NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/29/13

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Adam Wade and Jamie Lee

Stellar storytellers Adam Wade and Jamie Lee perform at Brooklyn’s “Low Standards with John & Matt”…

Ellena Chmielewski

…Ellena Chmielewski’s fresh, witty mini-play about relationships is performed one last time: “Standards & Practices”…

Sharon Spell

…and Sharon Spell debuts a one-woman show about loss at Brooklyn’s Brick Theatre: “You’re Doing Great! A Bold-Faced Lie”

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 ($5): Brilliant improvisor Ellena Chmielewski proves herself to also be a brilliant comedic writer, and a young, fresh voice about relationships, in this mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea she co-wrote with John Zachary Townsend, and that holds the seeds for a longer commercial stage production and/or a series on a network like MTV. Come enjoy watching the foundation of a promising career at one of the best-scripted shows to grace UCBT in a while (and if you know Ellena, urge her to star or co-star in her next production, because she’s a gifted performer too): Standards & Practices

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who hosts the weekly comedy podcast You Know What Dude! tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Robert Kelly

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Janine Brito (staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Evan Williams, and Gabe Pacheco performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1), and Morgan Evans tell stories about movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray and Matt Fisher: Low Standards with John & Matt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity 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 storyteller Tim Manley 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 Trike against 1 Deep: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “It’s the last day of summer camp and we’re gonna put on a show. Everyone’s going to be there showing off their stuff: the counselors you have crushes on, the kid who supposedly wet his bed, the girl at camp you’ve been trying to get into the woods. So let’s all gather in the north field for one last night of songs, stories, and skits before our parents pick us up” at this character sketch extravaganza at UCB Chelsea hosted by John Frusciante, Tim Martin, Adam Frucci, and Ben Rameaka: The Last Day of Summer Camp Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7.20 online or $10 at the door): Stand-up comics, storytellers, and sideshow attractions at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience hosted by Matteo Lane and Abigoliah Schamaun: Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar

[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

9:00 pm ($5): Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Baratunde Thurston (Digital Editor of The Onion), Greg Stone, Greg Warren, Beth Stelling, and Thomas Lennon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[$] [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): Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Longtime UCBT stars Neil Casey (writer for The Amy Schumer Show; Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea that starts out hilariously, then loses some steam as it gets conceptually self-indulgent, but overall is worth catching: Small Men

9:30 pm ($8): A sketch comedy group that includes writers for College Humor, The Late Show, and ESPN at The PIT upstairs theatre: Garlic Jackson

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink) performs a one-woman show about her parents passing away within three weeks of each other—which she’ll somehow make funny—at Brooklyn’s The Brick Theatre (575 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L subway to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan): You’re Doing Great! A Bold-Faced Lie

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Kyle Dunnigan performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Dave Attell, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Comedy, music, and lots of love” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick J. Reilly: I Love You Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Saturday UCBT improv giant What I Did For Love had a fight on its hands last week, beating challenger Grammer by a relatively thin margin of 73 votes to 61. With four consecutive wins to date, WIDFL tonight competes with team Namaste at UCB Chelsea for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Gina Yashere (Showtime 1-hour special, Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Gina Yashere, and More

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: Jefferson (host of Bare) is tonight’s guest co-host at this 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 Hello Laser 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.

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