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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:
[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 7th-11th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival—which begins tonight—are shows by comedy titans Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Colin Quinn, Kevin Hart, Brian Regan, the Wayans Brothers, and lots more, as well as interviews with such giants as Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams. For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival
[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] November 7th-12th ($7 off most shows if you use discount code FANS online): A gathering of most of NYC’s best storytelling shows—which tonight are Martin Dockery’s The Surprise and And I Am Not Lying—packed into five evenings at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The First Annual Gotham Storytelling Festival
[TOP PICK] [$] 3:00 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
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.17 online): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a brand new show looking at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn
7:00 pm ($8): “Desperation, dictatorship, and punches to the testicles are just some of the themes in the second run of the sketch show written by Gabe Capone (National Scandal) and Ryan Darden (Nuns on the Run). It’s silly, cerebral, and unapologetically dark” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Gabe and Ryan’s Facebook Timeline
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Nintendo, Dr. Champagne, The Wrath, Featherweight, Horses, Chet Watkins, Bloomer, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Bloomer at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the door or $26.87 online): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn and a few of his friends perform stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Crowd Work with Colin Quinn
[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 Gabe Liedman and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The comics who train, teach, and perform at UCB-NY are among the finest improvisors in the world. The UCB Touring Company consists of the cream of the crop, with the mission of showing audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For just this evening, however, the traveling troupe—which includes brilliant comics Gavin Speiller, Neil Casey, and Fran Gillespie—will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo All-Stars
[FREE] 9:00 pm: Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Nick Cobb (Comedy Central), Ryan Reiss (The Howard Stern Show), Amy Albert (Tony and Tina’s Wedding), Sergio Chicon (Comedy Central), and Jeremy Pinsly performing stand-up 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): “It’s Judgment Day, and Chuck Black can’t wait to meet Jesus! But things seem to go terribly awry when he has a crisis of faith. Who can blame him? All his pals seem a bit more interested in getting presents from ChristCo than trying to save their souls. And don’t even get Chuck started on Mocha Mint Mel, the know-it-all atheist with two moms.” This mini-play by Matt Fried is at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Charlie Brown Apocalypse
[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 The State of the Union for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Killer line-up of rising stand-up stars—Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Mark Normand, Dan. St. Germain, Pat Dixon, Emily Heller, Michael Che, Joe List, and Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regular Suspects
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: 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 Matt Koff, Julia Wiedeman, Adam Conover, and guest host Charla Lauriston; 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
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