NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/24/13

August 24, 2013

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

Peter Grosz and Mary Dimino

Today’s your last chance to catch my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th favorite FringeNYC shows this year: Peter Grosz’s relentless comedy “Recipe for Success,” Mary Dimino’s humane comedy “Big Dummy: Me & My Old Man”…

Naked in Alaska

…and Valerie Hager’s breathtaking bio-play “Naked in Alaska”

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:

[$] 12:01 am-8:00 pm ($15): 24 hours of Improv at The PIT upstairs theatre, which started last night at 8:00 pm and has been going non-stop since then: 24-Hour Improv Challenge

[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

7:00 pm ($8): “Remember the happy, bouncy, Broadway-loving Rosie O’Donnell of the ’90s? Jody Shelton and Douglas Widick sure do! Come see them recreate the primarily color-heavy, Tom Cruise adoration-filled show that you loved watching with your mom” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Rosie O’Donnell Show!

[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 lineups include TV & Broadway star Colin Quinn at 7:30, 8:00, and 9:15, and Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan at 8:00 pm, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; sold out, but you can try for the stand-by line): 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. This is the final performance…and it’s sold out. If you arrive early, though, you can get on a stand-by line in case some of the ticket buyers don’t show up at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place): Blogologues: New York F#cking City

8:00 pm ($8): An improvised musical sitcom, followed by an improvised musical soap opera, at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Daytime Television Musical Improv Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Auditions for an LA alt comedy festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Riot LA Showcase

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($11.34 online, $15 at the door): Improv troupe Punctual Drunks interviews an audience member about his or her favorite fairy tale, and then picks up the story where it left off so you can find out how it really ended, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Punctual Drunks & Friends

[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

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 10:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[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

11:00 pm ($8): “Come see New York improvisers Douglas Widick & Evan Kaufman reach deep into their sordid, shame-filled pasts for a night of musical improv that will have you asking ‘Do they give refunds at the PIT?'” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kaufman & Widick: A Night of Shame

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): Nore Davis, Brendan Eyre, Julia Johns, and Josh Gondelman share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A hilarious collection of oddball sketch characters and over-the-top celebrity impersonations from a small army of comics performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by wonderful comics Riley Soloner & Jason Saenz: Late Night Trash

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.