NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 8/11/13

August 11, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Matt Graham: The Great III Am

Sharp comic Matt Graham debuts a FringeNYC show about Scrabble today at 2:45 pm: “The Great III Am”

FringeNYC Report: Am going slow (compared to previous years) due to recent knee surgery. But here’s what I’ve seen so far:

Count Down My Life: *** Insanely insular, slow-paced, and yet fascinating all-Japanese rock opera about a playwright sitting in his room trying to create an award-winning work so he doesn’t have to move back in with his mother. If you want to see something wildly different that’s available nowhere else, buy tickets right away for this highly professionally executed production (aside from the occasionally mangled-English subtitles); the superb singer/actors and band are here only until Tuesday.

3rd Gender: ** In the future, our standard sexes are banned, and only a 3rd gender consisting of males in female bodies and females in male bodies are allowed for the sake of balance. It’s a really interesting idea; but, unfortunately, it goes nowhere.

Horsehead: *½ “In The Godfather, the head of a horse is cut off and placed in the bed of a Hollywood film mogul for the refusal of a favor. Ever thought about the two guys that had to put it there?” It’s a great premise…making the execution a huge disappointment. It was simply dumb to cast two Italians who can’t speak English well for these roles. They seem like extremely nice guys with real heart, and I wish them every success; but what’s the point of doing a dialogue-driven play where it’s hard to understand the words? Plus the comedic direction is cartoonish, with way too much posing and mugging, which isn’t the way to go for sophisticated NYC audiences. And the script is simply juvenile. See something else. (Also, not a review; but as buzz will mention that I’ve heard quite bad things from a trusted source about Horse Play: The Musical. So beware of horse shows at this year’s fest…)

Ted Alexandro

Ted Alexandro performs tonight at Eastville and every night at 7:00 this 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:

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour (and a Half)

[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

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: One of the finest stand-ups in the world, Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Ted Alexandro

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): An improv double-bill at The Magnet from groups Orange Augustus and Eaglefox

[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: Act One

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Jono Zalay, Hampton Young, David Foster, and Rachel Parenta performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Scott Moran, Noah Gardenswartz, Raquel D’Apice, and Brendan Eyre performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): 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] 9:00 pm ($7): Taylor Williamson (recent star of America’s Got Talent), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Del Harrison, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) guest-hosted by Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour): Comedy Night

9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy at The Magnet from Fat Kids and Breakfast For Dinner: Magnet Sketch Teams

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Greg Stone, Nimesh Patel, and Natalie Shure 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 Beauty Bar

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[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

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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.