NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/5/12

October 5, 2012

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Baby Wants Candy

Two Chicago-based improv troupes that are the greatest in the world perform tonight: at The Magnet, Baby Wants Candy…

Blaine Swen of The Improvised Shakespeare Company

…and at Theatre 80, The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-MIdnight ($10-$15 per show): The Magnet continues its 4th Annual New York Musical Improv Festival with THEM and North Coast at 7:00, BEEES! and Baby Wants Candy at 8:30, and The Made Up Musical at 10:00: The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($22.73 with discount code ISCFBOOK; this show is SOLD OUT but there might be a teeny waiting list): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. (I attended the 10:00 pm show last night and yes, they’re still super awesome…) Tonight is the last of a three-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Both performances are SOLD OUT, but if you show up early you might find a few seats opened up via last minute cancellations (not from me, though; I’ll be at both performances…). This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[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 ($5): Stellar improvisors Aaron Jackson, Don Fanelli, Brandon Gulya, Kate Riley, and more interview an audience member about some puzzle and then act out scenes providing an unexpected answer: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color), Chris Distefano (MTV’s Guy Code), and Brendan Fitzgibbons (Bravo) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Postmark Cafe (326 6th Street) hosted by  Abbi Crutchfield & Luke Thayer: The Living Room

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

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

[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 in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Winner of the second season of Last Comic Standing, a frequent performer on Jay Leno and VH1, and star of two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials and an hour-long Comedy Central special, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: John Heffron

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, , FX’s Totally Biased), Chris Distefano (MTV’s Guy Code), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Team Submarine, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman, followed by wild Karaoke: 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—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

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: Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here) and her comedy friends celebrate her 27th birthday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Emily Heller Birthday Show

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[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 ($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

11:00 pm ($8): Sketch host Meredith Hackman and her many friends promise “Despair. Pride. Heartbreak. Comedy.” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Saddest Sketch Show

11:00 pm ($5): Dan Hodapp (Jimmy Fallon, UCBT’s sketch troupe Beige and musical Newsadoozies, co-producer of PIT improv show The Scene, co-star of smash FringeNYC show Tail! Spin!), NYU belly dancers, and more performing at the Richmond Shephard Theatre (309 East 26th Street) hosted by Caitlin Bitzegaio and friends: The Gadget Hour

[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

[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

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

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