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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:
6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about—We Don’t Have Money to Pay Our Rent and Our First Orgy—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $2.50 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with Spank
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Blowout show with comedic authors Jonathan Ames (creator of HBO’s Bored to Death; author of Wake Up, Sir), Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), and Todd Hanson (long-time head writer of The Onion) performing at Brooklyn’s Public Assembly (70th North 6th Street, by the L subway’s Bedford Avenue stop), plus free books from Forbidden Planet, and sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, Tim Skinner, and Tim Whitney, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show: Tribute to Books
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Davy and Peter Rothbart, the owners of Found Magazine, are touring the country to celebrate the mag’s 10th Anniversary. Join them for their one-night-only show at UCB East as they tell stories, sing, and show you cool stuff they’ve discovered: My Heart Is An Idiot: Found Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Tour
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm: A comedy force of nature—tough, smart, honest, hilarious—who is one of the very finest stand-ups ever (for video samples, please click here) performs tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club. All performances are sold out, but you can try for a stand-by line: Bill Burr
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18 at the door or $21.95 online): “The trippiest psychedelic cult film of all time,” Head, written by Jack Nicholson and starring The Monkees, is screened at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) and then dissected by Kurt Loder (The Good, the Bad and the Godawful), Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller; host of How Was Your Week podcast; author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Monkees historian Eric Lefcowitz (Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made-For-TV Band), music journalist Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone), and “other special guests:” Night of the Living: Head
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10, which includes a free beer): 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 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; new book Tasteful Nudes), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), and Garrett Oliver: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story
[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, 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, 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 duoBoF: Friends Without Benefits
8:00 pm ($8): A monthly variety show that “features longform puppet improv, collaborations with special guests, choose-your-own-adventures, give-aways, and more” at The PIT upstairs theatre:An Existential Sing-Along
8:00 pm ($5; includes free beer): A charming monthly comedy variety show, tonight featuring Jeffrey Joseph (stand-up), Charla Lauriston (storyteller), Youth Group (improv troupe), and more performing at ABC No Rio (156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton) hosted by Bridgid Ryan and her improv/sketch troupe Chester (Bridgid Ryan, Sunita Mani, Bryan Rucker, Zack Willis, Caitlin Steitzer, and Adam Jacobson): Don’t You Find Us Charming?
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Brick, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Neil McNamara directing Deep Dish (long-form improv interspersed with character monologues), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent): 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): Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host ofHot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Katie Compa, and George Gordon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover & Emily Heller: Fresh Out
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): New Yorker cartoonists Paul Noth, Christopher Weyant, and Drew Dernavich share their work and insider stories about the legendary magazine with host Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion) at The PIT upstairs theatre, plus interviews with portrait painter Jonathan Blum and storyteller Andy Ross: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB West stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard
[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, outplayed The Improvised Play last week, scoring 77-48 for its 8th consecutive win. Tonight Good Dad plans to kill with kindness UCB East group What I Did for Love, as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two iO Chicago improv veterans, Alex Eilhauer & Marla Caceres, repeat a scene multiple times, “twisting and re-envisioning it until they squeeze out every last drop of hilarity from it” for one night only at The PIT downstairs lounge: Alex Eilhauer & Marla Caceres: Endlessly Repeating Improv
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