NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/9/17

March 9, 2017

Time After Time: A Variety Show About Movies and Women's HistoryWhat’s likely to be an amazing group of lectures and film clips covering women in film history, with each presentation tackling a different decade—e.g., giving historical and political context to Barbara Stanwyck’s sexually-charged, pre-Code performance in Baby Face (1933), Melanie Griffith’s sneakered corporate climb in Working Girl (1988), Reese Witherspoon’s original “nasty woman” in Election (1999), and much more. The show will feature an original movie-themed piece by dancer/choreographer Terry Hempfling, and presentations by Caroline Golum (filmmaker), Amber Nigro (pop culture scholar), Rommel Wood (Ear Hammer/The Dolores Claiborne Minute), Tanya Smith (Read It and Weep podcast), and a burlesque performance by “The Goddess in a Bodice” Sweet Lorraine, all hosted by Kseniya Yarosh: Time After Time: A Variety Show About Movies and Women’s History (8:00 pm; $12, 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:

7:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up a documentary based on an audience member’s suggestion at The PIT Mainstage: Observer Effect: An Improvised Documentary

7:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups tell stories which improvisors then turn into TV movies at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Catherine Cypher, Emily Duke, and Christina Sirabian: Live or Die

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and 8:00 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

7:30 pm ($7): Brendan Fitzgibbons, Ramsey Badawi, Paige Weldon, and Wanjiko Eke performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Casey Balsham, Brandon Scott Wolf, Tim Dillon, Alex Moore, Rachel Parenta, Lisa Sobin, Perri Gross, and Nick Z performing stand-up, plus music by The Maybuds, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

7:30 pm ($7): After each stand-up performs, you and the rest of the audience get to ask them questions about their jokes, with tonight’s comics Frank Nelson, Sarah Kennedy, Sam Evans, Lucas Connolly, and Pat Hastie at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kevin Froleiks & Sam Bourne: Press Conference

7:30 pm ($5): Beth Slack & Brian Hansbury create musical improv about relationships, along with some invited friends, at The PIT Underground: Hansbury & Slack and Friends

7:30ish pm ($5; if you show up early, includes host Brian Parise’s homemade baked ziti): Josh Johnson, Paul Hooper, Marie Faustin, Jeff Scheen, Jordain Fisher, and Chanel Ali performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Frank’s Cocktail Lounge (660 Fulton Street; take G to Fulton Street or A/C to Lafayette Avenue) hosted by Brian Parise: It’s All Happening: Homemade Baked Ziti

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who know their genre history created this show in which they make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT Mainstage co-starring the spectacular Rachel Scherer, with sound design & foley effects from Frank Todaro, and an opening musical improv set from Austin Sanders (Title of Team) and improv pianist Eric March: X Plus One

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Silence, Please (exploring the nuances of wordless conversation and connection, with music suggested by the audience playing in the background), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Comics Gregory W. Hall, Rosa Escandón, and Carrie Gravenson share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Natalie Wall (also host of Awkward Sex and the City): Awkward Poop and the City

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), J.P. McDade, Amber Rollo, May Wilkerson, Phil Stamato, Tito Garza, Conrad Roth, and Napoleon Emill performing stand-up for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Kilo Bravo (180 North 10th Street) hosted by Lucie Steiner & David Spector: Goliath Comedy

8:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy and solo characters by Mike Brian, Chris Migliaccio, and Paul Cohen at The PIT Underground: Backdoor Barbecue

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Roy Wood Jr., Seaton Smith, Pete Lee, Monroe Martin, NIck Griffin, Lynne Koplitz, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: A show hosted by the lovely Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Katy Frame & Marie Cecile Anderson), with guests Robert Dean, Dusty Slay, Blair Socci, and Josh Carter performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue: Up N’ Coming

9:00 pm ($7): Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; comedy album Good Year), Paige Weldon, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out and Homeschooled, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) & Ashley Brooke Roberts (Nat Geo, co-host of Fresh Out, MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($8): Stand-up & storytelling springboarding off topics tackled by The Ricki Lake Show—fat friends, two-timing traitorous tramps, and so on. Tonight’s theme is “I Want to Strip For a Day…Maybe Longer If I Like It!” with Oscar Aydin, Carolyn Bergier, Kim Manfre, Chewy May, and Billy Procida performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Matt Smith McCormick: Go Ricki!

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a one-man play by Geoff Garlock about memories of a classic music festival: Rock and Roll Will Never Die

…and in the second other of this double bill, “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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate a classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, with each using only what he or she can remember from seeing the movie and/or the musical, or reading the story, just once. To add to the fun are a few rules: “Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience; performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; one lucky audience member will be given a bell that they can ring three times—once rung, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in Titanic but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story” at The PIT Mainstage: Beauty and the Beast…Entirely From Memory

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): In this themed sketch show, “We’re bringing you the hottest looks that were denied access to New York Fashion Week for being ‘too ugly,’ ‘idiotic,’ and/or ‘not a real design.’ Skip the line and spend the evening with us as we dazzle you with looks that will have you asking ‘Is that fashion or just someone’s trash?’ This is the place to see and be seen if you weren’t able to get in anywhere else” at UCB Chelsea hosted by the talented Natasha Vaynblat: NY Fashion Week Flagship Show (Rejects)

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Philip Markle performs a one-man musical about being a gay videogame fan (“gaymer”) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Sparkle Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): A classic improv group whose members include Anna Drezen (writer for Saturday Night Live; superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters, movement, and sketch; author of How May We Hate You) comes back together for one night only to make up scenes at The PIT Underground: Dangerbox! The Reunion Nobody Asked For

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Williams & Akash Bhasin: Death Comedy Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): A battle of titans, as musical improv group Rumpleteaser goes up against improv dynamo Fuck That Shit—which beat Rumpleteaser to win this year’s Cage Match Championship title in January by 131 votes to 87. Will history repeat itself, or this time will music score an upset? Come see as these two comedy giants compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): A one-man show by Omar Argentino that blends scripted material with improv, and that’s toured the world, plays for one night only at The PIT Mainstage: Jumping Muros: A One-Man Theatrical Improv Show

11:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups (not announced) perform club-length sets at the UCB East theatre hosted by Emmy Blotnick: Big Long Sets

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] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic in which 15 walk-ins whose names are drawn from a bucket get to tell jokes on stage for 4 minutes each at UCB East hosted Brandon Scott Wolf & Paul Oddo: Thursday Night Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday Mic

6:00 pm ($5 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

6:00 pm ($3): A weekly improv jam for which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

6:30 pm ($5): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT Underground: Ladies Night 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 (34 Pell Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursdays After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

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.

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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.