NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/23/12

January 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeffrey Sweet

For tonight only, Jeffrey Sweet reprises his tales of Nichols & May, Del Close, and other legends of comedy history in his fascinating one-man show "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love"

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

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 Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentaryMetaphyiscal GraffitiHigh Times), and “a surprise guest (he has an accent)”—who I suspect is a visiting comic only off from his Brooklyn theatrical show on Mondays and whose name rhymes with Spaniel Blitzen, but I could be wrong—performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches, a sneak peek at Kurt’s new IFC show, 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] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Jeffrey Sweet, author of the seminal improv comedy book Something Wonderful Right Away, last year debuted his one-man FringeNYC show about Del Close, Nichols & May, Paul Sills, and other legendary comics whose work led to such comedy institutions as NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Pit, and The Magnet. For this one night only, he’s reviving the show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop). For my full review, please click here. If you have any interest in improv comedy history, this is an event not to be missed: You Only Shoot the Ones You Love

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) returns to The PIT upstairs theatre to host “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people,” with tonight’s wonderful guests Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard ShowThe Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do), Jena Friedman (staff writer for David Letterman), and Gabe Delahaye (senior editor of Videogum.com): Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

 8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), and Kurt Metzger (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans) performing at UCB Easthosted by Michael Che: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

8:00 pm ($5): For this sketch double-bill at UCB Chelsea, first up is a a meta-comedy in which a real estate agent tries to convince a couple that the actual theatre you’re in would be a great home for them. He does this by putting on a series of scenes that are presented as a random sampling of what UCBT has to offer but that, directly or indirectly, each promote the stage as a wonderful residence. It’s a way fun idea—for a 5-minute sketch. However, this entire show is handled like a single multi-jointed sketch, and 30 minutes is a long time to essentially tell one joke. If the script was further developed to use the internal sketches as stepping stones to achieve a larger and emotionally compelling story, this could become something quite special. Even as is, though, it’s great fun at the start; and if you find it wearing out its welcome after that, you’ll still enjoy sporadic laughs from individual bits and performers—especially standouts Brandon Gulya and Brandon Scott Jones—in the a-bit-too-clever-for-its-own-good This is Not a Sketch Show—A Sketch Show

…and second up is Sue Galloway performing a one-woman sketch show directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern about women’s magazines and “how to live the perfect life:” Pose

8:00 pm ($5, which includes FREE BEER): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), Mara Herron (Web series That Chick Mara Herron), Yannis Pappas (Carolines), and Sabrina Jalees performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Sandbox Underground (257 Grand Street, near the L subway’s Bedford stop) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

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

9:30 pm ($5): Two brand new UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: The Prom (which includes such talents as Sasheer Zamata, Stephen Soroka, Amber Nelson, and Ari Scott), and Everything Rabbits (which includes the lovely Violet Krumbein): Maude Night: The Prom &Everything Rabbits

9:30 pm ($5): Young improvisors at The PIT make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Shady Bunch

[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): A new variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits atThe Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

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 Daniel Kitson, James Adomian, John Roy, and Erik Bergstrom—performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard: 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 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.

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/26/11

August 26, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

Kate McKinnon and Jeffrey Sweet

Comedy genius Kate McKinnon performs one of the best one-woman shows of the year in "Kate McKinnon on Ice," and comedy historian Jeffrey Sweet makes a rare NYC appearance in his FringeNYC show "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love"

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 Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon performing her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” This inventive, dynamic production is among the very best to grace the UCBT stage this year. (And if you don’t want to take my word alone, check out Jane Borden’s Time Out New Yorkreview.) Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice 

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show about how awful people are, directed by the wonderful Becky Drysdale: Everybody’s Dumb and Boring

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($18): Jeffrey Sweet, author of the seminal improv comedy book Something Wonderful Right Away, is gracing FringeNYC this year with his one-man show about Del Close, Nichols & May, Paul Sills, and other legendary comics whose work led to such comedy institutions as NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Pit, and The Magnet. (For my full review, please click here.) If you have any interest in improv comedy history, this is a show not to be missed. There are only two performances left at The Studio at Cherry Lane (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop), including tonight at 8:00 pm, of You Only Shoot the Ones You Love

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Colorheadlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Tommy Davidson

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Adam Lowitt, Amber Nelson, Sean Donnelly, Danny Solomon, and Joe Zimmerman performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[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): Improv troupe Phooka goes scripted with a sketch show about “tales of the wild and weird people, places, and events this side of Crazytown; true stories of all things that most folks only whisper about—and those who hear wish they didn’t!” in Phooka: Creatures, Myths, and Urban Legends

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

9:30 pm ($8): “Ever wonder how you become a writer for an Emmy winning TV show? So does J. D. Durkin. Since no one has told him, here is his one-man show performing all original material to become a writer for The Colbert Report. Durkin channels Colbert live on stage to present political punditry as only The PIT could do it…and only The PIT, since he was escorted off the Comedy Central premises:” Stephen Colbert: Hire Me

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), 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 The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv from Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, plus guest stand-up and sketch gal comics: Goldie and the Hawns: Boneless! A Night of Women in Comedy

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York—spearheaded by Improv legend Joe Bill, who’ll participate if he happens to be in NYC tonight—offers lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The troupe consists of Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer)—and if Joe is there too, upgrade this to MEGA-TOP PICK: Lights Out, Shirley!

Midnight ($5): Sketch comedy troupes Hammerkatz NYU and Three Sciences compete for audience laughs and votes, with troupe Sidecar hosting, in Backyard Brawl

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 Tuesday 8/23/11

August 23, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

Elaine May and Mike Nichols, Jeffrey Sweet, and Del Close

Jeffrey Sweet tells tales of Nichols & May, Del Close, and other improv comedy legends in his fascinating one-man show "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love"

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] [$] 5:00 pm ($18): Jeffrey Sweet, author of the seminal improv comedy book Something Wonderful Right Away, is gracing FringeNYC this year with his one-man show about Del Close, Nichols & May, Paul Sills, and other legendary comics whose work led to such comedy institutions as NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Pit, and The Magnet. If you have any interest in improv comedy history, this is a show not to be missed. There are only four performances left at The Studio at Cherry Lane (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop), including today at 5:00 pm, of You Only Shoot the Ones You Love

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDVegan Mind Meld), Justin Shanes (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Tom DiMenna (current FringeNYC one-man show Who Loves You, Baby?), Clayton Fletcher (NYC comedy club host), Josh Carter, and musical guest Killy Dwyer performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comics fan Jon Gabrus (improvisor on UCBT troupes The Law Firm andOutlook of the Poet, and host of upcoming MTV game show The Substitute) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Very Good Kiss, Dance Break, Grandma’s Ashes, American Cousin, and Airwolf—and at 11:00 pm advanced UCBT students acting weird—all at Harold Night

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Tambourine and Rebound

9:30 pm ($5): Improvised episodes of the never-made third season of Twin Peaks at The PIT’s upstairs theatre: In These Woods

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Wayne Federman, and Adam Conover performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[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.

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.