NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/11/15

For NYC live shows at half-price, please click here.

TV Alert: Louis C.K. is on Seth Meyers;
Don Rickles and Howard Stern are on David Letterman;
Brett Gelman, Adam Pally, and Kathryn Hahn are on @midnight

Glenn Boozan and Laura Grey

Glenn Boozan (writer/co-star) and Laura Grey (director/co-star) deliver the best scripted show currently running at UCB: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

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] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS) tries out material tonight-Tuesday and Friday-Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Jared Logan

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door with code words HyReviews.com and TheSkint, otherwise $10): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Whatever Happened to the Nerds? and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please clickhere), featuring guest storyteller Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes), at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Amanda Xeller incorporating “sketch, character, clown, scene, sound, dance, and mess” at The Magnet theatre: Peggylouloulouloulou

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, Keith Alberstadt, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15; no min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone): Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Jessica Kirson, and More

7:30 pm ($5): A theatre piece showcasing graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University at The PIT upstairs theatre: Uncommon Wealth

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show by Frank Garcia Hejl playing self-help author Preston Santiago plugging his new book Life Vibrations “filled with fascinating case studies: a troubled cop, a violently ticklish grandpa, a power-drunk DJ, and more:” Oh No!

…and then the smartest, funniest parody currently playing at UCB, in which Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz tackles zombies, homophobia, weak scripting for female protagonists, and the Hollywood studio system, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the wonderful Laura Grey (Seriously Distracted, Faeries, Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy). If you see only one scripted show at UCB this month, make it the charming and hilariousDorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot) hosts this monthly show, with tonight’s guests Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme,co-host of Battlicious), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Joe Karg (animation artist for Archer, comic book writer/artist), Baratunde Thurston (author of How to Be Black), Jenny Jaffe (College Humor), Jenny Jaffe (College Humor), and Chris Duffy performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue). Described by Patton Oswalt as “like a kid’s show done in Bosnia,” it’s: Myq Kaplan & Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist onChelsea Lately), Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Akilah Hughes, Max Bernstein, and Scarlett Curtis share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp:HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and Chris Lamberth performing stand-up, plus DJ Donwill, all at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt;MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Adam Mamawala, Ryan Beck, Gilbert Lawand, Joon Chung, Alex Kumin, and Rachel Fogletto performing stand-up for this free show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Carolyn Busa and hosted by James Hesky: Side Ponytail

[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 ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Goodbye, Handsome (which includes irresistible dynamo Christine Bullen, the also superb Audrey Stanfield and Lauren Brickman, and a terrific group of writers) and Nipsy (which includes the highly talented Natasha Vaynblat): Maude Night: Goodbye, Handsome and Nipsy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The writers of sketch group Paid Vacation create a myriad of new characters performed by such terrific talents as David Carl and Meredith Hackman at The PIT upstairs theatre: Paid Vacation

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon andConan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Joe Bartnick, Langston Kerman, Leclerc Darguin, and Josef Anolin performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Sean Patton, Sabrina Jalees, Dan Soder, Pete Lee, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

10:15 pm ($7): Eight students join veteran improv group The Wrath for this show only at The Magnet theatre: Wrath for a Day

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing): 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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo 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

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 The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) 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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[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-$20)

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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