NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/27/17

Point Break Live

The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 movie classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—keep an eye on David Carl playing the Gary Busey role, and expect extra laughs when a random audience member (maybe you) is chosen to take on the Keanu Reeves character—all at Point Break Live (8:30 pm, $30, Brooklyn’s Bell House at 149 7th Street in Brooklyn; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, 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 Friday

7:00 pm ($10): A solo show from Tim Eberle providing “meditations on modern masculinity from a man who never really became one. A comedy told through, monologue, rhyme, and open cries for reassurance” at The PIT Mainstage: I Am (Still) Not a Man: A One Sort-of-Man Show

7:00 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] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “Becky Abrams is determined to go on a date with every boy she can, and you’re damn right that she’s going to enjoy it while she does:” A Date with Every Boy

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a sketch show based on the experiences of comedy couple John Murray & Silvija Ozols as Silvija tried to get pregnant: Infertile

7:30 pm ($10): Two improv groups each make up a musical on the spot at at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): [title of team] and Royals

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

7:30 pm ($10):”Five comics connect their stand-up sets into one giant mutant set” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Molly Horan: Human Centipede Comedy Show

7:30 pm ($10): A group of six comedic actors performs sketch at The PIT Underground: Uncle Function

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the legendary Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($16.82 online, $20 at the door—includes free beer and wine): At this best sexy NYC storytelling show, performers Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Cinemax, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; host of Right Now; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, host of Ed Sullivan on Acid), and Subhah Agarwal (Comedy Central, TruTV, Fusion) tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at The Pleasure Chest (1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets) hosted by the wonderful Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A comedic play written by Charlie Walden and performed by over a dozen comics about how “on July 12, 1979, an ill-fated radio promotion turned Comiskey Park into the largest anti-Disco rally in the history of mankind. Explosive shock jock Steve Dahl filled the stadium beyond capacity with his ‘anti-disco army,’ comprised mostly of the beer-swilling and grass-smoking teens who listened to his radio show and wanted to see some disco records detonated. Anyway, things got violent…” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Disco Demolition

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Robyn Schall, Jay Nog, and Kenny Warren performing stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt and hosted by Ashley Morris: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show from Amanda Miller playing “15-year-old Kevin, who was sent to Camp Smile Power, an anger management camp, on a plea bargain with the Brooklyn Justice system. His crime? Throwing a rock at Donald Trump’s head” at the intimate PIT Attic (behind and above the Mainstage): Camp Smile Power: Curing Anger One Smile at at Time

8:00 pm ($5): A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Alexandra Dickson, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] ($10; includes free pizza if you arrive early): 9:00 pm:Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Marisa Douenias (Louie), Corinne Fisher (co-host of popular Guys We Fucked podcast), and Tyler Fischer performing stand-up at a location in Brooklyn (near the Morgan Avenue L subway stop) to be revealed after you buy your ticket, hosted by Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central): The Secret Loft Show

9:00 pm ($10): Stand-ups Sydnee Washington, Usama Siddiquee, Will Purpura, Jesse Wolmart, and Glo perform at The PIT Underground hosted by Isaura Dos Santos: Stand Up and Chill

9:00 pm ($10): Comics perform solo characters to create submission tapes for the Montreal Just for Laughs festival at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Character Showcase

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Hip-hop improv group North Coast—which includes Evan Kaufman (genius musical improvisor of Your Love Our Musical; VH1)—attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure at The PIT Mainstage: Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera

9:30 pm ($5): Annoyance Artistic Director Philip Markle performs sketch, cabaret, and more with friends at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Sparkle Zone

9:30 pm ($7): Stand-ups Ashley Brooke Roberts (Nat Geo, co-host of Fresh Out, MTV’s Guy Code blog), Dan Licata (The Chris Gethard Show; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show), Charlie Kasov (MTV’s Guy Code), and Courtney Fearrington performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jessica Watkins: Homespun Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which typically features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Comics compete in a pageant-style show designed to showcase the not-so-glitz or glamorous bits of their lives. It’s a celebration of the absurdities, as comics compete in new twists on standard pageant categories like Q&A and Talent, and are judged by celebrity judges…and you. Join us as we disrupt everything you thought you knew about pageants” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Little Miss Rock Bottom

10:00 pm ($7): Stellar comics Jay Malsky, Chris Booth, and Adrian Sexton host a musical celebration of George Michael and Leonard Cohen at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Hallelujah: A Faithful Tribute to George Michael and Leonard Cohen

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[$] 10:30 pm ($12):10:30 pm ($10): David Angelo (David Letterman), Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out and Homeschooled, author of Felines of New York), Blair Socci (MTV), Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central), and Brian Park (College Humor) performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): A mix of stand-up, sketch, music, and/or improv at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Carmen Christopher: The Juice

10:30 pm ($5): James III is working out a show at The PIT Underground: James III & Friends

11:00 pm ($5): Comics perform “cold” in sketches they’ve never seen until they’re handed the pages moments before the show begins at The PIT Mainstage: Flying Blind

[FREE] 11:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced & hosted by Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, and/or Peter Bandyk: Casual Sets

11:30 pm ($7): As a movie is screened, five improvisors provide all the dialogue, sound effects, score, and narration on the shot at The Magnet theatre: Dubbed

11:30 pm ($5): Comics pretend to be infants at The PIT Underground: Babies Night

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): Dara Katz & Betsy Kenney host a crazed parody of a dance tournament featuring “amateur (or worse) teams performing choreographed dances” for a rotating panel of comic judges—and you—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Nationals: An Amateur Comedy Dance Tournament

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): Comics (not announced) perform stories and songs at this cabaret-style show backed by pianist Henry Koperski and friends at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones: A Lil’ Night Music: Comedians Singing

[FREE] Midnight: Comics present “sure-fire, can’t miss, get-in-on-the-ground-floor, knock your socks off ideas that will not only make a lot of money but will make lives better across the board” and then request your money (whether you give is entirely up to you), with tonight’s entrepreneurs Christina Galston and group Young Business (Ronnie Fleming & Justin Hartough)—plus stand-up from Mike Denny—all at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ben Conrad: Snake Oil

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sydney Beveridge & Davey Melch: Queens Open Mic Fridays

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

5:45 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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

6:00 pm ($5): A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Friday Night Mics

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

6:30 pm ($3): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at The PIT Underground for Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Show up at 6:45 pm to place your name in a dog bowl for the chance to get called up on stage and jam with veteran improvisors at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: