NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 3/14/12

March 14, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Andy Zaltzman

UK star Andy Zaltzman (John Oliver's writing partner) performs his one-man show Armchair Revolutionary...

Justin Purnell

...and Justin Purnell briefly returns to NYC to host his wonderful weekly variety show School Night

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre for PIT Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Grappler, Leviathan, Horses, The Party Lions, Featherweight, Brick, The Wrath, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): John Oliver’s UK writing partner & co-star for their shows Political Animaland The Bugle makes a rare NYC appearance performing his international one-man show at UCB Chelsea for one night only: Andy Zaltzman: Armchair Revolutionary

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: Matt Graham (Conan O’Brien, International Scrabble Champion), Kendra Cunningham, Chrissie Mayr, and Tyler Fischer performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) at this new monthly show happening at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Charla Lauriston & Shawtane Bowen: Just Let It Happen

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Camille Harris (rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, co-host of My High School Boyfriend Was Gay), Glennis McCarthy (Good Aftergoon, G.L.O.C.), Peter Moses (VH1, We Settled!), Danny Jolles, and Joel Stice performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but pig (including “bacon-infused martinis”), written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams (keep an eye out for her Aurora, a hot and hilariously bubble-headed waitress): Pig: A Restaurant

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Sue Galloway performs a one-woman sketch show directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern about women’s magazines and “how to live the perfect life:” Pose

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with host Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis. Tonight is extra special, though, because “every St. Patrick’s Day, Wicked Fuckin’ Queeyah—Boston’s most notorious improv show— takes the Fung Wah bus up from Boston (technically North Adams) and takes over the stage for a night of wicked funny make-em-ups, drinking and fights.” With Anthony Attamanuik, Will Hines, Kevin Hines, Matt Fisher, Doug Moe, Ben Rameaka, Jodi Lennon, and Ari Voukydis: Wicked Fuckin’ Queeyah Presents Hot For Teachah!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Jack Dishel is best known as a songwriter and musician, touring all over the world performing as Only Son and also playing lead guitar in The Moldy Peaches. This year he’s exploded onto the comedy scene, doing a two-month run of hour-long shows at the Sidewalk Cafe—without ever repeating material. It’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes dark, but always interesting. Whether speaking as one of his many characters or in his own voice, his ideas come through loud and clear, and it’s a fast hour. Let’s see what happens when Dishel brings the drunken night club insanity into The PIT downstairs lounge:” Jack Dishel: Soul Hacker

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Sasheer Zamata (smart, innovative rising star; DoppelgangerThe Prom)…and wonderful host Justin Purnell, dropping back in NYC during a break from business school! (For the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/12/12

March 12, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman (John Oliver's writing partner) makes a rare NYC visit...

Kristen Schaal

...to Kristen Schaal's Hot Tub Variety Show

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show, The Jon Friedman Internet Program), at Under St. MarksThe Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Andy Zaltzman (John Oliver’s comedy writing partner for their show Political Animal), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Michael Che, and Front Page Films performing at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from host Kristen Schaal (one of the sharpest & funniest comics alive): Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a meta-comedy involving a real estate agent who tries to convince a couple that the actual theatre you’re in would be a great home for them. He does this by putting on a series of sketches that are presented as a random sampling of what UCBT has to offer but that, directly or indirectly, each promote the stage as a wonderful residence. It’s a way fun idea—for a 5-minute sketch. However, this entire show is handled like a single multi-jointed sketch, and 30 minutes is an awfully long time to essentially tell one joke. If the script was further developed to use the internal sketches as stepping stones to achieve a larger and emotionally compelling story, this could become something quite special. Even as is, though, it’s great fun at the start; and if you find it wearing out its welcome after that, you’ll still enjoy sporadic laughs from individual bits and performers—especially standouts Brandon Gulya and Brandon Scott Jones—in the a-bit-too-clever-for-its-own-good This is Not a Sketch Show—A Sketch Show

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the debut of a musical about 19th century New York in which “uptown the aristocrats and robber barons think they own the city, while downtown thieves, pimps, and she-males believe they do; but the real kings of the city, the only truly free ones, are the news boys—and for some reason, they’re all British!,” with book & lyrics by Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau & Kevin Carter, and direction by Christopher Gladysz & Lauren Conlin Adams:Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, “an improv show inspired by the drama and love of a highbrow upper class British family contrasted with the turmoil and the relationships of the servants downstairs. Will Lady Grantham continue to have strong opinions? What obstacles will Matthew and Mary confront? Will Mr. Bates get any sweeter? All of these questions will be addressed”—by such top improvisors as Ed Herbstman (Magnet co-owner) and Megan Gray (Magnet Artistic Director): Downtown Abbey-Prov

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Becky Yamamoto, Ben Kissel, Dan Goodman, and Ben Conrad performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Sandbox Underground (257 Grand Street, near the L subway’s Bedford stop) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): Musical guest Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC), plus NYC stand-ups Josh Homer, Anthony DeVito, Jessie Geller, and Julia Segal, performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Unique and relentlessly silly performer Brandon Gulya does a one-man sketch show at UCB East that’s at times hilarious (the restaurant bit, which is an instant classic) and other times settles too quickly for the lightweight (the “does she like me” diary). A lot more hard, disciplined work is needed before his show’s title comes true; but this is a promising start from a comic with a memorable style, genuine potential, and the faith that Brandon Gulya Will Be Famous Soon

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, Ray Munoz tells true stories about growing up in NYC and having a run-in with the law at Off the Cuff

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new bits: Neighbor Boy (which tends to be weak on material, but includes such talents as Kate Hess, Tim Dunn, and Beth Appel, and may get a shot in the arm with the addition of writer Caitlin Bitzegaio), and Fambly (which includes wonderful rising star Mamrie Hart, Nicole Byer, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, and a sharp crew of writers): Maude Night: Neighbor Boy & Fambly

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off sets by NYC stand-ups, with the improvisors including such talents as Micah Sherman, Cathleen Carr, Nick Vatterott, and Sarah Nowak, all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t been announced yet for tonight, but you can check for an update by clicking here—performing at UCB ChelseaWhiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

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:

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.