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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 $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] 3:00 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] 5:30 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 Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 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
7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at door, $11.78 in advance online): For the fifth year of this fabulous annual event, dozens of NYC comics get two minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian. This 2012 edition is slated to include impersonations of Ricky Gervais, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, Wanda Sykes, Chelsea Handler, Flight of the Conchords, Lisa Lampanelli, Pete Holmes, Reggie Watts, and lots more. It all takes place at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand. Please note that N subway service hasn’t yet been restored in Brooklyn, but taking the 2/4/5 to Atlantic Avenue and then walking around 8 blocks along 4th Avenue to Degraw Street will get you to The 5th Annual Schtick or Treat
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Zoe Coombs Marr (visiting from Australia; for a love letter to a dinosaur, please click here), Max Silvestri (co-host of Big Terrific), and Kendra Cunnigham performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall guest-hosted tonight by Caroline Creaghead: Pretty Good Friends
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Kevin Allison, Dan St. Germain, The Reformed Whores, and more tell stories about sex and romance at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) with host Jefferson: Bare: True Stories of Sex, Desire, and Romance
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman (producers of The Scene), improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s groups including Pumpkin, Maybe Sherman, and The Lottery: Act One
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm (no cover if you reserve at (212) 367-9000 using code POWER, but 2-drink min.): Typically sharp NYC comics, such as Vic Henley and Ophira Eisenberg, performing at the Gotham Comedy Club: Gotham All-Stars
[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michael Kupperman, Aparna Nancherla, Mike Recine, Ryan McKee, and Jaqi Furback performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the L’asso East Village lounge (107 First Avenue, off 7th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up
[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Hart, Jono Zalay, Emmy Blotnik, and Josh Rabinowitz performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar
10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.