NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/15/12

June 15, 2012

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For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Amy Poehler

Luminous, down to earth, fearless, and always hilarious, comedy superstar Amy Poehler is interviewed tonight at the 92nd Street Y

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 happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A beloved high-concept sketch troupe that delights in exploring silly ideas and wordplay (for example, demonstrating that a caveman and the Cookie Monster sound remarkably alike when saying such things as “Me have problem with subject/verb placement…”) at The PIT upstairs theatre debuting an all-new show: Elephant Larry

7:00 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

7:00 pm ($7): A one-man show by Athos Cakiades at The Magnet about “marginal portraits of masculinity as in a Roman poet, a college dean, a frat brother, two inmates, and your average rooster:” Cock of the Walk

[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

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: NYC stand-ups Ben Kissel, Katie Compa, Lauren Vino, Michael Che, Brad Howe, Ben Conrad, and more performing at One and One (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Josh Cahn & Ed Delapine (The Bedtime Brothers) and produced by Ben Conrad: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: To prepare for the miserably low pay of stand-up, many comics start out as teachers. This new show gathers ex-teachers who have gone on to achieve, in some cases, even less money and respect by pursuing their dreams, with tonight’s guests Katie Hannigan, Ryan Conner, Gabe Pacheco, Josh Gondelman, and Brandon Collins performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Charlie Kasov: Waiting For Superman: Stand-Up by Ex-Teachers

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($30): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

8:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

[$] 8:00 pm ($53 & 2-drink min.) Former co-host of The Man Show and Loveline, and now host of one of the most popular comedy podcasts on the Net, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Adam Carolla

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:15 pm ($29-$32 online or at the door): Is there anyone who doesn’t love the luminous and fearlessly playful Amy Poehler? The star of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, previously a star cast member of Saturday Night Live, and a co-founder of the invaluable Upright Citizens Brigade, Amy is one of comedy’s greatest treasures—not to mention one of the most thoroughly beautiful performers in show biz. On June 15th Amy will be doing a rare on-stage interview with Caryn James (former New York Times TV & film critic, novelist, and prominent blogger) at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall (1395 Lexington Avenue, between 91st and 92nd Streets). I’ve already nabbed my ticket for this intimate evening (in a 917-seat concert hall…). Join me and make it a party: Amy Poehler Interviewed by Caryn James

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): A musical comedy at The Magnet “inspired by the real life plans of the US military to build a bomb that would make their enemies gay. The show is a cautionary tale set in a not-to-distant America that is a xenophobic, homophobic wet dream. This timely political piece is not only topical but extremely on point, leaving no stereotype unscathed.” Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Arthur Meyer (Jimmy Fallon): 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 Todd Barry (might be 9:00 pm only), Dean Edwards (HBO, Saturday Night Live), and more performing 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go Go

11:00 pm ($8): In the June show notice host Danny Jolles writes, “Last month’s show didn’t have our usual size crowd.” That’s probably because last month he stopped mentioning who he’s invited to perform. This month: same deal. But if you’re feeling adventurous, someone or other will be performing stand-up and sketch, along with sketch troupe Carousel of Characters, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Danny’s Funhouse

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[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

Midnight ($5): Improvisor & life coach Dion Flynn, creator/star of Web series Your Dad’s Friends Aaron Eisenberg, and improvisor/stand-up Chris Grace are talk show guests at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul Gutkowski: Sex in the Late Night Air

[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 Fambly—which, if everyone’s lucky, could mean the wonderful Mamrie Hart will be on stage: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.