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Please note: The East Village is up and running again: UCB East, The PIT, and the Eastville Comedy Club all have shows tonight. Also, the Lexington Avenue 4/5/6 subways are now providing full service. Comedy is back on both sides of NYC.
Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon
[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour
[FREE] 6:00 pm: “A monthly show that you control. Your suggestions, blurt-outs, and whatever else you feel like doing or saying will guide us through an hour of good times” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: YBTHR
7:00 pm ($5): At this PIT double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Sharp improvisors—including improv master Ed Herbstman—”perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnet theatre: The Weave
7:30 pm ($10): Talented improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic who’s co-starred in TBS’ Are We There Yet?, starred in three Comedy Central specials, and performed on performed on Conan O’Brien, MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, and The Today Show headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Christian Finnegan
[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell
8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins
[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Zoe Coombs Marr (visiting from Australia; for a love letter to a dinosaur, please click here), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, VH1) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, Craig Ferguson, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which tonight’s stand-ups Erik Bergstrom, James Harris, Mike Cronin, Jason Burke, Jono Zalay, Eli Sairs, and Dan Kilpatrick perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short: Underbelly
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford—makes stuff up at UCB East based on hellish experiences of audience members: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sketch comedy in the form of crazy ass wrestling, with main events including “Christians vs. Mormons: Father Nelson & Altar Boy vs. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—winner gets their own planet” at UCB Chelsea; :Hilarious real wrestling matches live! Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” UCBW Electiongeddon
[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.