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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
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 ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident inCrisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening:Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A former staff writer for Saturday Night Live and writer/performer for 30 Rock who’s also performed on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, and an upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Hannibal Buress
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?
[FREE] 8:00 pm: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will triumph. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 5
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): The co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You and It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken, and a comic who’s performed on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Greg Behrendt
[$] [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): DC Benny, Mike Britt, “and others” performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
9:30 pm ($5): All-gal improv at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe Goldie and the Hawns (Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell), plus guest stand-up and sketch gal comics: Boneless! A Night of Women in Comedy
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: An all-musical comedy night with unforgettable dark comedy band The Cowmen, plus The Parodivas, Jeffrey Kornberg, Phoebe Kreutz, and David Cope with “Harp Secrets”performing at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy
[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] [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
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.