NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/8/11

September 8, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Adam Wade and Vanessa Bayer

Stellar storyteller Adam Wade (Big Heart), SNL jewel Vanessa Bayer (Totally J/K)...

Kate McKinnon on Ice

...and your last chance to see Kate McKinnon perform one of the best shows of the year: "Kate McKinnon on Ice"

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: New weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, off Avenue A) hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with veteran improv talents to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Kristen Lucas about “a small town in Oklahoma and all its infamous stereotypes, Including but not limited to Pecos Bill, men with small genital syndrome, and a fat lady stuck on her toilet seat:” Oklahoma! A Tornado Tour Through a Tiny Town

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): New one-hour show featuring “a compilation of my favorite stories and home videos that I’ve been working on for the past two years” from storytelling giant 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) happening every other Thursday at the new UCBT-East (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, off Avenue A): Adam Wade’s Big Heart

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): A rotating cast of veteran improvisors make up scenes based on the improvised monologues of the co-owner of the Magnet Theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon concluding the run of her smash 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 York review.) Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice 

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a mini-play that pleased the college-age audience I saw it with, but that I wish wasn’t written to be so calculating and by-the-numbers (e.g., the ending was dead obvious within the first few minutes)…but is probably worth seeing if only for the genuinely fresh & funny tailor scene: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: An all-musical comedy night with rock god Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), rock siren Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock; created the hilarious and wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; has a cool blog; to get a feel for Jessica’s amazing range and talent, please click here), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; wrote a new song with Ben Lerman just for this show), and Dan Licata performing at The Creek’s upstairstheatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): In Megan Kellie’s one-woman oddity, “a horrible sketch show morphs into a puppet and foam driven romp that borrows prisoners but gives them back.” This hit at SketchFest NYC 2011 involves audience participation and a certain amount of improv, so every performance is different. Time Out Chicago called it “an exuberant and exciting piece of experimental theater…it sounds strange and it was:” The Pyramid Shew

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups 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): Vanessa Bayer (cast member on Saturday Night Live), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’BrienComedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, VH1, Adult Swim; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Greg Johnson, and rap group Das Racist performing at at the new UCBT-East (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, off Avenue A) with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

9:30 ($5): Three NYC sketch troupes—Dan Hirshon, Lynn Lynn, and “a secret surprise guest”—each performing one of their most popular bits and one of their personal favorites in a sketch revue hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Jamie Kilstein, Jen Kwok, Jason Good, Allison Castillo, and Matt Koff performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s basement lounger for The Scene

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Shucks and Tesla compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Brick and Double Date compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

[FREE] 11:00 pm: New weekly open-mic stand-up show, with each comic given five minutes, at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, off Avenue A) hosted by Rob Stern & Amber Nelson: Gutbucket

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 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 Friday 7/22/11

July 22, 2011

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.

Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon shows off her world-class star quality in one of the best comedy shows of the year, "Kate McKinnon on Ice"...

Mike Still

...and then Mike Still shows off his thirst to rule the world in "Dictator for Life"

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

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

7:00 pm ($7): “Strange, mysterious, beautiful, and disgusting, this show will dazzle you with sketch comedy… and magic!” by The Weird Sisters

[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 York review.) 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, Mike Still (Death by Roo Roo, Diamond Lion) performs a one-man show that—like Kate’s show—was directed by fellow Roo Roo star Neil Casey: Dictator For Life

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 online using discount code BBOX1): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Friday nights to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), 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 CD Vegan Mind Meld), Chris Laker, Sean Donnelly, and Nick Rutherford performing stand-up at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

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

8:00 pm ($7): Greg Wilker & Kelly Buttermore perform the best sketches they’ve written over the past five years at Kelly & Greg: 2007-2011

[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

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed numerous times on David Letterman and Jay Leno, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and starred in a second Comedy Central special titled Mitch Fatel is Magical, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with opener Michael Somerville): Mitch Fatel

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

9:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): An imaginative and award-winning sketch troupe using song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors, including such world-class performers as the breathtakingly talented Tara Copeland, 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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before the show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Three NYC sketch troupes—delightful gal duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, quick-witted Patrick Borelli, and guy duo Inside Joke Films—each performing one of their most popular bits and one of their personal favorites in a sketch revue hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[$] 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

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 Thursday 6/30/11

June 30, 2011

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.

Kate McKinnon

A genius comedic actress—who's one of my all-time favorites—debuts her hilarious one-woman show "Kate McKinnon on Ice"...

Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler

...after which Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler (Kurt & Kristen)...

Todd Barry

...and Todd Barry are among the talents performing at 92Y Tribeca for a special edition of "The Moon Show "

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 stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the most talented and hilarious sketch comics in the biz debuts her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” I’ve already seen this during its auditions, and it’s among the very best to grace the UCBT stage this year. Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice

…and the second half of this double-bill features the other most awesome UCBT production this year. Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz directs “veteran Magnet performers throwing down for an improv revue featuring classic long forms such as the montage, monoscene, time dash, and maybe even a little freeze tag:” Old School

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of three booked stand-ups and six open-mic stand-ups (the latter drawing their names from a bucket) at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by comedy duo Team Submarine: A Time to Kill

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): TV & movie stars Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the ConchordsComedy Central Presents half-hour special; star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV seriesPenelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), 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), MC Chris (nerd rapper; Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show), PuppeTyranny (puppet masters), and musical guest The CSC Funk Bank performing at 92Y Tribeca, along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford,  the delightful Camille Harris, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles at this special edition of The Moon Show

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups 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

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can get a behind-the-scenes peak—plus comics Streeter Seidell, Dan St. Germain, Jake & Amir, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

9:30 pm ($10): Musicians help inspire Improvisors to create scenes in Beauty Love Truth

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not yet announced) make up one-act plays on the spot in The Scene

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Boy Butter features young, vibrant talent and a feel-good energy—plus a brilliant comic in its female member, Ellena Chmielewski—that’s crushing every opponent it faces.

Last week a relative beginner to the stage, UCBT’s beloved Pat Baer, had the enormous courage of performing an improv show solo. (It’s been done before, but only by giants such as Ian Roberts and Ben Rodgers…) Pat did remarkably well when playing characters he could relate to; but his ambition exceeded his reach when he decided to portray a lesbian.

In the end, Boy Butter nabbed 125 audience votes…and its opponent 23. But that’s a testament to Boy Butter’s power, not any lack of adoration for the universally respected Pat.

Tonight Boy Butter faces one of the most exciting new improv troupes in NYC, Doppleganger—which came pretty close to winning the recent Friars Club competition via such antics as climbing walls and hanging out near the UCBT ceiling—as they compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups competing for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with less well-known troupes and a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

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 Thursday 4/28/11

April 28, 2011

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.

Kate McKinnon

A genius comedic actress who may make you scream with laughter debuts her latest one-woman show: "Kate McKinnon on Ice"

 Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): One of the most talented and hilarious sketch comics in the biz debuts her newest one-woman show, which I’m enormously looking forward to catching: Kate McKinnon on ice; and in case that wasn’t more than enough for your $5, a fun musical trio will audition for a UCBT run: Thin Skin Johnny

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-item min.): A razor-sharp comic and pitch-perfect impressionist who’s also a movie star in such classics as The Usual Suspects headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Pollak

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): This revival of one of my all-time favorite UCBT shows involves a group of stellar comics taking an audience suggestion and, while sipping beers, telling personal tales related to it—with an emphasis on the ribald and ridiculous, just like what you’d want to hear from your friends while hanging out at a bar. The yarn spinning is great fun; but on top of that, when the performers hear a story that especially tickles them, they’ll jump up and instantly create scenes revolving around it. And because these talents are razor-sharp improvisors, the results are hilarious. My one concern is that this show used to include world-class storyteller Chris Gethard—whenever Chris opened his mouth, everyone else went dead silent as if God was about to speak. (Yes, Chris is that respected by his peers.) I don’t see Chris on the lineup tonight, so the show might be a little light on the storytelling side; but on the other hand, it includes improv geniuses such as Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, and Pam Murphy, so it’s definitely worth checking out Happy Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Alicia Levy performing a one-woman rock concert, complete with a talented band. Alicia’s energy is admirable, but she needs to learn to balance that with organic nuance rather than make everything unremittingly over the top. Still, this is worth catching for Alicia’s very entertaining parodies of Tori Amos, Macy Gray, and Cyndi Lauper, and some memorable costumes: Chickapalooza

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An hour of improv directed by Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz: Evente

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live. But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hitSleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($12): Superb NYC stand-ups Julian McCullough, Kurt Braunohler, Mindy Raf, Helen Hong, and Jess Wood performing at Comedy Below Canal

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and guest-host Ben Kissel (while Sean Patton shares his gifts with other cities): Comedy as a Second Language

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can get a behind-the-scenes peak—plus comics Streeter Seidell, Jeff Rubin, Adam Lowitt, Hallie Cantor, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Marc Sam Rosenthal (stellar one-man show Blanche Survives Katrina in a Fema Trailer Named Desire), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Bodger Millerd—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme Trust at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Top improvisors, including Jordan Klepper & Laura Grey, Swords, and Doppelganger make up one-act plays on the spot in The Scene

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of the greatest improv troupes of all time, the mighty Death by Roo Roo, competing with troupe CAPTCHA for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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