NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/9/11

June 9, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

This year’s magical SketchFest NYC runs June 8-11 at UCBT.
Last night Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler provided organic, nonstop laughs; they’ve never been better. Musical comics Adira Amram, Shayna Ferm, and Snakes (Adam Lustick, Billy Scafuri, and Chloé Wepper) were all thoroughly wonderful in Sketch Rocks. And UCBT house troupe Gramp’s proved itself among the best in NYC, thanks in large measure to sketch genius Kate McKinnon. Notable participants on this second night include:

Mamrie Hart and Stephen Soroka

Mamrie Hart & Stephen Soroka as "BoF"...

Danielle Puterbaugh and Tiffany Puterbaugh

...and Danielle & Tiffany Puterbaugh in "The Puterbaugh Sisters Variety Hour"

  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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm – 1:00 am: One of the most delightful comedy festivals to grace NYC, this seventh annual SketchFest boasts shows from The Onion, The Harvard Sailing Team, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Comedy Central Digital, and even Marvel Comics!

Other notable shows include a one-night-only reunion of acclaimed all-gal troupe Meat; a “Secret Screening” of something special Friday at midnight; and often the most delightful event of the whole shebang, the closing night Craptacular featuring material from festival participants too rude or bizarre to fit into their regular shows, and this year hosted by Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show).

To get a feel for some of the best troupes who’ll be participating, please click here.

Produced by Alex Zalben, who has superb comedic taste, this is a four-evening extravaganza worth experiencing. Many of these shows will almost certainly sell out, so buy tickets in advancefor the ones you want ($10 each); or simply opt for the $100 all-you-can-see pass to get into any and every show of SketchFest NYC 2011

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at theKabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and Sean Patton—with tonight being the gala Fourth Year Anniversary edition, running past 1:00 am: Comedy as a Second Language

9:30 pm ($5): Any show ballsy enough to begin its description with “Have you ever loved a mop? Susan-Kate Heaney has…” is worth exploring. Tonight is the debut of this one-woman show at The PIT: Confessions of a Mop-oholic

[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Paul Hooper, Thomas Dale, and Jason Good performing at The PITfor this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups competing for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with less well-known troupes and a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/22/11

April 22, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Joe Bill and Mamrie

Breathtaking improv genius Joe Bill will likely put on one of the finest shows you'll ever see at "Lights Out, Shirley!", while the unsinkable Mamrie Hart will use silliness to let her star potential shine at "BoF: It's Pronounced 'Boaf'!"

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:

 7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

7:00 pm ($10): An NYC improv troupe, headed by Duncan Murdoch, making up scenes following not only an audience suggestion but the riffs of an instrumental jazz quartet: FACE

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Her show tonight with sketch partner Stephen Soroka is more sweet & silly than hilarious, but come to have luminous Mamrie make you smile at BoF: It’s Pronounced ‘Boaf’!; and in the other half of this double-bill, a sketch show from duo Two Fun Men

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live.

But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hit Sleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $49.50 price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining through Sunday at Carolines: John Witherspoon

8:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

8:00 pm ($8): An improv troupe that spins its scenes out of music and dance: Borealis

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack:” The Vigilante

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Emma Willmann, Josh Guarino, Dan Russell, Meghan Hanley, Carrie Gravenson, and more performing at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) with hosts Calvin S. Cato, Justin Murray, and Chad Plaines: The Pregame Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Ace improvisors who are married—some to each other—including such world-class talents as Ed Herbstman and Doug Mo: The Mamas and the Papas

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches: The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): Improvised scenes based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist at Missed Connections Two-Prov

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off at this spectacular monthly show that offers lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other players are Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer). The show I caught last month was one of the finest comedy hours I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience (but no pressure, Joe; am just sayin’….). You don’t want to miss Lights Out, Shirley!

Midnight ($5): Three NYC sketch troupes—Patrick & Adam of College Humor, Free Love Forum, and duo Rue Brutalia—each performing one of their most popular bits and one of their personal favorites in a sketch revue hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/11/10

November 11, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Mamrie Hart and Steve Soroka of BoF

The irresistible Mamrie Hart & best friend Steve Soroka audition their all-new sketch show tonight: "BoF: It's Pronounced Boaf"

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Utterly delightful sketch comic comic Mamrie Hart says, “Come on out and see a brand new BoF show! This is our audition show to get a second run at UCB, so we would love your support! It’s only $5 and we are paired up with the hilarious Two Fun Men, who are all three of those things. Oh, I hope you will! There will be dancing, giveaways, all new sketches, and Steve has a monochromatic outfit.” How can you even think of saying no to this almost-free double-bill of BoF: It’s Pronounced Boaf and Two Fun Men

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight include a blowout lineup of Dave Hill, Melanie Hamlett, and Sara Barron—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme “Friendship” at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Marc Bonnée, member of acclaimed sketch troupe Drop Six, goes solo with this show consisting of character bits and one-man sketches loosely tied to the theme of excess: Too…

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show from the hilarious Pam Murphy about breast cancer, and an indescribable multimedia sketch show from Peter Blomquist and Jeff Wiens, in the double-bill Pam Murphy: The C Word and Franco & Billy: Diamonds of Fire

8:00 pm ($8): The Magnet’s co-owner Armando Diaz performs monologues on the spot and improvisors then act out scenes based on them at The Armando Diaz Experience

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing stand-up on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killerset on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A.D. Miles (head writer for Jimmy Fallon), Laura Krafft (writer for NBC’sThe Marriage Ref and former writer for The Colbert Report), Matt Higgins (superb improv/sketch troupe Centralia), and “a special surprise guest” joining delightful hosts Andrea Rosen and Shonali Bhowmik of Variety SHAC

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Round 1 of a beloved annual November tradition—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.