NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/28/17

Molly's Guilt Free Comedy and Ice Cream Social“Inspired by two years in recovery from her own eating disorder, Molly Kiernan hosts a guilt-free celebration of sweets and self. Come early for ice cream in the lobby, and stay for improv, stand-up, characters, and song in the theatre. For this night (and hopefully the rest of your life), allow yourself to eat, laugh and love who you are,” with all-gal improv, stand-up, and sketch at 6:00; stand-up, storytelling, and song & dance at 7:00; and mostly characters at 8:00 pm: Molly’s Guilt Free Comedy and Ice Cream Social (6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 8:00 pm, $10 per show, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street)

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:

[$] 2:00 pm ($20): This musical with puppets is a family-friendly and interactive reinvention of the fairy tale The Three Billy Goats that urges the audience to work at improving the environment. Today’s performance at The PIT Mainstage is the NYC premiere of Gruff!

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($8): Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers; Louie, Broad City), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit),and Wanjiko Eke perform stand-up, plus gal group Three Busy Debras (Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha) perform sketch, all at Brooklyn’s Sunnyvale (1031 Grand Street) hosted by Harris Mayersohn: Just a Show

6:00 pm ($7): Ross Berman, Priscilla Cintron, Michelle Drozdick, and Rob Verdino blend game show elements, audience interaction, and improv to have fun with online dating experiences at The PIT Mainstage: OK Stupid

6:00 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, and Brian Urreta of improv group The Mannequin Room: Indie Cage Match

7:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups, sketch comics, and/or improvisors who are immigrants and/or perform immigrant-based material at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lucie Pohl: Immigrant Jam

7:00 pm ($7): You and your audience first choose rules the improv team must follow, and then the show begins at The PIT Mainstage: F*ck the Team

7:00 pm ($7): Long form improv that’s recorded for a podcast at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Truth and Exaggeration: The Podcast

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Nick Arret:: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:30 pm, 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 ($14 for 1:30 pm show, $24 for all other shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among 10 shows, with five shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), 7:15 pm, 9:15 pm, and 11:15 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): Noah Gardenswartz (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Zach Sherwin, Tanael Joachim, Ester Steinberg, Neel Nanda, and Meghan Hanley perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and hosted by Blair Socci (MTV’s Girl Code and Ladylike): If You Build It

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Shulman and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT Underground: Student Driver: Indie Road

8:00 pm ($7): “The kids in Ms. Stevens AP English class were given a big assignment when the semester started: creatively combine all the texts on their reading list into one short play. But the life of a senior is busy, and they might have put it off a little too long. See The Catcher in the Rye, Oedipus Rex, Jane Eyre, and more somehow smushed together with teen angst, SAT vocab words, and plot lines from The Vampire Diaries the teens are praying their teacher doesn’t notice” at The PIT Mainstage: Ms. Stevens’ AP English Class Presents: A Play

8:00 pm ($10): Comedy group Terrorbird performs dark sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Terrorbird

8:30 pm ($10): Comics perform their darkest, saddest, and most traumatically funny bits for this monthly catharsis machine—with tonight’s guests Ashley Brooke Roberts, Anthony DeVito, Rae Sanni, Ayanna Dookie, Mike Recine, Bryan Yang, and Gilbert Lawand at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: hosted by Shane Torres, Nate Fridson, and Alison Zeidman: Dark Spots

8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes…with God. This holy long form improv happens at The PIT Underground: GodProv 2: God Harder

8:30 pm ($7): Stand-ups Christian Finnegan (co-star of A&E’s Black and White; Conan O’Brien; three Comedy Central specials, Netflix special The Fun Part; TBS, VH1, MSNBC, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Molly Kornfeld, Tyler Fischer, and Mary Beth Barone, plus improv from group Unicorn Women, all performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Maggie Lally: Magtag Variety Hour

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sketch comedy accompanied by live music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): With a Little Feeling

9:00 pm ($7): Comics allow music that’s offered up by the audience to influence their performances at The PIT Mainstage: Mixtape

9:30 pm ($7): Improv group Higgins looks at the Instagram photos of audience members and then uses them as springboards for comedy scenes at the UCB East theatre: Higgins: The Instagram Show

[ALMOST FREE] 10:00 pm ($1): This improv show is based on a Mullaney Chain (pioneered by Kevin Mullaney) in which the host invites a guest to improvise with him or her, then the guest independently invites a third person, who then invites a fourth person, and so on, creating a one-time-only lineup that will be a surprise to everyone involved at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kurt Guenther: The Telephone Show

10:30 pm ($7): Four improv groups perform within the same imagined world using four common characters at The PIT Mainstage: Under One Sun

Sunday Open Mics, Open Stages, and Jams

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 2:00-5:00 pm: “After a nice brunch with your best and brightest gal pals, come on over to QED for some second-hand clothing and first time jokes. The clothing swap begins at 2:00 pm and the mic starts at 4:00 pm” at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lauren Hope Krass: Ladies’ Open Mic & Clothing Swap

[FREE] 3:00 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Sam Rose: Bucket! We’ll Do it Live!

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

5:30 pm ($3): Email Michelle Thomas at improv10000hrs@gmail.com to improvise with experienced PIT performers at The PIT Underground: 10K Jam Jam

9:30 pm ($5): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT Underground, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night at the Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 11:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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 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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