NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/27/12

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

Jessica Delfino and Elna Baker

NYC comedy stars Jessica Delfino, Elna Baker, and many more celebrate the dark and bright sides of Summer Camp at The Talent Show…

Dave Hill

…Dave Hill is interviewed by Janeane Garofalo at Bryant Park about about his bestselling new book Tasteful Nudes…

Mamrie Hart

…and the gorgeous Mamrie Hart is on a double-bill with a stellar dark comedy at “BoF: Friends Without Benefits” and “Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical”

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $13 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 12:30 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper), is interviewed about his new bestselling bookTasteful Nudes by TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo at at the Bryant Park Reading Room, West 42nd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues in the park): Dave Hill interviewed by Janeane Garofalo

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation The PIT upstairs theatre for 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 ($5): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding new show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, or $6.39 in advance online—the latter is highly recommended because this show usually sells out): Genius storyteller/writer/actress Elna Baker welcomes you to “roasting marshmallows, singing songs, best friends for a week, first kisses, packages from home, pranks, panty raids, and that one counselor who was a little too touchy-feely. Tonight’s theme is Summer Camp, and we will entertain and amaze you, and probably make you squirm a little.” The diverse and deliciously quirky guests include Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock; created the hilarious and wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), John Epperson (best known as Lypsinka, a drag queen singer), Edgar Oliver (legendary indie playwright/theatre actor), Mike Albo (The New York Times), Molly Hager (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Michael R. Jackson (singer/songwriter), and Clay McLeod Chapman (playwright/author), all performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with hosts Kevin Townley (Men in Black III, The Sitter, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Law & Order) and, again, comedy jewel Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance): The Talent Show: Summer Camp Edition

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Kevin Michael Murphy, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., Kevin Michael Murphy’s ieg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, 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 puns, wild facial expressions, dance, rock trivia, audience pranks, murder reenactments, and more as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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 the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from two twenty-something gals having trouble finding love and describing why in a multimedia show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Kelly and Lindsey Do New York

[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): Acclaimed Chicago-based Katy Colloton visits The PIT downstairs lounge to perform a multi-character one-woman show for one night only: What Would Carol Do?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers —who tonight are Adam Wade, Ophira Eisenberg, Anthony Atamanuik, Jake Hart, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s delightful theme PatheticThe Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90): 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 The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes—and probably some fun surprises at this special Del Close Marathon edition of The Improv Jam

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform along with side-show attractions such as jugglers, contortionists, and fire eaters at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Superb improv troupe 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 performers include Katey Healy-Wurzburg and Veronica Osorio; for the complete lineup, 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

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy and audience participation at The PIT downstairs lounge from a young troupe setting your expectations low: The Disappointments

[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

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