NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/22/13

August 22, 2013

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

Waiting for Waiting for Godot

If you’re an actor, director, playwright, or anyone else who knows enough to appreciate laugh-out-loud insider jokes about the theatre, catch today’s 7:00 pm FringeNYC performance at The Kraine of “Waiting for Waiting for Godot”

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] 6:30 pm ($5): Brandon Gulya auditions one-man sketch show Who Are you People and Why Are You Watching Me?, plus improvisors make up scenes based on live streams from Vines around the world at The Vine Show in another audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who’s performed on HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, and Comedy Central tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Bonnie McFarlane

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A celebration of the First Year Anniversary of That’s the Show with Danny (on the Keith and The Girl Web network) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: That’s the Show with Danny Party

7:30 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), JF Harris (Comical Radio), and Ahmed Baroocha (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[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 is the 14th edition of the series (begun in 2011), and focuses on our favorite place, 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. This is running 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

[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 multiple award-winning storyteller Adam Wade 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 The Gang: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Storytellers Dan Licata, Nathaniel Cocca-Bates, Rati Gupta, and Naomi Ekperigin tell tales about this month’s theme of Clumsy, and then hosts Anna Roisman & Katie Haller sing songs they’ve written pre-show about those stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Justy Dodge (co-host of Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Zack Pearlman, and Joe Zimmerman performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[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): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Craig Baldo, Kris Grey, Jen Bosworth, and Josh Gondelman sharing true tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s theme What I Did for Cash at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!: What I Did for Cash

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A one-man show by Arthur Meyer (The Onion; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) debut a sketch show “about men who stay out of the fray—because the fray is chock full of death, basketball, and lions. Come and sit this one out with us:” Guilty Bystanders

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Saturday UCBT improv giant What I Did For Love was less than chivalrous last week, trouncing team First Lady by 84 votes to 37. WIDFL tonight competes with Harold team Grammer at UCB Chelsea for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

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: 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.