NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/25/12

May 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Hiller

Jeff Hiller will weave his special magic as he makes up a musical tonight on Diamond Lion…

Vic Henley

…and the super-likeable Vic Henley headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The PIT upstairs theatre to perform at improv trio Mr. Gorsky

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies:” Double Date

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] [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?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, pastry buns, and jello shots at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonathan Powley: Buns and Puns

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’s Last Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): A musical comedy at The Magnet “inspired by the real life plans of the US military to build a bomb that would make their enemies gay. The show is a cautionary tale set in a not-to-distant America that is a xenophobic, homophobic wet dream. This timely political piece is not only topical but extremely on point, leaving no stereotype unscathed.” Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Vic Henley is one of the most likeable stand-ups in the biz. He’s co-headlining tonight and Saturday with Kevin Flynn—who I’ve never seen, but is probably terrific too—at the Gotham Comedy Club: Vic Henley & Kevin Flynn

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show): Diamond Lion

[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), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($5): “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” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Greg Warren, Nore Davis, sketch troupe Carousel of Characters, and sketch troupe Chess Club performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Danny Jolles: Danny’s Funhouse

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A screening of a 2010 feature film by the Upright Citizens Brigade written, co-directed, and co-starring Matt Besser, and also briefly featuring Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts (Ian almost steals the movie by simply delivering a doctor’s diagnosis…) at UCB East—which is a perfect venue for films because it used to be an indie movie theatre: Freak Dance

P.S. If you can’t make this screening, you can alternatively pay to see the movie for a brief time online via various streaming film sites and/or buy its soundtrack to enjoy anytime via iTunes.

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Advertisements

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/21/11

July 21, 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.

Andrea Rosen

UCBT is the place to be tonight, with four incredible shows in a row:
Andrea “Might Give Birth Any Second” Rosen’s Ding Dong Meow

Amy Heidt

Amy Heidt’s & Jeff Hiller’s The Last Resort

John Lutz

…improv genius John Lutz with Meagan O’Brien in Just One Scene

Fran Gillespie

…and sole improvisor (and reigning champ) Fran Gillespie vs. stellar musical improv troupe Diamond Lion at Cage Match

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: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the finest comedic actors in NYC, Amy Heidt and Jeff Hiller, debut a one-act comedy about love and murder that you don’t want to miss (and schedule permitting, I’ll be there too): The Last Resort 

…and the second half of this double-bill features one of the very best shows at UCBT. Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Wonderful comic Kurt Braunohler “relates how he destroyed a 13-year relationship in the dumbest, most complicated way possible, with bar fights, naked men, walruses, and an audition for Sasha Baron Cohen” in the one-man show The Amish Guide to Fucking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Some of the Magnet Theatre’s finest improvisors make up theatrical plays on the spot: Playhouse

8:00 pm ($5): David Foster (HBO, Showtime, MTV), Jamie Lee (VH1, Last Comic Standing), and Damien Lemon, and more performing stand-up at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and the delightful Abbi Crutchfield: Positively Awesome

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): John Lutz co-stars on 30 Rock, and previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live; but what’s most important to know for this show is John’s one of the most hilarious improvisors alive. Tonight he teams with Meagan O’Brien to focus on Just One Scene

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Movie star Janeane Garofalo, Molly Knefel (Naked in a Fishbowl, John & Molly Get Along), Nick Rutherford, and more performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s basement lounger for The Scene

[$] 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a squeaker, superb improv troupe Doppleganger was toppled by audience votes of 74 to 62 for a lone performer: Fran Gillespie. Tonight Fran attempts to repeat her remarkable feat against one of the finest musical improv troupes in the country, DIamond Lion. This is a show you don’t want to miss, as brilliant improviors fight for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Listen, Kid! and Brick compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with 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 Monday 1/3/11

January 3, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Anthony Atamanuik

Anthony Atamanuik (Conan O'Brien, 30 Rock, Death by Roo Roo) is the guest performer tonight at the fine musical improv show Diamond Lion

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 & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 6:30 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 John Morrison’s Motel Luca

7:00 pm ($5): Jenny Dunne and Rick Andrews improvise a single moment in two characters’ lives again and again, exploring three parallel realities, and the difference that a look or tone can make; and duo improv by friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name, in the double-bill The Cascade and We’re Matt Weir

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Eric Andre (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Comedy Central), Sam Morril (2011 March Comedy Madness winner), Michael Blaustein (Gossip Girl, MTV), Robert Dean, and Larry Bailey performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

8:00 pm ( $5): A one-man show from Paul W. Downs that I haven’t seen but have heard good things about; plus young talents perform a loud and mildly amusing sketch show about cops, in the double-bill The Paul Downs Syndrome and The Sit Down and Shut Up NYPD Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and tonight’s guest Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Eric Andre (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Comedy Central), John Gemberling (Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo), and “a top secret guest”—at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/6/10

December 6, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ted Alexandro and Jeff Hiller

World-class stand-up Ted Alexandro performs tonight at Whiplash, brilliant improvisor Jeff Hiller makes up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion...

Naked in a Fishbowl

...and Brenna Palughi (left) and Daliya Karnofsky (right) tonight may once again subtly express skepticism at the plans of the breathtaking Lauren Seikaly at the wonderful theatrical improv show Naked in a Fishbowl

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: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($15 at the door on $18.50 online with discount codeFISHFAN): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see.

In last week’s episode, Brenna Palughi provided an unforgettable description of her experience drinking a liter of salt water to achieve a “master cleanse.” With that warning, watch the video and be forever altered…

Although every episode is a wonderful theatrical event, readers of this site no longer have to pay theatrical prices; you can see this show for a mere $15 by mentioning code FISHFAN at the door. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then get in the habit of attending the Soho Playhouse to experience the always fresh and surprising Naked in a Fishbowl

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Fine NYC stand-ups Roger Hailes (Comedy Central), Mark Normand (Last Comic Standing; co-host of We’re All Friends Here), Myka Fox (Comical Radio), Mara Herron (Sirius Radio), and Kevin Barnett (College Humor) performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): An all-gal improv troupe consisting of Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, with tonight’s guest guy improvisor Paul Wielunski (Bad Luck Rising), performing as Goldie and the Hawns

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): Myq Kaplan (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic StandingConan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special), Adam Lowitt (Producer at The Daily Show, co-host of stand-up show It Is It), and musical guest Amy Miles (Michael Showalter’s The Baxter, David Wain’s The Ten, Children’s Hospital) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

8:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host ofRighteous Kill), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel), and Ben Kissel (Roundtable of Gentlemen) performing at the White Rabbit (145 East Houston Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday

8:00 pm ($5): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an Internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these dating experts employ audience-recounted horror stories as inspiration for improvised scenes, in an attempt to enlighten you on the art of romance:” Dating Coaches

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and tonight’s guest Jon Gabrus (The Law Firm)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion

10:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials, recent perfect set at Carnegie Hall opening for Louis C.K.), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveLouie, Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson), and more—guest-hosted by the wonderful Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1) at Whiplash

[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 on this new stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/5/10

July 5, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Improv stars Eliza Skinner, Thomas Middleditch, Mike Still, and more make up a musical on the spot tonight at Diamond Lion

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: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($17.50 online with discount code NIFF): My #1 pick for the2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, and Lauren Seikaly, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest and nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then nab tickets for tonight’s fifth installment at the Soho Playhouse of a 10-week Monday night run: Naked in a Fishbowl

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents; CD Goodbye Forever Fatty), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1), Jessimae Peluso (Comedy Time TV, TruTV), Raquel D’Apice, Mike Lawrence, and Jayson Cross (Nip/Tuck) performing at a free weekly show in theManchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s finest house sketch comedy troupes, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Thomas Middleditch, Eliza Skinner, Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, and Shannon O’Neill—making up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest stand-up comics in the country—tonight including Todd Barry, Andy Blitz, Lisa Delarios, and James Adomian—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.