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: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s 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 The Party Lions, Leviathan, Brick, Featherweight, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Silver Fox, and Horses performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Horses at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A wonderful—and free!—outdoor concert at Central Park, withDaily Show star stand-ups John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, John Hodgman, Wyatt Cenac, Al Madrigal, Rory Albanese, and more at Central Park SummerStage
Even though SummerStage is spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of visitors, it’s not uncommon for every square inch of ground to be occupied with folks eager to laugh. It’s therefore recommended you arrive early for this lovely comedy party to ensure you get in, and can nab either a seat or a comfortable spot on the grass. (And consider bringing a large blanket…)
SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.
From the East side: Take the #6 subway to 68th Street and Lexington,
or the M1/M2/M3/M4 bus to 72nd Street and 5th Avenue;
enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;
and then walk a bit following the map above.
Traveling crosstown: Take the M-66 or M72 bus to Fifth Avenue;
enter the part at 69th Street and Fifth Avenue;
and then walk a bit following the map above.
From the West side: Take the 1/2/3/B/C subway to 72nd Street,
or the M7/M10/M11 bus to 72nd Street and Central Park West;
enter the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West;
and then walk a whole lot following the map above.
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Kevin Michael Murphy, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., Kevin Michael Murphy’s ieg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical…
…plus in the other half of this double-bill, “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Paul Oddo, Neil Constantine, Jeff Wesselschmidt, Seaton Smith, and Joe Zimmerman performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Conner (freelance writer for SNL, BBC): Free Healthcare
[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Becky Yamamoto, Aaron Sweeney, Kat Radley, and Meena Dimian 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
8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko), Jason Marcus, Corey Reppond, Katie Compa, and Jon Savoy performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) produced by Emily Epstein White and hosted by Selena Coppock & Danny Cartwright:Connotation
[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] 9:00 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
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says; so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories. This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth, but most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table.” Tonight’s storytelling guests at The PIT downstairs lounge are John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!) and Sara Jonsson (Camp Sunshine): This is Awkward: True Stories of of Love, Lust, and Lubrication
9:30 pm ($5): Two sketch shows I haven’t yet seen at UCB Chelsea: Brent Sullivan presents fake profiles he used to communicate via social networks with people he’d normally be terrified to contact at Profiles in Cowardice; and a (mostly) one-man show by George Kareman titled Incredibly Extreme and Extremely Incredible
[TOP PICK] 10:00 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 hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts 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 performers include Paul Odo and Caitlin Bitzigaio; for the full lineup, 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
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Oscar Montoya heads to gay rehab for a weekend of renewal while Jen Tullock and a cast of various others attempt to help him find his way” in this sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Pray It Away with Oscar & Jen
[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
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