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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:
[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
7:00 pm ($5): A staged reading of a sitcom pilot written by Mark Sarian & Ari Voukydis about “four sad middle-aged comedians who––searching for meaning in their lives––accidentally take over a Baltimore crime syndicate” at UCB Chelsea performed by such wonderful talents as John Flynn, Ryan Karels, Nicole Byer, Gavin Speiller, and Doug Moe: Amateurs
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Nintendo, Bloomer, The Wrath, Brick, Horses, Chet Watkins, Flower Girl, and Featherweight performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Flower Girl at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon
8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Luke Younger, Frank Gallo, Tom Steffen, Lafayette Wright, Aaron Kominos-Smith, and Irene Bremis performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) hosted by Selena Coppock, Dan Cartwright, and/or Emily Epstein: Connotation
[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
[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines
9:00 pm ($5 if you say Bring Out Your Dead, otherwise $8): Stand-up Calvin Cato, music from Amy Albert, and sketch from Force the Hand, ManiPedi, The Chris & Paul Show, and Down the Show, all performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Boris Khaykin: October Sketch Block
[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Louis Katz, Yannis Pappas, Phil Hanley, Jonesy, Aaron Kominos-Smith, and Meghan Hanley performing at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer created Broad City as a Web series, which was then picked up for development as a TV series for FX…and is also a monthly stage show at UCB Chelsea. Tonight’s theme is Halloween for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Kevin Allison, Jodi Lennon, Adam Conover, Will Hines, and Ron Babcock perform stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge “while they are drawn live by animators, cartoonists, and other artists. The comedians don’t know what the animators are drawing and the animators don’t know how the comedians will react. It may be weird. It may different. But it will be a unique comedy experience” hosted by Brandie Posey: Picture This
[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: 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] [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 guests include Phoebe Robinson; for the complete list, 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
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.