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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: Katina Corrao (HBO, Logo) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB Easthosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!
7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Jacqueline Novak (Comedy Central, College Humor, host of Spirit of Comedy; for “response to heckler” video, please click here), Max Silvestri (co-host of Big Terrific), and more performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with cartoonist host David Rees: Lollygaggin’ with David Rees
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): “If you were alive in the 70’s, you may have attended some ‘Key Parties’ where you were randomly paired with someone to go home with and engage in free spirited coitus. (Today we either stay at home alone or congregate at an improv theater.) Key Party combines the 70’s arrangement with modern anxiety, exploring the rich moments leading up to that act of coupling and the fallout that follows” at UCB East with stellar comics Jordan Klepper, Laura Grey (delightful old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm), and guest improvisors: Key Party; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv based on the iPods, CDs, and mp3 players provided by audience members, executed by superb performers Fran Gillespie, Ryan Karels, Megan Neuringer, Jesse Falcon, Silvija Ozols, Doug Moe, Lou Perez, Sue Galloway, and Emily Axford: Soundtrack USA
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15 online; buying in advance highly recommended as this will probably sell out): Sandra Bernhard, Tom Scharpling, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, and more performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House hosted by Julie Klausner (author of I Don’t Care About Your Band) :How Was Your Week Live
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “A panel of comedians give their hilarious takes on the more grim/sensational crime stories taken from NYC’s daily newspapers. It’s live comedy with a streak of yellow journalism and dark New York flavor”—not to mention a monthly podcast—at Queens LIC’sThe Creek hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): The New York City Crime Report
[$] 8:00 pm ($20): Storyteller Martin Dockery (The Moth, The Liar Show; acclaimed as “fantastic” byThe New York Times) and Canadian actress Vanessa Quesnelle performing a self-described “high-energy, high-comedy, highly surreal play about a guy trying to get a girl into his flying bed. Tempting her with the forbidden promise of a wild flight through paradise, they must negotiate a bizarre and harrowing journey through a wilderness of seduction, temptation, and betrayal at theUnder St. Marks Theatre (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Oh, That Wily Snake
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): 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?
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by something called The Movie directed by comedy genius Ed Herbstman, and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with last week’s winner and BEEES! competing: The Magnet’s Night Out
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) 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
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), and Starlee Kine (delightful storyteller; NPR’s This American Life) performing at UCB Eastwith best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K
9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Desiree Burch (VH1’sBest Night Ever, Joe’s Pub, Ambiguously Brown Comedy Hour), Marianne Schaberg, and Ken Schultz performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for this weekly comedy show hosted by Sean Crespo & Dan Wilbur and produced by Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Aasif Mandvi (correspondent for The Daily Show), Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live), The Wagstaff Municipal Theatra, and the Cocoon Dance Team performing atUCB West with delightful hosts Shonali Bhowmik (leader of musical group Tigers & Monkeys) and Andrea Rosen (brilliant stand-up & storyteller; HBO, Comedy Central, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up): Variety SHAC
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—including Becky Drysdale, Anthony Atamanuik, Christina Gausas, and Jim Santangeli—are trapped in the same improv scene and must reinvent it over and over again at UCB East in this show honoringGroundhog Day
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