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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
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Tales of the Cosmos and 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 Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink), Joe Dettmore, Chas Danner, and Violet Benny: Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?
7:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, 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 ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), and Albertina Rizzo (The New York Times, Vanity Fair, author of Hold My Gold: A White Girl’s Guide to the Hip-Hop World and Britney’s Baby Book) 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
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Select writers from the UCB community were asked to write a TV pilot, Web series pilot, and feature film. Staged readings will be performed tonight at UCB East of the winning works, which are Boundaries (TV pilot written by Bethany Hall & Matt Fisher), I.O.U. (feature film written by Dan Chamberlain & Halle Kiefer), and Trying (Web series pilot written by Laura Willcox & Don Fanelli): Creative Control: The Winners
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): UCB Chelsea stars Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) perform “a sketch show inspired by the passions of people who work for the municipal government of a mid-sized city in the northeast corridor:” Small Men
[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up who’s increasingly getting better; staff writer for David Letterman; host of Entertaining the Bartender), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), and Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Late Night Stand and Mustache Party) 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 Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and often featuring free beer: Broken Comedy
[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, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Abbi Crutchfield, Don Fanelli, and Eddie Dunn, 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
[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road
9:00 pm ($5): Improvisor Nick Kanellis (Trike), and sketch comics Matthew Robert Gehring (FX’s Louie, Political Subversities) Dana Clinkman, and Meredith Hackman each perform solo at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Branson Reese: Comedy Expo
[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Neil Constantine, Julianna Forlano, Ray Marshall, Jeff Cerulli, Josh Carter, and Ed Farrell performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid
[TOP PICK] 10:00 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 Graham Nolan (Second City), Shawn Hollenbach (Logo TV, Closet Cases), and Sabrina Jalees (Lifetime’s Mom at Sixteen, CBC’s Laugh Out Loud), hosted by Damian Bellino, and the super-delightful Camille Harris whose piano playing and singing will make you grin and dance in your seat (keep an eye out for Camille’s upcoming CD): My High School Boyfriend Was Gay
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): 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 exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jared Reed: Fresh
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