight they’re joined by stand-up guests RG Daniels, Dave Waite, Emily Fleming, Clayton English, Kate Hendricks, Paul Hooper, and Reid Faylor, 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, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, 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 ($5): One of my favorite people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Liz Wisan at The PIT downstairs lounge in a very accurately named show: Smart & Attractive
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): All-gal hosts Amey Goerlich (member of Krompf, co-host of Indie Cage Match), Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, Veal), and Natasha Rothwell (Hodapp & Rothwell) pretend to be boys at The PIT upstairs theatre with guests Ashley Ward (Diamond Lion, Hello, Taco Supreme), Sarah Nowak (The Baldwins, SidViscous), and Kevin Cragg: Oh Boy! and Friends
11:30 pm ($5): Most of the improv you’ll see in NYC is longform. Tonight at The Magnet the original and still-vibrant short form version will be performed by such talents as Louis Kornfeld and Elana Fishbein:Late Night Party Prov
[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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