NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/30/12

July 30, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For best video previews of FringeNYC 2012 shows, please click here.

Sara Schaefer

Sara Schaefer performs at The Big Shrink and Broken Comedy…

Kristen Schaal

…and Kristen Schaal bids adieu to her long-running weekly sketch/stand-up show Hot Tub Variety

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 storytelling show, with audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 8 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart and a guest storyteller (not announced this week): The Dump

6:00 pm ($5 cover & $5 drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (online sales SOLD OUT; there might be a few standby tickets for $8 at the door): Kristen Schaal’s last show as co-host, with Janeane Garofalo, Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen, “a special guest,” co-host Kurt Braunohler, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street); if I can stay awake for 24 hours straight, I’ll be there too…: Hot Tub Variety

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5):Broadway & off-Broadway stars mixing it up with genius improvisors John Lutz & Scott Adsit (30 Rock, John & Scott), Rachel Dratch (SNL), Becky Drysdale, and Michael Delaney as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes played by wonderful Broadway, off-Broadway, and TV actors Julie Sharbutt, Amy Rutberg, Oliver Chris, Cristin Milioti, and Jemima Rooper at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), comedy duo Coker & Stratton, and more performing at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell and featuring the Shrink Dancers: The Big Shrink

8:00 pm ($8): Improv performed by talented duos at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ampers&nd

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($11.34 [vs. $21.69] online using discount code LLED10): NYC stand-ups specializing in political humor make fun of our current election cycle at The Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street); take advantage of discount code LLED10 to see this off-Broadway show for under $12: Laughing Liberally: Electile Dysfunction

8:00 pm ($10): Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Ben Asher, Jerry Shack, and more performing stand-up at this monthly show at The PIT, hosted by twins Todd & Adam Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel, FX’s Totally Biased), Tyler Fischer (host of Fresh Fisch), Jess Wood, Kevin Avery, and Dwayne Kennedy performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and often featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Daily Show writer Zhubin Parang) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige & Charlemagne

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

9:30 pm ($5): The debut of the only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens” at The Magnet hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Karaoke plus Mad Libs—in which the audience chooses a list of words to swap into a popular song—at the UCB East Bar hosted by karaoke experts Alan Starzinski and Amy Jo Jackson, plus live keyboard accompaniment by Joe McGinty: Karaoke Night at the Hot Chicks Room

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by someone wonderful (while Leo Allen is in LA): Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! 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 at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jared Reed: Fresh

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7; SOLD OUT, but there’ll be a waiting list for tickets unclaimed 10 minutes prior to showtime): Jason Mantzoukas (film/TV star; We Used to Go Out, Mother, Baby Mama) and Ed Herbstman (national TV commercial star and stellar comedic actor; co-founder of the Magnet Theater) are improv masters—as they demonstrated by easily winning the $10,000 Friars Club competition for Best Improv Troupe last year. Come see the height of improv as these breathtakingly quick-witted and skillful guys create pure magic during one of the rare evenings when Jason (who now lives in LA) is visiting NYC—and as they then engage in an unusually intimate, and potentially awkward, debriefing session with the audience that can be as much fun as the formal part of the show: The Mantzoukas Brothers

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/9/12

January 9, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Andrea Rosen and John Gemberling

Comedy geniuses Andrea Rosen, John Gemberling...

Chris Gethard's A Bad Idea I'm About to Do

...and Chris Gethard perform at Kurt & Kristen's Hot Tub Variety

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 stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life, host of Told) and improv illustrator Sharon Spell drawing scenes as they’re described, all at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch troupe trying out stuff at The Magnet: The Day Terrors

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 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 & Carol Hartsell’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): A blowout show with Chris Gethard (star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Mannhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard ShowThe Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do), Andrea Rosen (HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central’s Stella, Variety SHACThe Nights of Our Lives, Ding Dong Meow, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), John Gemberling (genius improvisor & comedic character actor; Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony and Johnny Show), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code SBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Of all the superb comedic performers new to me at SketchFest NYC 2011, the one who most impressed was Meghan O’Neill. This exceptional actress has such a strong command of voice and movement that in one sketch she managed to convincingly evoke a dozen pop culture figures in under 30 seconds. O’Neill is also a sharp writer, bringing a groundedness and underlying meaning to even the silliest of scenarios. O’Neill is a member of the acclaimed Striking Viking Story Pirates, but is just starting to achieve the fame her talent deserves. If she’s been under your radar too, please watch her promo video by clicking here, and then come check her out at The PIT upstairs theatre performing a one-woman show with a title that belies O’Neill’s star quality: ‘Fraidy Cat

8:00 pm ($5): Typically superb stand-ups (unfortunately, not announced yet) performing at UCB East for a show with a Comedy Central stamp of approval: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups George Gordon, Anthony DeVito, Calvin Cato, Adam Sokol, and “a special guest” performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this weekly stand-up show hosted by Louis Katz, Tim Dimond, and J. F. Harris: Raw Guts

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A monthly mix of storytelling & music at Under St. Marks from rockin’ hosts Peter Aguero & the BTK Band, with tonight’s yarn-spinners Ophria Eisenberg, Seth Lind, Cyndi Freeman, and Brad Lawrence, plus GoGo by the Bird of Paradise and Dangrrr Doll, and spontaneous illustrations by in-the-moment artist Sharon Spell: The BTK Band: We Resolve to Rock Your Face Off

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and razor-sharp PIT instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCB Chelsea’s house sketch troupes, Gramp’s and Onasis, try out new bits at Maude Night

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

10:00 pm ($5): At this improv double-bill at The Magnet, Ruby Marez & Binu Paulose will play muliple characters within a single event as RuBin, and then Dustin Drury & Andrew Yurman-Glaser will “start off slow and relaxed and builds to a fast paced mosaic of characters and relationship” as Upstate New York

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include genius stand-up & storyteller Daniel Kitson (currently performing a stellar theatrical show in Brooklyn) and John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live;Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here)—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Chris Gethard: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! 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 at this stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/12/11

September 12, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Chris Gethard and Puppy

Comedy genius Chris Gethard performs at new UCBeast stand-up show Wheelhouse; puppies are on parade at Hot Tub Variety...

Kate McKinnon

...Kate McKinnon's stellar group Gramp's performs sketch on Maude Night...

Puppy

...and more puppies at Hot Tub Variety

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 stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 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] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, back from their second year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they were proclaimed “biggest revelation” by the Guardian, performing a brand new sketch show: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 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

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (unusually, not yet announced) performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Jiwon Lee (Comedy Central), musical guest Franz Nicolay, and puppies being hugged at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety: 2nd Annual 9/11 Memorial Puppy Hugging Parade

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comedy genius Chris Gethard (world-class improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), plus stand-ups Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Nick Vatterott, Katey Healy-Wurzburg, and Amber Nelson at this new weekly stand-up show at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) hosted by ace improvisor and aspiring stand-up Will Hines: Wheelhouse

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of UCBT’s very finest in-house sketch comedy troupes Dweeb(spearheaded by the razor-sharp Amy Heidt and Stephen Soroka), plus in-house troupe Thunder Gulch (which isn’t what it used to be, but features such appealing talents as Leslie Meisel, Ari Scott, and Amber Nelson), trying out new bits at Maude Night

8:00 pm ($5): Any show ballsy enough to begin its description with “Have you ever loved a mop? Susan-Kate Heaney has…” is worth exploring. This one-woman show is happening at The PIT: Confessions of a Mop-oholic

8:30 pm ($5): “A spectacular implosion of clown, medicine show, and sideshow theatrics” at The Magnet: Clown Baggage

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT has developed several terrific in-house sketch comedy troupes, but only two of them currently rival the finest sketch groups in the country. One is Stone Cold Fox (which now has a stellar show every Friday at 7:30 pm). The other is Gramp’s, spearheaded by comedy genius Kate McKinnon, which is performing tonight. Kate’s group will be trying out all-new bits this evening, but the chances are a bunch of them will be breathtakingly smart, inventive, and hilarious. Also on this double-bill is house troupe Onassis, which isn’t in the same league, but includes such notable performers as Sue Galloway—all at Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at Act One

9:30 pm ($5): “A drama written by teen Jerome McDonough that teaches teens about the evils of alcohol abuse. A talented and twistedly funny group of adults (the Marumsco Valley Players) will present the hard-hitting play, stage directions and all—while under the influence!:” Alky

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner & Chelsea Clarke hosting a show with guest improvisors at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest stand-ups in the world—who tonight include Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim) and Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, Comedy Central)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

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.