NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/23/12

April 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Awesomely Bad Music Videos

Some of the best comics of UCB East present some of the worst music you'll ever see...

Awesomely Bad Music Videos

...at "Awesomely Bad Music Videos"

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 (please note new earlier time): 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals of HelloGiggles.com share tales about roommates at UCB East, with storytellers including Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) and Bethany Hall (producer of The Chris Gethard Show): HelloGiggles: Roommates

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Jon Daly (hilarious surreal character actor/improvisor; The Life & Times of Tim, Jon Daly’s Rafflecast, College Road Trip), Calise Hawkins (Russell Simmons Presents), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, College Humor) 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 with Kurt & Kristen

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Amber Nelson, Chris Distefano, Greg Johnson, Lisa Delarios, Sean Donnelly, and J. F. Harris performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Michael Che, and/or Mike Denny: Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($8): Improv performed by talented duos at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ampers&nd

8:30 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Delightful singing duo The Reformed Whores, and stand-ups Nick Cobb, Kate Hendricks, Neal Stasny, and Sam Grittner, all performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Hilariously awful music videos are presented and dissected at UCB East by Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller; host of How Was Your Week podcast; author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Vanessa Bayer (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Rob Sheffield (author of Love Is a Mix Tape), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), John Frusciante (improv troupe Airwolf; host of Break Up Your Band), and Gabe Liedman (This American Life, co-host of Big Terrific) with hosts Rob Tannenbaum & Craig Marks (authors of I Want My MTV) : Awesomely Bad Music Videos

9:30 pm ($5): Two brand new UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Leslie Meisel) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige & Charlemagne

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off sets by NYC stand-ups (not yet announced, but you can check for an update here or here) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun

10:00 pm ($5): A new variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits at The Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Advertisements

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 4/2/12

April 22, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV stars Janeane Garofalo (above) and Christian Finnegan are interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky...

Camille Harris

...and wonderful comedic musicians including Camille Harris (above) and Pendulum Swings perform at Vintage Vantage Variety Show

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

6:00 pm ($5): A weekly podcast that assembles a panel of comedians “and weird characters” to give funny advice, or at the very least relate to the people’s problems with their own stories, at UCB East hosted by Andy Rocco: Here to Help

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Magnet sketch comics performing new material: Ripe Sketch Comedy

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “Are ready for something sweet and something spicy? Long form improv that will satisfy your hunger” hosted by sharp UCBT comic Andy Rocco at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Candy Taco Improv Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7.61 online with code RUNNINGLATE, $8 at the door): Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) returns to The PIT upstairs theatre to host “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people,” with tonight’s guests TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and Amir Blumenfeld: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, The Dave Hill Explosion, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; upcoming book Tasteful Nudes), Mike Racine (Comedy Central), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), and Jacqueline Novak performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by comedy giant Eugene Mirman: Pretty Good Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Louis Katz (HBO, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Presents), Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die), John Knefel (co-host of Radio Dispatch and John and Molly Get Along; Huffington Post), and Amanda Baramki performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining through Sunday at Carolines: John Witherspoon

8:00 pm ($5): Short-form improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Sunday ShortForm Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($8): A musical comedy evening with the wonderful Camille Harris (rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, co-host of My High School Boyfriend Was Gay), superb jazz band Pendulum Swings, David Cope playing the harp, and Aaron Glaser performing non-musical stand-up at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Kyle Supley: Vintage Vantage Variety Show

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die), Michael Che, Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), and Jim Tews performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) with guest host Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:30 pm ($5): A sketch/variety show at The PIT upstairs theatre operating from a fun dark premise: “When Vincent Welles died and went to Hell, he soon found out his punishment was to host a variety talk show for all eternity in the fiery underworld. Join Vincent as he, along with his demonic producers and werewolf sidekick Warren Talbot, host special guests and surprises:” Welcome to Hell with Vincent Welles

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Yamaneika (TruTV), Jessie Geller, and Frank Liotti performing stand-up at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/21/12

April 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Al Madrigal

The Daily Show's Al Madrigal performs at If You Build It...

Sasheer Zamata

...and Sasheer Zamata is at Animated Stories

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] 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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Twilight Zone Improv, GCA, and Upstate at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) hosts this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here). Tonight’s guests are Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; host of School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger and sketch troupe The Prom) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers, beloved UCB performer & instructor): Animated Stories

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnet making up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining through Sunday at Carolines: John Witherspoon

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and who knows what else at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by a stand-up/sketch duo: Team Submarine and Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, Chelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Al Madrigal (newest correspondent of The Daily Show; Comedy Central Presents), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code), and David Cope (co-host of Hot Soup) 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): Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show) and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): The brilliant Ed Herbstman directing improvisors at The Magnet to perform in the style of a feature film for The Director Series: The Movie

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s packed show featuring Henry Zebrowski, Stephen Soroka, Zach Broussard, Julia Segal, Jackie Jennings, Kevin Barnett, Emmy Blotnick, Elizabeth Findlay, and Justin Akin, hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code SBWC, 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 a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($11.34 online; or $10 at the door—but this show typically sells out in advance): Stand-up and burlesque are weirdly blended together based on the reasoning “The nude female form is truly a work of art. That’s why people the world over like to jerk off to it. Who are we to disagree with the world?”at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[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): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Improv master Ed Herbstman and five others “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnet theatre: The Weave

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

11:00 pm ($8): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion): The Lady Jam

Midnight ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) hosts a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of stand-up, sketch, improv, dance, music, and video: The Soul Glo Project

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/20/12

April 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

4/20

4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated tonight at shows including "The Law Firm Goes to White Castle in 3-D," "Woodstock '12," and "The Rejection Show"

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 ($5): A new variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits at The Magnet hosted by Jon Bander, with tonight featuring the best acts of the show’s first six months: The Best of What’s to Get?

[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 in Crisistown, 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] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[$] [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?

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining through Sunday at Carolines: John Witherspoon

8:30 pm ($5): Sketch troupe Shelby Company performs oddball bits for this Magnet sketch show show that in the past has included two-timing monsters and presidential ninjas: Ephemerama

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): John Gemberling (genius improvisor & comedic character actor; Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony and Johnny Show), Adira Amram (fresh, unique, wonderful singer/songwriter; ECNY Award winner for Best Musical Comedy Act), Bobby Tisdale & Edmond Hawkins, Noah Garfinkel & Max Silvestri, Ted Travelstead, Nikki Glaser, Roger Hailes, and Jessica Watkins share tales of being stoned while creating comedy that didn’t work out so well at UCB East for Jon Friedman’s wonderful The Rejection Show: 4/20 Edition

[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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes in a stoned state of mind for 4/20: The Law Firm Goes to White Castle in 3-D

10:30 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): Improvised scenes by duos based on an infamous relationships section of Craigslist at The PIT upstairs theatre: Missed Connections

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] Midnight ($5): Musical performances with a 60s psychedelic theme from delightful singing duo The Reformed Whores and many more at UCB East for this throwback rock concert hosted by Aaron Glaser: Woodstock ’12

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/19/12

April 19, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Dave Hill and dogs

Star comics Dave Hill and...

Janeane Garofalo

...Janeane Garofalo perform for pups & other canines at Smorgasbord of Fun: A Benefit For Waggytail

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: Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: Maneater: The True Story of the Champawat Tigress and Hobby & Grill: Tying The Knot. These might be great or awful; but at $2.50 per show, you can’t go far wrong either way. That’s part of the fun of Spank

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hot Diner and THEM

7:00 pm ($5): Improv duo Steve Soroka (BoF) & Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team) team with improv troupe The Imposters at The PIT downstairs lounge to kick off your Evening Bliss

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, The Dave Hill Explosion, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; upcoming book Tasteful Nudes), Adam Sank (founder of weekly gay-themed stand-up show at Therapy Bar), and more performing at UCB East to raise funds for pups & dogs: Smorgasbord of Fun: A Benefit For Waggytail

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches at UCB Chelsea, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “A panel of comedians give their hilarious takes on the more grim/sensational crime stories taken from NYC’s daily newspapers. It’s live comedy with a streak of yellow journalism and dark New York flavor”—not to mention a monthly podcast—at Queens LIC’s The Creek hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): The New York City Crime Report

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre: Frogmen and Harvey

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining through Sunday at Carolines: John Witherspoon

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and comedic rapper Andrew Singer (Atom TV): Positively Awesome

[$] [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?

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, and Phooka performing improv, followed at 10:00 pm by Mark Grenier directing The Bat (improvised scenes that happen entirely in the dark), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with troupe Chet Watkins battling last week’s winner for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jon Daly (hilarious improvisor & character comic; HBO’s Life & Times of Tim, MTV’s Human Giant), Fran Gillespie (ace improvisor & sketch comic; Stone Cold Fox, ASSSSCAT 3000), Rojo Perez, and more performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Justy Dodge, Adam Lowitt, Rachel Bensen, and Andy de la Tour performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for this weekly comedy show that tonight is guest-hosted by Emmy Blotnick and produced by Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB West stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge for The Scene

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): After the impressive feat of crushing The Law Firm into powder last week by 115 to 50, improv troupe Airwolf has made clear it’s a force to contend with. Having enjoyed four consecutive wins, tonight it aims to humiliate improv group Warren, whose motto is “be cunning and full of tricks.” Good luck with that, Warren. Come see another slaughter as these comics compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): John Fisch (David Letterman), Justy Dodge (Sirius XM Radio), Jason Saenz (Onassis), and Sarah Tollemache performing at UCB East with host Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark

11:00 pm ($5): Improv at The PIT that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/18/12

April 18, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Death Wears Stilettos

One of the funniest comedies in NYC is Michael Trapp's new mini-play about a hardboiled detective with quick lips but an inability to absorb exposition: Death Wears Stilettos

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre for PIT Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, Grappler, The Surge, The Wrath, Featherweight, Brick, Horses, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Horses at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Maude Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Hoops and Spooky Ghost: Lloyd Night

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Joe Zimmerman (The Beards of Comedy), Alison Leiby (The Onion, Risk!), Kendra Cunningham (Just For Laughs Festival), Sam Grittner, and Jason Marcus performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with hosts Selena Coppock, Dan Cartwright, and/or Emily Epstein: Connotation

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform all-new material as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

…and in the other half of this double-bill at UCB Chelsea, one of the very best sketch shows of 2012. It’s a noir mini-play written & directed with immense wit by Michael Trapp (Stone Cold Fox), who with this script demonstrates he’s a rising star with a surefire career in the biz. And beyond the pages, Michael’s put together an all-star cast, including John Murray (simultaneously gripping and hilarious as a hardboiled detective with an absurdly short attention span), Brandon Scott Jones (who delivers an unforgettable scene with John that’s worth the trip all by itself), and D’Arcy Carden (who abandons her usual laid-back persona here to be smoking hot). These are all total pros who are virtually assured careers in TV and film. Catch them while they’re honing their craft and waiting to be noticed in one of the most consistently fun shows in NYC: Death Wears Stilettos

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, first up is a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but pig (including “bacon-infused martinis”), written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams (keep an eye out for her Aurora, a hot and hilariously bubble-headed waitress): Pig: A Restaurant

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a parody of The Bachelor written by Caitlin Bitzegaio & Leila Cohan-Miccio (see above), 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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Jason Saenz, John Milhiser, and Nicole Byer; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/17/12

April 17, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Janeane Garofalo

TV star Janeane Garofalo is at The Moon Show...

Andy Blitz

...TV star Andy Blitz performs at Sweet...

Batman: The Animated Series

...and the best Batman of all time, Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman: The Animated Series), is the industry guest at Comic Book Club

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 for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Kevin Conroy, the voice of the Dark Knight himself on Batman: The Animated Series—and my personal favorite guest on this show—plus Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Pianos (158 Ludlow Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A screening of a short film that includes such UCB stars as Mamrie Hart, Leslie Meisel, Stephen Soroka, and Zhubin Parang—as well as live performances from them to bookend the event—UCB East hosted by the film’s directors Michael Rose & Gavin Shulman: Party on the 49th Floor

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes GoodGirl, The Regulars, Surfing, Sandino, and The Pox—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students make up two complete documentary films—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): This one-woman show at The PIT upstairs theatre “follows Leanne’s journey from Waukegan, Illinois to Vegas, baby! Doesn’t every woman want to move to Vegas, sell guns, and get married a few times? It would be completely made up if it weren’t totally true:” Lady Luck is a Whore

8:00 pm ($5): Cathleen Carr (Two Girls for Five Bucks, Birds, The Scene) and Bob Kulhan (Second City, The Scene) host a show featuring two-person improv teams challenged with separation anxiety—the audience is asked to scramble them and create one-night-only pairings.The established duos participating tonight are Brett Wean & Michael Burton, Will Nunziata & Joe Schiappa, and Cathleen Carr & Bob Kulhan at The PIT downstairs Lounge: Carr Kulhan: Dos Experimento

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Team Submarine, and Danny Jolles performing at Brooklyn’s Union Pool (484 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, James Beard, Tim Skinner, Tim Whitney, and Kenny Pickett, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5 at the door, $7.63 in advance online): All-star lineup of Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Mannhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), and Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner) performing for this monthly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Gabe Delahaye (Senior Editor of Videogum.com): Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Aquarius and Rosencrantz

9:00 pm (no cover, one drink min.): Pat Dixon, Eliza Skinner, George Gordon, Justy Dodge, and Raj Sivaraman performing stand-up on tonight’s topic of Immortality for this weekly show at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) hosted by Emily Heller: The Afterlife

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Killer lineup of Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, The Dave Hill Explosion, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; upcoming book Tasteful Nudes) Neal Brennan (HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) at UCB East with tonight’s guests Jon Daly (hilarious surreal character actor/improvisor; Jon Daly’s Rafflecast, The Nick Show Kroll, College Road Trip), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), and Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1): The Tony and Johnny Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): At The PIT upstairs theatre, the worlds of “magic, mind-reading, and mutilation” are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw & Prakash Puru in this all-new show: Strange Things

9:30 pm ($5): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Emmy Blotnick, Harris Stanton,and Nathan Anderson performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Robin Cloud, Greg Walloch, Chris Doucette, and Jason Kanter performing stand-up at this new monthly gay-themed show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tom Steffen: Rapier Wit

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special), Jay Pharoah (cast member of Saturday Night Live; David Letterman), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Rosencrantz to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.