NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/29/16

Rent ControlOne of the greatest treats at FringeNYC 2016 was a one-man show in which Evan Zes described, in gripping detail, how he managed to survive in NYC as a struggling actor by illegally subletting a rent-controlled apartment using Airbnb. Zes’ adventures are hilarious…and will ring painfully true to any New Yorker. The show is now enjoying an extension in SoHo, running tonight and November 3rd, 5th, 10th, and 12th: Rent Control (9:00 pm, $20.75 online using discount code RENT, otherwise $27.75; Soho Playhouse downstairs Huron Club at 15 Vandam Street)

More recommendations for the best in NYC comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

2:00 pm ($5): A showcase of comedic one-act plays and musicals at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) produced by Adam Chisnall & Yue Liu: One Act Comedy Fest

[$] 3:00 pm ($18): “When a washed-up reality TV producer is fresh out of ideas on how to get back in the game, he decides to reunite the horrible reality TV family that originally brought him fame and discover the secret that split them apart years ago. He decides to get them to confess the only way he knows how: under duress. After reuniting the family for what they think is a one-night special, the producer stages an attack on Beverly Hills by ISIS” at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Blatantly Blaine: A New “Family” Musical

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A staged reading of a new musical about Lewis & Clark, with book & songs by Kevin Froleiks & Patrick J. Reilly, at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Lewis and Clark Expedition Musical Stage Reading

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Musical improv duo Jordan Hirsch & Kathleen Armenti interview an audience member—possibly you—”about your routine, your habits, their whys and wherefores, all of that gives us a window into your soul. And then we’ll make up funny songs about it. If Alexander Hamilton gets a show all about him, why not you? You’re just as interesting and twice as alive as that guy” at The PIT downstairs lounge: You: The Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A mix of characters and improv in which anyone might stop by when the doorbell rings—surprising both the audience and hosts Brian Faas & Dom Manzolillo—at the UCB East theatre: Ding Dong!

7:00 pm ($5): Mary Houlihan & Sam Taggart perform duo improv, and group Monogamous performs one long 30-minute scene, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Mary & Sam Do Two-Prov and Monogamous

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Big Black Car 2, plus improv group Ladies of The PIT (Dana Krashin, Tracy Mull, Sarah Nowak, and more) make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC2 and Ladies of The PIT

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy 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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Armando Diaz himself!—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

7:30 pm ($7): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Electoral Dysfunction

7:30 pm ($10): Comedic storytellers Erik Bransteen, Leland Cheuk, Jennifer Gable, Cory Jarvis, Terri Mintz, and Gahl Shottan tell tales about losing their virginity at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Angela Cobb and guest-hosted by Kristin Seltman: My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: In this annual Halloween tradition, NYC stand-ups impersonate other stand-ups at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Invasion of the Bawdy Snatchers

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Gypsy Danger (which includes brilliant comics Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman, and which will make up a feature film on the spot) and The Baldwins (which includes brilliant comics Micah Sherman and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gypsy Danger: The Improvised Movie and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): “The government has declared an acid rain day, so the Siblings are stuck in their dark cellar and forced to use their imaginations to create friends and play games. But once their imaginations are let loose, there’s not much they can do to stop it: Toys, monsters, and ghosts all come to life before their eyes and yours. Can the Siblings make friends? Or will their imaginations get the best of them?” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Siblings Halloween Special

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Liza Treyger (Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), and Ariel Elias (Jezebel) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Industry City Distillery (33 35th Street, 6th Floor) hosted by Lukas Kaiser & Rojo Perez; to ensure you’ll get in, reserve your spot by emailing britpackrentals@gmail.com with the subject line Captains October: Captains of Industry

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from sharp comics John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Glenn Boozan, Joanna Bradley, Chad Carter, and Caroline Cotter at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

9:00 pm ($10): A showcase of comedic one-act plays and musicals at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) produced by Adam Chisnall & Yue Liu: One Act Comedy Fest

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A sketch/variety show at The PIT upstairs theatre operating from a fun dark premise: “When Vincent Welles died and went to Hell, he soon found out his punishment was to host a variety talk show for all eternity in the fiery underworld. Join Vincent as he, along with his demonic producers and werewolf sidekick Warren Talbot, host special guests and surprises” starring BJ Thorne: Welcome to Hell with Vincent Welles: Helloween Spooktacular

9:30 pm ($5): Long-form improv with a playful title directed by Conner O’Malley at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Michael Jordan Steakhouse

9:30 pm ($8): Each stand-up screens a movie clip he or she loves before performing a set—with tonight’s comics Kara Buller, Andrea Ilene Shapiro, Davey Melch, and Alex Fossella—at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Justin Angermeyer & Caitlin Mckee: Roll Credits

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), and Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die)—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A sketch show about the degrading lives of NYC movers (“Warning: Furniture will be smashed with extreme prejudice during the show; eye protection is encouraged”) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Cruz Smash

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each week—which tonight, for Halloween, is Hell House—at The Magnet theatre: The Cast: Hell House

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril, with hosts J. W. Crump: Gas Station Horror

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, Katie Sicking have written and star in this musical about “three Millennial janitors who band together to launch a promising enterprise that breaks every promise from boom to bust; it’s never about the product, it’s an excuse to give a TED Talk” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Meet the CEOs: A Start-Up Musical

10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

10:30 pm ($5): “A teen drama in which everyone has a secret. (hint: they’re all gay). On the outside it’s a typical high school with science fairs, basketball games, and homecoming dances, but below the surface it’s filled with secrets, betrayal, and most importantly drama…with a new episode each week!” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Lake Homo High

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Freddy Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($10): Pre-Halloween, a small army of comics pay homage to the cult classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show at The PIT upstairs theatre: Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A gay-themed variety show at the UCB East theatre hosted by Timothy Dunn: Queerball

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Couples selected from the audience are tested to determine whether they belong together: “The couples with the least amount of points will have to break up, because we all die alone and what’s the point of anything, really? It’ll be fun!” at UCB Chelsea hosted by Carly Ann Filbin: Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Game Show

[FREE] Midnight: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Via

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show, with names drawn out of a bucket, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Rachel Coleman: Let’s Be Friends

4:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 3:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in comedy open mic (lottery system, with sign-up starting at 4:30 pm) providing each selected comic 4 minutes on stage at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Veronica Garza: Murray Povich Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Put your name in a bucket for this open mic for stand-up, sketch, music, or anything else you want to work out on stage at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Josh Bates & Brian Pisano: Make Out Party: An Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Walk-in open mic, with names drawn from a bucket (sign-up starts at 6:50 pm), and a designated beer drinker on stage who might chime in at any moment to riff with you during your set, at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Amy Shanker, Brett Hiker, and Cameron Ford: Power Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for character bits, stand-up, etc. at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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