NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/28/10

December 28, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Blizzard at NYC's Bryant Park

I know, I know; but there are warm, dry, funny shows tonight, including...

Dave Attell and Eliza Skinner

...superstar stand-up Dave Attell headlining at Carolines, and phenom improvisor Eliza Skinner at "Skinner Alive!"

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] 7:00 pm ($5): Muscial improv genius Eliza Skinner (who’s won the ECNY Award for Best Improv twice, has won multiple FringeNYC awards, and is a star member of Baby Wants  Candy) will make up songs on the spot along with “special guests” and invaluable improv pianist Frank Spitznagel in Skinner Alive!

7:00 pm ($5): Over a dozen female improvisors—including this year’s surprise hit Doppelganger—making up scenes at Girls Gone Funny

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 Willy Appelman, Tom Costello, Ben Furnas, David Ross, and Ross Taylor make stuff up, in the double-bill The Cascade and Thunderbirds 4Life

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up comedy superstar headlining through Thursday at Carolines: Dave Attell

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Sandino, Badman, Robber Baron, DeCoster, and Monstro; and at 11:00 pm, a gala end-of-the-year improv jam open to everyone and hosted by Badman—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): Rob Paravonian (guitar-playing stand-up; for his wonderful YouTube hit, please clickhere), sketch troupe The Fools, and musical guests Mike Doughty (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien; formerly of band Soul Coughing; solo album Sad Man Happy Man), Eden & John’s East River String Band (old-time country-folk blues), and CatCatCat (alt rock) performing in the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($10): The worlds of “magic, mind-reading, and mutilation” are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru in Strange Things

8:15 pm ($5—with FREE PIZZA!): Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host with Kristen Schaal of Hot Tub Variety), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, The Other Guys, comedy CD Come Clean), and contortionist Amazing Amy performing at the Magnet Theatre for Adam Lerman’s and Willy Appleman’s variety show Deep Traffic

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; co-creator & co-star of UK TV seriesPenelope: Princess of Pets; co-host with Kristen Schaal of Hot Tub Variety), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1), and weather-condition-dependent surprises performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by the wonderful Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

9:30 pm ($10): The PIT house comics tell tales about “Hating the Holidays” at the comedic storytelling show Campfire Stories

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/7/10

May 7, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan and Eliza Skinner host one of my favorite monthly shows, a comedic rap battle now at the Friday midnight slot at UCBT: The BEATdown

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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Some of the finest sketch troupes in NYC, including The Harvard Sailing Team and Murderfist, audition for a prestigious comedy festival: The Just for LaughsShowcase

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): In this fun show, 16 musical performers turn an audience member’s suggestion into two musical fairy tales that tell what happened from the viewpoint of first the hero and then the villain, with “all the music and magic of a Disney flick…plus the darkness of the Brothers Grimm:” Once Upon a Time

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe performing with new guests each Friday and making a valid complaint: The Secret Donald Glover Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($24.78 online with code VIPMAY, plus 2-drink min.) A YouTube starMad TV star headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Anjelah Johnson

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Wonderful comics Kumail Nanjiani, Ben Lerman, Rob Cantrell, Louis Katz, Jason Weems, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Coco 66 for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s Too Cool for School

[$] 8:00 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) A TV and movie star who first earned fame on Chappelle’s Showheadlining through Sunday at Carolines: Charlie Murphy

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): 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): 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): In this new show, Thomas Middleditch, Jonathan Gabrus, 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): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, champions of the Magnet Theater’s 2009 Improv Duo Tournament, bring nearly five years of improv collaboration to stage “for an evening of bold, committed characters and truthful, grounded scenework” at Hodapp & Rothwell

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A comedic freestyle rap contest featuring some of the funniest & sharpest comics in NYC…who tonight are Sara Schaefer (Jimmy Fallon), Victor Varnado (Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show), Mara Herron (That Chick Mara Herron), Tom McCaffrey (VH1’s Best Week Ever), and Sara Jo Allocco (Dream Role)—hosted by genius comedic musical performers Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (Freestyle Love Supreme) and Eliza Skinner (Baby Wants Candy) at The BEATdown

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/21/10

January 21, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan and Eliza Skinner host tonight's Finals to determine the 2009 Champion of comedic rap competition The BEATdown

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] 7:00 pm ($5): A now-rare opportunity to see the one-woman show that less than a year ago helped propel NYC comedy jewel Jenny Slate to stardom as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Jenny’s production “takes place during my funeral, if I died right now as an eccentric millionaire and left 300 million dollars to my dog;” and it shows off Jenny’s immense sweetness, darkness, and wit, with treasured moments ranging from cheese thrown with deadly force to Jenny’s unforgettable pronouncement regarding men and porn. Directed by the witty and razor-sharp John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives). Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to see Jenny Slate live in Dead Millionaire

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($23 online today, or $18 for Friday & Saturday, if you use code VIPJAN [otherwise $30], plus 2-item minimum):A star stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno; performed three of his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; was a regular on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Shorties Watchin’ Shorties; is a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show and the Opie and Anthony radio show; hosted his own radio program on NYC’s 92.3 Free FM; creates periodic Web-based free audio shows for Blog Talk Radio; and has acted on such TV shows as HBO’s The Sopranos and Lucky Louie, and was nominated twice for an Emmy award for his writing on The Chris Rock Show, headlinilng tonight through Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The delightful Andrée Vermeulen performing her new more-or-less one-woman show: “After applying for The Greatest French Person in the World Award, Andrée uncovers a dark family secret (she may actually be…Belgian!), and is forced to decide whether or not believing in something is enough to make it true”—for a hint of how much fun you’re likely to have, view a video scene with Andrée and her real-life boyfriend Thomas Middleditch by clicking here; and superb sketch troupe Trophy Dad performing a comedic play about a college buddy returning after 10 years to ruin his friend’s life, in the double-bill French Toast and The Worst Guy Ever!

8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces,” and veteran improvisors play with “elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde,” in the double-bill The Deconstruction and Sleepover

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($15): All all-star lineup of top stand-ups—Colin Quinn, Wyatt Cenac, and Morgan Murphy—plus musical guest Bridget Barkan, all performing at Comedy Below Canal

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A comedic freestyle rap contest featuring some of the funniest & sharpest comics in NYC…who tonight are five winners of last year’s monthly contests, battling it out for the Championship crown in tonight’s Finals match—Carolyn Castiglia, Rebecca Drysdale, Utkarsh Ambudka, Bob Kulhan, and Michael Kayne—hosted by genius comedic musical performers Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (Freestyle Love Supreme) and Eliza Skinner (I Eat Pandas) at The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Vibrant improv troupes Hot Sauce and The Brothers Hines battling for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Genius improvisors Jason Mantzoukas (We Used to Go Out, Mother, Baby Mama) and Ed Herbstman (co-founder of the Magnet Theater) show off how breathtakingly quick-witted and skillful they are at creating scenes from air. Time Out New York named these guys Best Improv Duo of 2006. Take advantage of this one-night-only opportunity to see these improvisation comedy stars shine in an intimate setting as The Mantzoukas Brothers

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/5/09

August 5, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.

Glennis McMurray & Eliza Skinner are geniuses at making up musicals on the spot as improv duo I Eat Pandas
Glennis McMurray & Eliza Skinner are geniuses at making up musicals on the spot as improv duo I Eat Pandas

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-midnight: six free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): A comedic play written by Jill Donnelly & Amy Flanagan, performed by Jill, and directed by Amy, described as “We’ve all been pushed down the stairs once or twice by a family member and fallen into a coma, right? And who hasn’t woken up a year later with amnesia? Ten characters fill in the details for one amnesiac, Jane, in a night filled with dirty tales, creepy songs, deranged siblings, dungeons and dragons, and more:” Amnesia & Attempted Murder in Upstate NY

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Emily Epstein, Phoebe Robinson, J-L Cauvin, Paul Goncalves, Jay Nog, and Kyle Fincham at a free weekly stand-up comedy show at Rodeo Bar hosted by the luminous Margie Kment (who’s away tonight) & Matt Maragno: Now We’re Talking

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($6): innovative TV mini-shows (no longer than 5 minutes each) that live or die by audience votes, screening tonight at the 92Y Tribeca Mainstage: Channel101: NY

[FREE] 8:30 pm: terrific stand-ups Jon Fisch (Comedy Central), Andrea Rosen (Variety SHAC), Kyle Kinane (Carson Daly), and Greg Johnson (host of The Comedians) at a free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Gabe Liedman & Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Sharp NYC comics Kevin McCaffrey, Adam Newman, Luke Cunningham, Pat Cassel, Ryan Reiss, and many more each trying out a one-liner in Matt Goldich’s unique show at Ochi’s Lounge: 25 Words or Less

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): an entirely improvised musical from genius comedy duo Glennis McMurray and Eliza Skinner, and a comedic play with music, dancing, and fisting from Mary Elizabeth Ellis (the waitress on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Artemis Pebdani (foul-mouthed Artemis on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; for memorable audition video, please click here) in the double-bill I Eat Pandas and Mother May I Dance with Mary Jane’s Fist?

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) provides a mix of guests who perform 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. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible: School Night

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.