NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/19/12

October 19, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Maysoon Zayid

The lovely Maysoon Zayid—who describes herself as “a Palestinian-American Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy”…

Maysoon Zayid

…is among the treats tonight at the 9th Annual Arab-American Comedy Festival

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

7:00 pm ($5): Improv 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; and in the other half of this Magnet double-bill, the young and silly improvisors of Honey

[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 ($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] 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

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), plus Leah Bonnema, Eli Sairs, Neil Constantine, and Ron Krasnow performing stand-up at One and One (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: NYC stand-ups Phoebe Robinson, Sagar Bhatt, Nick Cobb, Kelly Fastuca, Dave Lester, and more performing at Mr. Dennehy’s Irish Pub (63 Carmine Street) hosted by Troy Bynum & Carrie Gravenson: The Tomfoolery Hour

[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 ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, is a cast member of the NBC sitcom Whitney (starring the wonderful Whitney Cummings), and has performed on Showtime’s Live Nude Comedy (to view his set, please click here) and TBS’ Glory Daze, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): If you’d care for a different perspective on both culture and comedy—some of which is likely to be dreadful, but some transcendent—check out the 9th Annual Arab-American Comedy Festival, which is putting on four big stand-up shows tonight and Saturday on the main stage of the Gotham Comedy Club: Arab-American Comedy Festival

[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): 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; book Tasteful Nudes), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), a “special guest,” and much more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit), Andy Henkrickson (HBO), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Josh Gondelman performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman, Amber Nelson, and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts and followed by wild Karaoke: Pirate Party

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.

[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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack”—quite beautifully, in fact, as Rebecca is not only a sharp improvisor but a powerhouse singer—at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s musical guests Myq & Micah: The Vigilante

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: The creators & cast of superb UCBT mini-musical Newsadoozies hold a fundraiser to shoot a movie version while performing “stand-up, sketch, improv, and magic, and burlesque” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Newsadoozies: A Musical Fundraiser

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Bridgid Ryan (host of Don’t You Find Us Charming?, improv troupe Chester; for a sample video about trouble sleeping, please click here), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

11:00 pm ($5): Improvised scenes based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist at Missed Connections Two-Prov

11:30 pm ($10): improvisers Bianca Casusöl as Madam Ant, Nina Klemow as Fanny Price, and Alex Marino as Larry Lazlo use burlesque dancing at The Magnet to tell a story “and titillate the audience with some seductively fun choreographed burlesque numbers:” Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Burlesque Improv Revue

[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): Comics (not announced) are talk show guests at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Paul Gutkowski (for a brief video promo, please click here): Sex in the Late Night Air

[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

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.