NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/24/12

August 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

Don’t miss the spectacular dark fantasy comedy…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

…from an all-Japanese troupe (with English subtitles), running
7:00 pm tonight…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

…Saturday at noon, and Sunday at 2:00 at FringeNYC 2012: Hanafuda Denki—A Tale of Playing Cards

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($18): A spectacular dark fantasy comedy that’s a bit like anime on stage; colorful, dream-like, overwhelming, and like nothing else you’re likely to see this year. It’s from an all-Japanese troupe (with easy-to-read English subtitles projected on the wall); and kudos to FringeNYC for bringing this amazing show to New York. Don’t miss your three remaining chances to see it tonight at 7:00, tomorrow at noon, and Sunday at 2:00 at the HERE Theatre Mainstage (145 Sixth Avenue; take the C/E subway to Spring Street): Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards—Are You a Winner or a Loser in This Life-and-Death Game?

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: For one last night this week, a TV & Broadway stand-up star hones an hour of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A critically acclaimed show described as “Two Men. One Chain. Fully Improvised,” with Dion Flynn (Jimmy Fallon, Matador) & Nate Starkey (Big Black Car, Starkey & Grace) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shackled

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet 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; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv troupe LD50

[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. As for its writers, they sizzle when at their best; but when I saw this new show about two months ago, it was a work in progress. Regardless of the current state of the script, you’re virtually guaranteed a good time from the all-star cast—Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden, and Johnathan Fernandez. (The scary faces Molly Lloyd makes are worth the trip all by themselves…) Directed by ace improvisor Ryan Karels: Stone Cold Fox: You Probably Think This Show Is About You

[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

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 ($15): Twelve improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre will improvise for 24 hours straight, from 8:00 pm tonight until 8:00 pm tomorrow night. For $15, you can come and watch for the entire 24 hours or any portion of it. The performers for this event are Darcy Burke, Nick Carrillo, Kevin Cragg, Patrick Cucuta, David Chase Kimball-Stanley, Michael Greene, Toby Knops, Adam Luke, Oscar Montoya, Chris Roberti, Rebecca Vigil, and Marshall York: 24 Hour Improv Challenge

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): The Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?, and a stand-up who’s performed a Comedy Central Presents special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Ben Bailey

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, pastry buns, and jello shots at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonathan Powley: Buns and Puns

[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

8:30 pm ($7): Jarret Berenstein performs a one-man show at The Magnet that “mixes stand-up, sketch, and poorly executed animation:” Boosh. Kla-Klau.

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Jena Axelrod, Sergio Chicon, Joe Pontillo, and Pat Rigby performing at Mr. Dennehy’s Irish Pub (63 Carmine Street) hosted by Troy Bynum & Carrie Gravenson: The Tomfoolery Hour

[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—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[$] [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): Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 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?

10:30 pm ($5): 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): 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, top Maude sketch troupe Gramp’s, 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 ($5): Amber Nelson (fearless rising star; sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Late Night Stand and Mustache Party), Tim Diamond, Marilyn Summers, Pepper Jill & Jack, and more performing at a variety show embracing all forms of comedy at The PIT downstairs theatre hosted by Taylor Clark: FGP Late Nite

[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, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/23/12

August 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Adira Amram and Billy Holiday

Adira Amram puts on a Brooklyn Dance Party; LIvia Scott becomes Billie Holiday at Livia’s Castle of Enchantment…

Tom Shillue and Reggie Watts

…Tom Shillue hosts Funny Story; and Reggie Watts is among the stars at Kevin Allison’s Risk!

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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Sue Galloway (The Law Firm) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Popular UCBT star & Chris Gethard Show icon Vacation Jason tonight auditions his own production, Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors, at 7:00 pm. And before that are two shows I know nothing about—The State vs. Josh: The Trial of The Millenials and Boob Tube—also auditioning for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $1.66 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Diner and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie) hosting tonight as Billie Holiday, Sherman Hemsley, and Truman Capote. Joining the party will be stand-up Jason Saenz, musical guest Happy Lives, and sword swallower The Lady Aye: Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm doors, 8:00 pm Heloise, 9:00 pm Adira ($10 at the door or $11.78 online): Adira Amram is a fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act. She and her backup dancers, “The Experience,” will wow you at a special performance tonight at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). If you want to come early, you can see musical group Heloise and The Savoir Faire for the same ticket; plus after Adira there’ll be a bona fide dance party: Adira Amram and the Experience: Dance Party

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups & storytellers in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Trace Crutchfield (TV series Unconventionally Yours with Trace Crutchfield), and Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central; co-host of The Party Machine): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch show about one of the sadder aspects of the human condition: Lonely People

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Rick Andrews directing The Weave (organic freeform improv “with no rules”), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), featuring Eaglefox vs. The Wrath: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm ($5): Calise Hawkins, Mike Recine, Seaton Smith, Missy Baker, Grant Gordon, and Brendan Fitzgibbons, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT stars Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea directed by Michael Delaney: Small Men

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Comedy Central special; Jimmy Fallon; Electric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion, co-host of The Story Collider), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), and Jaqi Furback performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme So Emotional at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 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?

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, kicked the crap out of troupe Kinsey last week 125-21. Tonight Good Dad plans to punish veteran duo The Brothers Hines as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—tonight goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Liz Wisan at The PIT downstairs lounge in a very accurately named show: Smart & Attractive

11:00 pm ($5): “Secret movie screenings of movies you probably haven’t seen and/or should see again” at UCB East (which used to be a movie theatre) hosted by Ryan Karels (Grandma’s Ashes, Krompf), Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers), JD Amato (Harold Night), and Mike Roth (Two Boots Video): Secret Movie Show Presented by Two Boots Video

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/22/12

August 22, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

For fave Fringe shows to see over the next 5 days, please click here.

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

At UCB Chelsea, 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit and John Lutz will blow the roof off as genius improv duo John & Scott…

Michael Patrick O'Brien

…and then Saturday Night Live’s Michael O’Brien will perform his one-man show 45 Minutes of Things

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 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A TV & Broadway stand-up star hones an hour of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre every day this week: Colin Quinn Tries Stuff Out

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch show about NYC commuting written & produced by Michelle Francesca Thomas at The PIT downstairs lounge: Transit Stories

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Top UCB East comics—including Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, Brandon Gulya, and Jim Santangeli—perform solo character bits and sketches, hosted by Kara Klenk: UCBT Comedy Talent Showcase

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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 UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Saturday Night Live write Mike O’Brien “performs solo sketch and stand-up, reads a short story, and in general, does things. Come out to see experimental comedy as well as comedy that involves no experimentation” at UCB Chelsea: MIke O’Brien: 45 Minutes of Things

[TOP PICK] 10:00 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Celebrating the release of Douglas Widick’s music video “Lemme Eat That Off Yo Abs” are the Cocoon Central Dance Team, Kiah Victoria, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Douglas Widick Music Video Release Party

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (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 Kara Klenk, and “Alex Kane & his dad;” 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

[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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 8/21/12

August 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For best FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Ashley Wren Collins

Actress/singer/dancer/choreographer Ashley Wren Collins shows off her star power in superb FringeNYC musical comedy “Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood”…

Rob Cantrell

…Rob Cantrell performs at Comedy Juice…

Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

…and it’s your last chance to catch FringeNYC comedy “The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino” from delightful dark sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

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: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, four of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Mint Condition and BEEEES! (at 7:00) and Aquarius and Legend (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Legend to make up stories in song: Musical Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FRE WINE!] 7:00 pm: A free wine tasting, with actual wine experts, is the unlikely twist this week from super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage having a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comic books and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A TV & Broadway stand-up star hones an hour of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre every day this week: Colin Quinn Tries Stuff Out

7:00 pm-9:00 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Good Girl, The Pox, and Surfing at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18): The final FringeNYC performance of sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting’s delightfully dark comedy about the rise and fall of a child star (for my review, please click here) at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street): The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jamie Kilstein (Huffington Post; co-host of Citizen Radio), Robert Sikoryak (author of Masterpiece Comics performing a reading), The Cocoon Central Dance Team, rapper Lakutis, and music from the wonderful Camille Harris at Brooklyn’s Union Pool (484 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, James Beard, Bryan Condon, Tim Skinner, and Tim Whitney, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show

8:00 pm ($5): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show) and Alex Scordelis (writer for The Cat Whisperer) are your hosts Ted Nugent and Dennis Kucinich in this show at UCB East encouraging you to vote: Celebrate Democracy!

8:00 pm ($8): Head writer & director Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins, Jen & Steve) and a dozen other talents perform brand new sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Big Business

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($20, which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is recommended): Political satirists Lee Camp (Moment of Clarity), John Fuselsang (Politically Incorrect), Nato Green (writer for FX’s Totally BIased), and Negin Farsad (has information I need that would help fellow comics but is oddly not returning my emails) performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for producer John Morrison’s Funny, Smart Shit

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($18): An award-winning musical that’s one of the most polished comedies at this year’s FringeNYC, and which showcases quadruple-threat talent and star Ashley Wren Collins and a terrific mostly-gal cast, running tonight, Thursday, and Sunday at The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd Street and Bleecker): Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Ted Travelstead (Vanity Fair, author of Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing), Jono Zalay, Josh Gondelman, and Ross Parsons performing on this week’s topic I Could’ve Died of Embarrassment at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) hosted tonight by Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here): The Afterlife: I Could’ve Died of Embarrassment

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Bucky, Creature, and Sandino—plus advanced improv students make up a story in which the first scene is the last scene for a form called The Evente—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

9:30 pm ($5): A monthly stand-up competition at UCB East in which “new and emerging stand-up comics face off against each other in front of a panel of judges eager to provide unsolicited advice and even more unsolicited scores”—the judges being Brian Cichocki (Caroline’s, Stand-Up New York), and Shannon Coffey. If you’re an up-and-coming stand-up, send a video link and brief bio to john@ucbcomedy.com for a chance to participate in Stand-Up Smackdown

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this monthly gay-themed show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tom Steffen: Rapier Wit

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Nic Novicki (little boxer on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), Danny Vermont (staff writer for HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and FX’s Totally Biased), Andrew Schulz (MTV 2’s Guy Code), and Mark Serritella performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club guest-hosted by Rus Gutin: ComedyJuice

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/20/12

August 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Joe Pera

Hilarious deadpan stand-up Joe Pera performs at Comedy Central Corporate Retreat…

Melanie Hamlett

…and comedic adventurer Melanie Hamlett shares stories of being on the road at Told

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: Weekly hour-long open-mic storytelling show, with audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 8 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

6:00 pm ($5 cover & $5 drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12 at the door or $11.30 online): Storytellers Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; Moth Grandslam Champion, Marie Claire Magazine, amazing blog, roving adventurer), PJ Vogt, Justine Barron, Greg Walloch, and David Crabb telling tales about this month’s topic “I Know What I DId Last Summer” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) with host Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life): Told: I Know What I Did Last Summer

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; I recently saw him sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders), Will Hines (ace improv troupe The Stepfathers), Scott Moran (Rubber Bullets), Ben Kissel, and Gonzalo Cordova performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Michael Che: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sketch troupes Reformed Whores, Chess Club, and Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp each performing one of their most popular sketches and one of their personal favorites at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Justy Dodge (co-host of Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and more performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denny, and/or Michael Che: Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($8): Improv performed by talented duos at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ampers&nd

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($11.34 [vs. $21.69] online using discount code LLED10): NYC stand-ups specializing in political humor make fun of our current election cycle at The Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street); take advantage of discount code LLED10 to see this off-Broadway show for under $12: Laughing Liberally: Electile Dysfunction

8:30 pm ($10): An NYC improv troupe, headed by Duncan Murdoch, making up scenes following not only an audience suggestion but the riffs of an instrumental jazz quartet: FACE

[TOP PICK] 9:30 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, Michael Martin, 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., a leg-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, a show for which I had high hopes since some of my fondest childhood memories are of Krypto and his Space Canine Patrol Agents (S.C.P.A.). But this ain’t that. Instead, it’s a deliberately dumb version of Saturday morning cartoon shows that demonstrates little respect, affection, or wit towards its source material. The most notable elements are Neil Casey, who is hilarious as an evil alien insect-man; Rob Lathan as Neil’s lackey; and Sue Galloway as the gal even dog creatures want to make out with. This could have been so much more, especially with the brilliant Craig Rowin as co-writer; but instead it’s Dog Fleet

9:30 pm ($5): The debut of the only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[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

10:00 pm ($5): A variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits at The Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Karaoke plus Mad Libs—in which the audience chooses a list of words to swap into a popular song—at the UCB East Bar hosted by karaoke experts Alan Starzinski and Amy Jo Jackson, plus live keyboard accompaniment by Joe McGinty: Karaoke Night at the Hot Chicks Room

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[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 someone wonderful (while Leo Allen is in LA): 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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 8/19/12

August 19, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Phoebe Robinson

Beloved NYC downtown stand-up Phoebe Robinson headlines for one night only at Carolines…

Jessimae Peluso

…and Jessimae Peluso and more help celebrate the 8th Anniversary of the Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A TV & Broadway stand-up star hones 30 minutes of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre every day this week: Colin Quinn Tries Stuff Out

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBwest’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

8:00 pm ($5): Improvised episodes of the never-made third season of Twin Peaks at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: In These Woods

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jermaine Fowler (cast member of Fox’s new In Living Color), Calise Hawkins (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com), Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Neal Stasny, Robert Dean, and John F. O’Donnell performing at RG’s free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on Jay Leno and Chelsea Lately headlining one more night at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Caparulo

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Justy Dodge (co-host of Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Gonzalo Cordova, and Noah Gardenswartz performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

9:30 pm ($5): At Magnet, sketch comedy from The Weird Sisters, Listen Kid!, We’re Matt Weir, Darth Vader Ginsberg!, Beth Newell, Christian Paluck, and Nick Kanellis: Sketch Sundays

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) perform sets that are then used as springboards for improv troupes to make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Daws of Jeath

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($10 using code COB10, plus 2-drink min.) A beloved stand-up in the NYC downtown community who’s performed on TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Phoebe Robinson

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Four touring comics from Austin Texas offering a fresh comedic perspective at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The East Infection Comedy Tour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-ups Adam Lehman, Jessimae Peluso, Yamaneika, and Karith Foster celebrating the 8th Anniversary of this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/18/12

August 18, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Matt Graham

Today’s FringeNYC includes razor-sharp comic Matt Graham’s “This Too Shall Suck,” which so far is my favorite one-person show of the fest

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] [$] Noon ($18): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron has a one-man show at this year’s FringeNYC! Further, it’s terrific; for my review; please click here. Come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham today at noon at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:00 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Fast Tractor, Sad Kids, and GCA at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 ($5): Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses) and Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV) ,perform comedy club-length sets at UCB East hosted by Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel, FX’s Totally Biased): Big Long Sets

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($7): An hour of all-new sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on Jay Leno and Chelsea Lately headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Caparulo

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Sharp stand-ups Jon Friedman, Erin Judge, Kenny Zimlinghaus, Adam Lowitt, Michael Che, and John F. O’Donnell performing at UCB East guest-hosted by Sean Donnelly: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($8 at the door or $10.70 in advance online): Stand-up Kate Berlant, musical acts The Bowery Riots and The Forgiveness, “mind warrior” Daniel Pinchbeck, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[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), Harris Stanton (SNL, Comedy Central, BET), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($8): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors—tonight including troupes Gameface, GCA, and Moscow River Sharks—make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and who knows what else at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by a stand-up/sketch duo: Team Submarine and Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge for this new themed show: The Tarantino

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and has so far crushed 10 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s singers Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Langan Kingsley, Amy Albert, Lorraine Cink, and Kathleen Armenti performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Justin Perez & Shaina Stigler: Total Requesty

11:00 pm ($8): A young new all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any female wanting to participate, at any experience level—and which has a very special and communal “gal energy” you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is led by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion): The Lady Jam

Midnight ($5): Screenings at UCB East (which used to be an indie film theatre) of brand new comedy videos that haven’t yet been released: Test Screening

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.