NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/31/13

July 31, 2013

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Check out Myq Kaplan’s stand-up album Meat Robot

Rebecca Vigil

Powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil belts out made-up songs, with stand-up from Gary Gulman, at The Vigilante…

Vanessa Bayer

…and Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer is among the improvisors at tonight’s edition of Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: PIT founder Ali Farahnakian talks and answers questions for 44 minutes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ali’s Hour (Actually 44 Minutes)

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for SNL’s Vanessa Bayer, Andy Bryant, Christina Gausas, Tami Sagher, and Chelsea Clarke: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Leila Ben-Abdallah about a little girl named Leticia “who may get a new mommy every few years, but she only turns five once! Leticia will be shaking Manhattans all night, Uncle Habib will be making up creation myths, and Daddy will try his hardest to be there. Come for the gluten free snacks, stay for musical numbers by Iowa State University’s Corn Queen 1979 (3rd runner up)” at The PIT downstairs lounge, directed by Sarah Nowak: Leticia’s Fifth Birthday Party

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features groups Detroit and Hotspur: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 8:00 pm (FREE online using discount code GABE; no min.): Ten NYC stand-ups—including such talents as Ryan Hamilton—perform in the hope of getting the nod to appear on the upcoming Comedy Central show Stand Up Revolution at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Comedy Central Auditions with Ryan Hamilton and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show that tonight includes Jason Saenz and Aaron Glaser at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Cammi Climaco & David Crabb host this monthly storytelling show, with tonight’s guests Caitlin Brodnick, Tara Clancy, Diana Spechler, Rod J. Sayegh, and more telling tales at the Happy Ending Lounge (302 Broome Street, between Eldridge and Forsythe): Ask Me Stories

8:00 pm ($5): The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; new album Ladies Don’t Spit), Tim Racine (improv group Grounds for Divorce), and sketch comedy group Black Magic Lab celebrate the new royal baby with an obsolete show title at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Royal Fetus Variety Show

[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

9:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East—tonight with this bonus edition (on top of the standard 7:30 show) featuring groups Never Never and First Lady: Lloyd Night

9:30 pm ($5): Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness) performs stand-up and discusses issues with tonight’s guest Douglas Rushkoff Ph.D. at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Greg Barris: Mind Warriors

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Nick Turner, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Ryan Beck, and Emma Willman perform at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by David Rosen: Nice Time

[FREE] 10:00 ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Hey Girl, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky) and Charla Lauriston host 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; plus Sasheer is going to be a huge star, so catch her in this intimate setting while you can. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Megan Maes and Gavin Speiller’s Babies; 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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5 plus 2-drink min): “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, backed up by an improv band. 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— and tonight she’s joined by stand-up Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special) at 54 Below’s The Studio (254 West 54th Street, between Eighth Avenue & Broadway): The Vigilante, plus Gary Gulman

[$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Benel Germosen: Cracking It

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Your opportunity to get on stage for an improv jam at UCB East hosted by master DJ Cipha Sounds: Hot for Teacher: Student Lounge

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): Biweekly open-mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Lucas Hazlett: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group Call Tokyo: Magnet Improv Mixer

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.