NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/3/12

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For best video previews of FringeNYC 2012 shows, please click here.

Judah Friedlander

Judah Friedlander headlines at Carolines…

JC Coccoli

…and JC Coccoli performs at Annie Lederman’s “Pirate Party;” The PIT’s “Undefined” and UCB East’s “Gentrify”

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] 6:30 pm ($10 plus 1 drink min.): “Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theater, a shark swims right into your heart.” Beloved storyteller/stand-up/sketch comic John Flynn stars—superbly—as a singing shark, along with two wonderful finds, powerhouse singer Laura Daniel and comedy dynamo Brett Douglas, in this 40-minute musical written & composed by Wayne Henry at the Broadway Comedy Club (318 West 53rd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues) that really should be doubled in length via a second act but in the meantime is worth catching as is (running tonight and just a few other dates): Jaws: The Musical

[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; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv troupe Swartzlander

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a monthly show at UCB Chelsea based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[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), 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) Judah Friedlander is a hilarious stand-up and occasional agent of chaos. Judah is a cast member of 30 Rock, and has also performed on VH1’s Best Week Ever, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, MTV’s Wonder Showzen, and Jay Leno. In addition, Judah has acted in over 20 films, including such hit comedies as Meet the Parents, Zoolander,  and Full Grown Men. Judah was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in American Splendor. When asked in an interview about his influences, Judah responded: “Audiences. They are often the forgotten ingredient in stand-up comedy. Stand-up is live entertainment, and a live audience is needed. Also, whatever is happening at the moment. I play off of that. The moment is a big influence. If you’re not playing the moment you’re not doing stand-up comedy–someone just reciting material but not responding with what’s going on in the room is not stand-up comedy.” This playful, anarchic, in-the-moment comedy veteran—and author of the book How to Beat Up Anybody—is headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Judah Friedlander

8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form

8:00 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Eric Grundhauserled as your Dungeon Master

[$] [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?

[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 ($7): Two of the most respected improvisors in the country, Magnet co-owner Armando DIaz and Christina Gausas team up as Diaz & Gausas

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman and Jay Leno, and starred in two Comedy Central specials, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Mitch Fatel

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30ish pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), JC Coccoli (Key & Peele; looks great in a hat), and Adam Conover (College Humor, host of Fresh Out) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman—followed by wild Karaoke party!: Pirate Party

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—plus tonight’s guests Fran Gillespie (ASSSSCAT 3000, Stone Cold Fox, The Law Firm, The Living Room), Lauren Adams (Newsadoozies, Onassis), and Tim Martin (Airwolf) making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[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), TV & movie star Todd Barry (might be 9:00 pm only), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): The Lucas Bros (Jimmy Fallon), JC Coccoli (Key & Peele; looks great in a hat), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award) performing stand-up, plus others doing sketch, improv, and who knows what else, at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jeremy Wein: Undefined

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: Joe Zimmerman (Rooftop Comedy), Dave Stone (Adult Swim’s Squidbillies), Andy Sanford (TBS), and TJ Young “deliver an original brand of humor that’s deeply rooted in stand-up and lightly blended with avant-garde elements of music, sketch and improv.” This bearded quartet’s credits include the album Cardio Mix from Comedy Central Records. Tonight they’re joined by NYC stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Beards of Comedy & Friends

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): A one-man show about a port-a-john manager seeking advice from a variety of oddball sources, written & performed by Tim Leuzarder at The PIT downstairs lounge: Mentor-ized: Looking For Help In All The Wrong Places

[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): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), JC Coccoli (Key & Peele; looks great in a hat), Team Submarine, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Where else can you find a late-night improvised exorcism besides The PIT downstairs lounge?: The Exorcism of Lucas Hazlett

[TOP PICK] 11:30 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

[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. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, often including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: