NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/1/13

August 1, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

What I Did For Love

Improv group What I Did For Love enters the ring at UCB Chelsea’s Cage Match…

Rob Cantrell

…and stand-up veteran Rob Cantrell tries out new material through Saturday at Week At the Creek

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] 7:00 pm show ($8): This monthly show in which people tell stories revolving around songs tonight features Cammi Climaco (co-host of Ask Me Stories), Mandy Stadtmiller, James Bewley, and Isaac Butler at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Dana Ross: The Soundtrack Series

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times) tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Rob Cantrell

7:30 pm ($5): Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Evan Morgenstern, Jaqi Furback, and Greg Johnson performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blackout (long form improv in which “scenes are edited solely by blackouts created by the director in the booth and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene”), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Christine Gentry at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) pitting last week’s winner against Cool Blanche: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): “Improvised one-acts in the style of prominent playwrights and genres, spontaneously generating an original and hilarious work of instantly important theatre right before your eyes” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using code CQUBTX online or at the box office): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, just a few blocks from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) running through August 8th: Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

8:00 pm ($5): Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories) delivers as charming a performance as possible considering her one-woman show at UCB Chelsea is about her talking a guy into a terrible marriage and then cheating on him until it mercifully ends in divorce. What’s even a bigger problem is that Giulia fails to identify how the experience changed her in a substantial way that would make the show emotionally satisfying for the audience. Giulia’s one of the most talented raunchy storytellers in the country, but some more focus on basic storytelling structure would go a long way in Bad Bride

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “Aaron & Brian lead their lonely friend Erik on a surreal, nightmarish odyssey to ‘get his dick wet.’ Elderly lesbians, impromptu Fosse numbers, dueling Katherine Hepburns, and the ominous Old Valley are all pit-stops on this journey to happiness, or at least maybe getting laid,” written by and starring Aaron Jackson, Erik Dies, and Brian Glidewell: Erik Dies, You’re Stupid and We Hate You

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

9:00 pm ($5): Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, new book Screw Everyone), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink), Kris Tinkle, and Sam Simmons performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($8): Musical improv from duo Douglas Widick & Evan Kaufman “who will reach deep into their sordid, shame-filled pasts for a night that will have you asking ‘do they give refunds at The PIT upstairs theatre?'”: Kaufman & Widick: A Night of Shame

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Longtime UCBT stars Neil Casey (writer for Saturday Night Live; Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea that starts out hilariously, then loses some steam as it gets conceptually self-indulgent, but overall is worth catching: Small Men

[$] 10:00 pm ($15; no drink min.): Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Joe DeRosa, Kurt Metzger, and More

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two weeks ago, improv legend Death by Roo Roo was defeated by group Apollo by a single vote. Last week Apollo proved that wasn’t a fluke by hanging onto its crown against Big Margaret via a decisive 86-46 victory. Tonight poses a much greater challenge for Apollo, Saturday UCBT improv giant What I Did For Love, competing at UCB Chelsea for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Interviews, sketches, stand-up, and/or music at this variety show about Internet stars at the UCB East theatre: Still Buffering

Thursday 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] 5:30 pm: All-gal open-mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Murf Meyer is tonight’s guest co-host at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress hosted by the wonderful John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives): Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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 PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday 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 Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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)

The PIT
(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.