NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/31/14

March 31, 2014

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John Lutz and Scott Adsit

Genius improvisors John Lutz & Scott Adsit perform at Gravid Water

John Lutz and Peter Grosz

…and then John Lutz & Peter Grosz perform as brilliant improv duo 2 Square

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] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of young improvisors performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Free Improv Monday

7:00 pm ($5): Duo musical improv from the talented Kathleen Armenti & Douglas Widick at The Magnet theatre: Armenti & Widick

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents) tries out stand-up material every night through Sunday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Louis Katz

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Amazing star-studded show—tonight including Scott Adsit & John Lutz, Aubrey Plaza, Amy Rutberg, Tami Sagher, Jennifer Grace, and Brian d’Arcy)—crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK][$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), Mark Normand (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Modi (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Colin Quinn, Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Michael Hogan (The Daily Show), Matt Wayne (co-host of See You In Hell), and Gregg Johnson (Sirius XM, co-host of Myrtle Comedy) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Jacqueline Novak, Zach Broussard, and Randy Syphax performing stand-up or storytelling at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer: Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show

8:00 pm ($10): A birthday edition for twin stand-ups, with tonight’s guests Doug Smith, Karen Bergreen, and Adam Mamawala also performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

8:30 pm ($5): A one-man sketch show from Michael Lutton about “modern poetry, the Protestant Reformation, the culture of the Senate, and Star Trek: The Next Generation” at The Magnet theatre: A Man For One, Maybe Two, Seasons

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): John Lutz (cast member of 30 Rock; six years as staff writer for Saturday Night Live; John and Scott) and Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials, stellar one-man show Recipe for Success) perform two-man improv as acclaimed duo 2 Square

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK][$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Great lineup of 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; comedy album I Did It; 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), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Josh Accardo, Scott Sharp, and Kaytlin Bailey performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays: Aparna Nancherla, Sheng Wang, Joe Pera, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen: Whiplash

Monday 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

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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 stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

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 Monday 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 Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 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.