NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/8/12

June 8, 2012

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Jessica Delfino

Stellar raunchy singers Jessica Delfino (above), Ben Lerman, Cock Lorge…

Esther Ku

…Last Comic Standing star Esther Ku, and many more ace comedic musicians perform on Night 2 of the first-ever New York Funny Songs Festival

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] 6:00 pm ($8): Kicking off the second night of the New York Funny Songs Festival is this show that challenges musical comics to sing on the theme of a specific book, with this month’s title The Anarchist’s Cookbook, and the singers including Esther Ku, Juliet Jeske, and Schaffer The Dark Lord performing at Casa Mezcal (86 Orchard Street) hosted by the lovely and dark-witted Jena Friedman: Books & Hooks

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): At this hot event, delightfully raunchy singers Jessica Delfino, Ben Lerman, Cock Lorge, The Parodivas, and Red Peters perform as part of the New York Funny Songs Festival at Casa Mezcal (86 Orchard Street) for A Night of Dirty Songs

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The Magnet to perform as improv trio Mr. Gorsky

[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 ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star headlining through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Late Night Stand and Mustache Party), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Michael Kupperman (author of Tales Designed to Thrizzle), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment Tuesdays at Cake Shop), Adam Conover, and Corey Reppond performing for this final show at Brooklyn’s Vaudeville Park (26 Bushwick Avenue) hosted by Meghan O’Neill and Matt Koff: King’s Country Comedy Hour: The Farewell

[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 Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Semi-Final Round 3

[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 ($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, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A veteran stand-up who’s performed on HBO, Comedy Central, and Logo, and won two Emmys as a writer/producer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Judy Gold

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring ace guest improvisors Jeff Hiller (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Tim Martin (Airwolf): Diamond Lion

[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] [$] [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), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Mike Britt, Maddog Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), and Ari Voukydis (VH1, UCBT) performing stand-up, plus other comics doing sketch, improv, and who knows what else, at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jeremy Wein: Undefined

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): The irresistible Camille Harris, YouTube star Rob Paravonian, Devo Spice, and other superb comedic singers perform at Casa Mezcal (86 Orchard Street) for this third show tonight that’s part of the New York Funny Songs Festival

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Formerly titled Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy—until a “cease and desist” order arrived from the attorneys at EMI Music—this show marches on with terrific comedic musical performers at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Radio Shack: A Comedy Musical Showcase

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

10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors perform as duos at The PIT downstairs lounge: Couples’ Retreat

[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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): This Magnet improv show makes clever use of the Web: “Give us a topic, a name, a question on any subject and the cast—including ace improvisors Alex Marino and Jesse Falcon—will answer it using the full power of the Internet and the combined mental acumen of five intellectual juggernauts. Also, maybe some improv. What you will learn cannot be unlearned! What do you want to know?”: Search Engine

[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

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

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