NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/10/13

August 10, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

My pick for today’s FringeNYC is directly below.

Count Down My Life

Consider catching an insanely insular yet oddly entertaining all-Japanese rock opera playing tonight through Tuesday only at FringeNYC: “Count Down My Life”…

Neal Brennan

…and Neal Brennan (co-creator of Chappelle’s Show) performs at all five of tonight’s shows at Comedy Cellar & Village Underground.

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 ($18): If you’re not only open to but grateful for the opportunity to experience something wildly different, then thank FringeNYC for bringing us this oddball all-Japanese rock opera (with occasionally mangled English subtitles provided via a large monitor). Breaking basic rules of storytelling, there’s almost no conflict, no clear stakes (the terrible danger is that our hero might have to move back in with his mother), and the plot moves like molasses: it’s about a guy who wants to be a playwright, and who almost never leaves his apartment because he’s so busy writing… And yet the singer/actors (especially Kouta Someya and Megumi Iino) and live band—not to mention the sheer guts of the author for writing one of the most insular stories I’ve ever seen—are so compelling that I not only enjoyed this, I’m tempted to go see it again before its too-brief run ends. Storytelling aside, this is one of the most professional productions you’ll find at this year’s Fringe, and—again, if you’re open to something insanely different—is a steal at its $18 ticket price. Running tonight through Tuesday only at Theatre 80 St. Marks (St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues): Count Down My Life

 [TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:15 pm, 11:00 pm, and 12:45 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s fine lineups include Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show) at all of tonight’s shows, four of which take place at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and with the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal improvisors Ashley Ward, Brigid Boyle, Alexis Saarela, and Elizabeth Findlay perform at The PIT upstairs theatre as troupe Taco Supreme

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Tim Gage (Comedy Central) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Tim Gage

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more 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 ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Matt Wayne, Jake Young, and Lauren Vino, improv troupe Butts, and more performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and last year crushed 15 improv groups in Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[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 ($30): A burlesque tribute to Joss Whedon’s Serenity, featuring Cherry Pitz (Cyndi Freeman) and a small army of other semi-clad SF performers, at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues): The Serenity Spectacular

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

9:30 pm ($11.34 online, $15 at the door): A sketch comedy group that includes writers for College Humor, The Late Show, and ESPN at The PIT upstairs theatre: Garlic Jackson

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford, Noah Gardenswartz, and Steve Forrest are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB Chelsea that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, 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:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Nick Kanellis perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

Midnight ($5—or free if you show up in a costume): “A scandalous night of down-right-sexy improv 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

Midnight ($5): Justin Shane (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, host of Big Long Sets), and Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out) performing stand-up, plus more, at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

Saturday Open Mics

[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

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.