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For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.
The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival started as an inside joke, but it's running strong after four years as a fun Brooklyn gathering of top comedic talent. For the full schedule, please click the poster above.
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] 6:00 pm-midnight ($10-$20): Top comics from NYC and elsewhere gather tonight, via four different shows in Brooklyn’s Bell House and Union Hall, for this weekend’s Fourth Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival
[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekdownstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox
7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy at The Magnet from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir
7:00 pm ($5): Kelli Porterfield performs a one-woman show about five residents of Joplin, MO: Mirror Mirror On The Wall
7:00 pm ($5): Young musical improv performers make up a song-and-dance show on the spot at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Hey You Guys
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the best scripted ensemble shows to grace UCB West for some time, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long show directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors making up a musical on the spot at UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Diamond Lion
8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello
[FREE] 8:00 pm:Three sketch teams compete, with the winner decided by combining audience votes with that of a panel of judges. And while the votes are being tallied, a well-known sketch troupe outside of the competition will perform. Tonight’s show is part of a 15-team sketch tournament at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Arena Sketch League Semi-Final, Round One
[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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Storytellers Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life), Anna Sale (WNYC Reporter), Steve Zimmer (two-time Moth GrandSlam Champion), Bernie Somers (Moth GrandSlam Champion), and host Adam Wade Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) tell exceptionally fine comedic tales at The Magnet: Super Stories
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): One of the very finest stand-ups in the country who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and The View,starred in two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials, and frequently opens for Louis C.K., headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Top comics and writers sharing memorable tales of their material being turned down—tonight including Dan St. Germain (WWE rejections), Joe Mande (Twitter celebrity feud rejections), Brooke Van Poppelen (her mom’s rejected Survivor audition tape) , and Jill Morris & Johnny McNulty (rejections from their book Please Fire Me)—all at UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) for Jon Friedman’s wonderful The Rejection Show
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB West’s all-star members ofThe Stepfathers
[$] [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): Dean Edwards, David Foster, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team
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:Three sketch teams compete, with the winner decided by combining audience votes with that of a panel of judges. And while the votes are being tallied, a well-known sketch troupe outside of the competition will perform. Tonight’s show is part of a 15-team sketch tournament at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Arena Sketch League Semi-Final, Round Two
10:00 pm ($5): Aaron Glaser and Lee Rubenstein each perform a 30-minute stand-up set at The PIT’s downstairs lounge, with guest host Danny Jolles, at The 30/30 Club
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, 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 UCB West’s The Law Firm: Law & Disorder
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard, Don Fanelli, and Michael Kayne as improv troupe Sabonis, plus stand-ups Nathan Barnatt, and Ben Kissel & Kevin Barnett, and more performing atUCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Gentrify
11:30 pm ($10): improvisers Bianca Casusöl as Madam Ant, Nina Klemow as Fanny Price, and Alex Marino as Larry Lazlo use burlesque dancing to tell a story “and titillate the audience with some seductively fun choreographed burlesque numbers” at The Magnet: Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Burlesque Improv Revue
[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show
[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB West stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage
[$] 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
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