NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/20/12

October 20, 2012

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Joe DeRosa and Maysoon Zayid

Joe DeRosa performs at UCB East’s /r/standup, then joins Maysoon Zayid for the final night of 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:

[TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm & 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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: “Are ready for something sweet and something spicy? Long form improv that will satisfy your hunger” hosted by sharp UCBT comic Andy Rocco at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Andy Rocco’s Candy Taco Improv Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Brawlers, Petting Zoo, and Eaglefox at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 ($5): Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Mikes K, and Nathan Anderson performing stand-up at UCB East as part of the online community, hosted by Adam Lash (The Daily Show, HBO, Showtime): /r/standup

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): If you’d care for a different perspective on both culture and comedy—or simply for the opportunity to see superb stand-ups such as Joe DeRosa and Maysoon Zayid (while enduring some comics not as good)—check out the 9th Annual Arab-American Comedy Festival, which has two big shows left tonight on the main stage of the Gotham Comedy Club: Arab-American Comedy Festival

7:30 pm ($10): Talented improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($7): Seven sharp improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnet theatre: The Weave

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:30 pm ($10): Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing, VH1), Kevin McCaffrey, Day McCoy, George Gordon, and Matt Wayne performing stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk and hosted by Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Judah Friendlander (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] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

9:30 pm ($5): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): The return of 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, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

10:00 pm ($5): A small army of comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and who knows what else at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by a stand-up/sketch duo: Team Submarine and Friends

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Improv master Ed Herbstman teams with Peter McNerney for one night only at The Magnet to form comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and this year crushed 12 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

11:00 pm ($8): All-gal improv from Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, plus guest stand-up and sketch gal comics, performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Goldie and the Hawns: Boneless! A Night of Women in Comedy

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any female wanting to participate, at any experience level—and which has a very special and communal “gal energy” you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is led by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) and typically also includes other UCBT gal improv stars: The Lady Jam

Midnight ($5): Frank Hejl and Geoff Garlock will nerdily defend the merits of the universally panned film Halloween III: Season of the Witch at this sketch show at UCB East featuring a small mob of young performers: Frank and Geoff Defend Halloween III

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner: Midnight Run

Midnight ($5): “A scandalous night of down-right-sexy improv at at The PIT downstairs lounge. Incorrigible performers team up to turn down the lights, slip into something a little more comfortable, and spend the good part of an hour tickling your funny boners. Beware of partial nudity, strong sexual themes, and the possibility to be dragged on stage for a not-so-wholesome game of Truth or Dare:” Yes, Yes, Yes…And

[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

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