NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/21/12

October 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine

The PIT offers a sharp mix of improv and sketch tonight: At 9:30, top author R. L. Stine is interviewed and then has his material turned into improv scenes at Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine…

A Charlie Brown Apocalypse

…at 8:00 downstairs, Charlie Brown’s world becomes even more dystopian in sketch mini-play A Charlie Brown Apocalypse…

Jester's Dead

…and at 8:00 upstairs, Top Gun goes Shakespearean in the cleverly executed Jester’s Dead

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] [$] 3:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Mishmash Variety Hour (and a Half)

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Rachel Hamilton & Ruby Marez make up scenes for 25 minutes, and then Shacottha Fields improvises a one-woman show on the spot for 25 minutes, at this Magnet double-bill: Hamilton & Marez and Shacottha Fields: 1 Deep

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBwest’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but among the most memorable are Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT upstairs theatre for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “It’s Judgment Day, and Chuck Black can’t wait to meet Jesus! But things seem to go terribly awry when he has a crisis of faith. Who can blame him? All his pals seem a bit more interested in getting presents from ChristCo than trying to save their souls. And don’t even get Chuck started on Mocha Mint Mel, the know-it-all atheist with two moms.” This mini-play by Matt Fried is at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Charlie Brown Apocalypse

[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, is a cast member of the NBC sitcom Whitney (starring the wonderful Whitney Cummings), and has performed on Showtime’s Live Nude Comedy (to view his set, please click here) and TBS’ Glory Daze, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Adam Burke, Anthony Devito, Greg Stone, Michelle Wolf, Joel Walkowski, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show—which tonight ends its long and distinguished run at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): A new weekly show at The Magnet featuring sketches, jokes, interviews, and more focused on the upcoming Presidential election: The Great American Sketch Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stand-ups Mo Amer (Arab-American Comedy Festival), Michael Che (IFC’s Bunk, Comedy Central), Azhar Usman, Yamaneika Saunders, and Damien Lemon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) guest-hosted tonight by Jon Laster: Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nore Davis, Adam Burke, Sean Wilkinson, and Dean Masello performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): How cool is this? Mega-bestselling author R. L. Stine (Goosebumps) is interviewed by Dave Herman, and then reads passages from his books—as springboards for improvised scenes from a small mob of comics,  including Dan Hodapp, Julie Sharbutt, Keisha Zollar, Steve Soroka, Micah Sherman, Brigid Boyle, Cathleen Carr, Abbi Crutchfield, and more. The awesomeness happens at The PIT upstairs theatre: Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet sketch comedy teams Jacktown and Risky Bottom try out new material at this show with the on-the-nose title Magnet Sketch Teams

9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/2/11

December 2, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Nightfall on Miranga Island

Three stellar theatrical shows tonight: musical comedy "Nightfall on Miranga Island" at The Magnet...

Stone Cold Fox

...thoroughly brilliant sketch show "This Is Not Art" at UCB Chelsea...

Jester's Dead

...and delightful Top Gun/Shakespeare parody "Jester's Dead" at The PIT

 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, FOX), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), and Rose Sunnow (Smooth Moves) performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) at this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Justin Peters about—wait for it—condiments. “Mitch ‘Packets’ Franco has demonstrated condiments at groceries, farmers’ markets, superstores, and gas stations in all 50 states; over the course of 25 minutes, he’ll give you the inside squeeze on how all your favorite condiments are marketed, shipped, distributed, and sold; how to seduce a checkout girl; how to tell a supermarket by its odor; and other lessons learned during his wild life in America’s grocery aisles:” Confessions of a Condiment Hustler

7:00 pm ($5): Web-famous Mikala Bierma hosts a comedy variety show at The PIT upstairs theatre in which she reveals “what’s underneath all that Midwestern nice; she’ll be so polite your face will bleed:” Terrifyingly Polite

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the finest scripted shows to ever grace UCB Chelsea, 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 production 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. Don’t miss one of the sharpest and funniest comedy shows of the year from the first sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCBT weekend schedule: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.)  A comedy star who’s snared just about every major credit a comic can—and is a long-time cast member of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm—headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Richard Lewis

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Dru Johnston (Sandino), Brian Glidewell (Ragnaröck), Megan Neuringer (Grandma’s Ashes), and Ari Scott—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but especially memorable are Kate Turnbull as the love interest, Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents, co-host of Righteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1’s White Rapper), musical group Social Hero, and more performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Laura Pringley: Too Soon

[$] [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?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eight small improv teams compete one last time as part of a 32-team tournament at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena Small Team Tournament Finals

[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 ($18): The winning team that created Pope!: An Epic Musical (a big hit at last year’s FringeNYC) and The Spidey Project (a media sensation) is now developing a pirate musical at The Magnet about “the dashing young hero Declan as he seeks out the vicious Martin La Foe, the second most famous pirate ever,” with book and lyrics by Justin Moran & Jon Roufaeal, and music by Adam & Matt Podd: Nightfall on Mirango Island

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): “Thin Skin Jonny. They had it all. They were icons, legends, anti-folk superstars. However, tragedy struck and they broke up, citing an alleged statutory charge, gay porn addiction, and Four Loko abuse. Now, two months later, they’re back to do one last show—a benefit! Can they find a way to get along long enough to raise the money needed to re-animate the corpse of Bea Arthur? Maybe, with your help!” Performers include Ari Scott, with direction from Pam Murphy: Thin Skin Jonny: Farewell Reunion Tour

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A beloved high-concept sketch troupe that delights in exploring silly ideas and wordplay (for example, demonstrating that a caveman and the Cookie Monster sound remarkably alike when saying such things as “Me have problem with subject/verb placement…”) at The PIT upstairs theatre debuting an all-new show: Elephant Larry

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentaryMetaphyiscal GraffitiHigh Times), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Alan Starzinski, and more performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jeremy Wein: Undefined

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: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. Chicago-based Joe tends to visit NYC at the start of every month, so he’ll probably be at tonight’s performance. But either way, the other superb players are Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’sExit 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), all declaring Lights Out, Shirley!

[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 UCB Chelsea 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 UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/4/11

November 4, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jester's Dead

Top Gun goes Shakespearean in the cleverly executed Jester's Dead...

R. L. Stine's Goosebumps

...mega-selling author R. L. Stine is among the guests at 100 Interviews Live...

2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

...and The Magnet showcases top comedy troupes tonight at its New York Musical Improv Festival

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Choral Rage(NYC) and Hidden Falls (Boston) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage and Hidden Falls

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): This isn’t really a comedy show, but it’s at The PIT and is pretty cool, so what the heck: authors R. L. Stine (Goosebumps), Julia Segal (comic), and Mark Malkoff (My Damn Channel) discuss the creative process at 100 Interviews Live

[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): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), Dan Klein (The Law Firm), and Ari Scott (Thunder Gulch)—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello; plus in the other half of this double-bill, troupe Epic Beards

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please clickhere) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eight small improv teams compete as part of a 32-team tournament starting tonight at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena Small Team Tournament, Round 4

[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 ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes The Made-Up Musical (NYC) and Happy Karaoke Fun Time (Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Made-Up Musical and Happy Karaoke Fun Time

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred in his ownComedy Central Presents special, and has performed on Conan O’Brien, ABC, VH1, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Paul Mecurio

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB West’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A half-hour stand-up set from one of the most beloved comics in NYC, who’s performed on Comedy Central, created and hosts the IFC game show Pointless, co-hostsHot Tub Variety, and is a triple 2011 ECNY Award winner: Kurt Braunohler: 30 Minutes; and in the second half of this UCB East double-bill, sketch comedy from duo Two Fun Men

[$] [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): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Diamond Lion (NYC) and Stacked (Chicago) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Diamond Lion and Stacked

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB West making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but especially memorable are Kate Turnbull as the love interest, Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[FREE] 11:45 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with improv veterans to make up musicals on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[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 UCB West 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 UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/24/11

September 24, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Arden Myrin and Adira Amram

Arden Myrin and Adira Amram are among the stellar talents at The Party Machine....

Jester's Dead

...and "Top Gun" goes Shakespearean in the movie parody "Jester's Dead"

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

6:00 pm ($5): Terrific improv troupe Listen, Kid!, plus troupes Bobby Teenager and Scoresby, kicking off your Saturday evening at The Magnet Theater’s The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—at UCB West all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot at The Magnet: Theory of Everything

7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred on two seasons of Last Comic Standing; has performed a very popular Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; was a regular on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; was the first white comic on Def Jam; wrote for Chris Rock; played Lenny Bruce on NBC’s American Dreams; was an unlikely guest on The View; and is a regular on the Opie and Anthony radio show, headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Rich Vos

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who’s currently playing Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds,headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Joe List, and Gary Vider performing stand-up at One and One (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5 at the door or $7.63 online): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; host of Joe Mande Presents at Carolines, co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Chaz Kangus (rapper) performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallThe Party Machine: Slumber Party Edition

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup is virtually never announced in advance; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCBwest’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days,A Guy Thing), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Annie Lederman performing stand-up at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[$] [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): Gary Gulman, Jon Fisch, Wil Sylvince, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now at The PIT: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and other stellar improvisors interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio at UCBwest’s The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion at The Magnet’s Choral Rage

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare. I haven’t seen it, but this sketch-based parody is likely to be great. Debuting tonight at The PIT: Jester’s Dead

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A sharp improv troupe consisting of writers for The Onion and Jimmy Fallon debuting a late night talk show—sort of—at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): The Night Night Show with Pangea 3000

[FREE] Midnight: A broad mix of comedy acts at the debut of this monthly variety show at The PIT: Late Night with Taylor Clark

Midnight ($5): Sketch comedy troupe Hammerkatz NYU and some (presumably obscure) sketch troupe TBA compete for audience laughs and votes, with troupe Sidecar hosting, in Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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