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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:
7:00 pm ($5): 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 other half of this double-bill, improv troupe Orange Augustus
[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At this UCB East improv double-bill, first ace all-gal troupe Doppelganger makes up scenes based around audience tattoos in Doppelganger Gets Inked; and then Sandino—which includes Don Fanelli, Brandon Gulya, and Kate Riley—interviews an audience member about some puzzle and then acts out scenes providing an unexpected answer: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom. As for its writers, they sizzle when at their best; but when I saw this new show a few months ago, it was a work in progress. Regardless of the current state of the script, you’re virtually guaranteed a good time from the all-star cast—Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden, and Johnathan Fernandez. (The scary faces Molly Lloyd makes are worth the trip all by themselves…) Directed by ace improvisor Ryan Karels: Stone Cold Fox: You Probably Think This Show Is About You
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 tonight and Saturday, or $16.50 on Sunday using code TODDB, plus 2-drink minimum): One of the finest stand-ups in the biz—with appearances on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead—headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club, and with openers including star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller): Todd Barry
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 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
8:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best improv groups in NYC this year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight come see it perform without the pressure of competition at The PIT downstairs lounge, and also catch an improv group that includes Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): North Coast and Nobody’s Token
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A winner of Last Comic Standing who’s also performed on Comedy Central, Showtime, and E! headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Iliza Shlesinger
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($18): One of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, has its next-to-last performance tonight via the Encore Series at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this wonderful second chance to see 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers
[TOP PICK] [$] [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): star Judy Gold, Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Dave Waite, who’s moving to LA, is bid adieu by NYC stand-ups Pat Dixon, Reid Faylor, Tim Dimond, Anthony Devito, Greg Stone, Andrew Short, Luke Younger, and Mark Chalifoux—who will “tell him what a big dummy he is” and plan to “buy Dave so much beer that he misses his flight! Alright! “— at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Dave Waite’s Boom Boom Room
10:00 pm ($5): Oscar Montoya (host of deliciously bad cinema) and Jen Tullock (Second City) wrote & perform a duo sketch show about “a night at gay rehab for renewal, self-discovery, and occasional break dancing” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Pray It Away with Oscar & Jen
[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
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger and sketch troupe The Prom), Glennis McCarthy (ace improvisor), and Jon Savoy performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) : Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow
[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] Midnight ($5): Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger and sketch troupe The Prom), Nate Dern (UCBT Artistic Director, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Onion), Will Hines (ace improv troupe The Stepfathers, treasured UCBT comedy instructor & director), and more performing a variety of comedy acts at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit
[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with host Andy Haynes promising “a rowdy late night comedy melee with beers being thrown, jokes being told, partial nudity, audience participation…there’s no telling what might happen:” Midnight Run
[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.