NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/16/13

August 16, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my FringeNYC 2013 coverage, updated daily, please click here.

Recipe for Success with Chef Michael Denardi

The funniest show at FringeNYC—and quite possibly in New York this month—is Peter Grosz’s “Recipe for Success with Chef Michael Denardi,” which is playing today at 10:30 pm and Saturday at 5:45 pm at 45 Bleecker’s Subculture Theatre

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] 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] 7:00 pm ($5): As a comics fan, I love this concept: an improv troupe will make up scenes while playing Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, and other members of the Justice League of America at The PIT downstairs lounge: JLA Improv

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors play a fun game in which they all stay on stage at all times, and alternate between speaking roles and playing inanimate objects: Medusa

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include SNL’s John Mulaney at 7:00, SNL’s Darrell Hammond at 7:00 (and at 8:00 at sister venue Village Underground), and Dave Attell at 12:15 am, all performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols, each of whom briefly pop up on stage) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. This all-new sketch show is pretty much hilarious from beginning to end. Part of the fun is the room the script gives Brandon Scott Jones and Molly Lloyd to shine as two of NYC’s finest comedic performers (if you’re in the biz, for goodness sakes hire them; they can do anything…). Plus Leslie Meisel almost steals the show when playing a tough broad ready to drag any guy into the sack. This is as great a sketch show as you’re likely to see this summer. If you feel like laughing, kick off your evening right with Stone Cold Fox: A Triumph… Channing Tatum is Electric!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Kate Greathead, Morgan Pielli, and Joe Veix Price tell “stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe” at UCB East hosted by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here): Tales of the Cosmos

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($16.52 in advance online, $20 at the door): A top-notch theatrical troupe that’s equally fine at compelling acting and split-second comedy uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes. This 14th edition of the series (begun in 2011) focuses on our favorite place in the world: New York City. While everyone in the cast is exceptional, standouts such as Wendy Joy, and the show’s producers Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula, are worth the trip all by themselves. For a video sample (a pale shadow of the live show), please click here. Another reviewer called this “like Forbidden Broadway for the Internet,” and that’s pretty close to the mark. The show is running August 15-17 and August 22-24 at 8:00 pm. Grab tickets in advance before it sells out, and then enjoy this production at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place): Blogologues: New York F#cking City

8:00 pm ($10): An energetic 8-member sketch group at The PIT upstairs lounge: Nerds on Fire

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups aiming to slay audiences at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Destroy All Humans

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comedy star you either love or actively avoid headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tom Green

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Chris Gethard, Anthony Atamanuik, Brandon Gardner, Phil Jackson, and Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

9:30 pm ($8): Shruti Sehgal (Students for Education Reform), 2008 Democratic Congressional Candidate Adam Sullivan, Robert A. George (New York Post), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), Nate Starkey (Shackled), and more gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A “competitive talk show” to determine the best talk show guest in “a hybrid of two of America’s least respected television genres, talks shows and games show,” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Guy Branum: Talk Show: The Game Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($15 in advance, $18 at the door): The funniest show at FringeNYC—and one of the finest comedies anywhere in New York—Peter Grosz’s one-man show will keep you laughing non-stop for 70 minutes. To read more on my FringeNYC 2013 reviews page, please click here; and then grab tickets to Recipe for Success with Chef Michael Denardi

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Joe Pera (hilarious deadpan Andy Kaufman-like stand-up; one time I saw Joe sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; more recently he ended his set by slicing milk; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Laura Willcox and Joanna Bradley (30 Rock, MTV’s Hey Girl), Andrew Beckerman (AdultSwim.com), and Sean Hart (Cage Match) performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A rotating cast drawing from over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

Midnight ($5): Stand-up from Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Jono Zalay, Christy Coffey, Jordan Temple, and more at UCB East, plus plus comics that did well at the 7:00 pm Hot Chicks Room open mic, hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and/or Paul Oddo: Beastmasters: Up From the Mic

[FREE] Midnight: Stand-up and sketch (performers not announced) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Kingmaker Sketch

Friday Open Mics

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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[FREE] 7:00 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 Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Fambly: Liquid Courage

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.

Recipe for Success with Chef Michael Denardi