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Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($21 at the door or $25.50 online with discount codeFISHFAN): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest and nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. Two memorable moments from last week were Brenna suddenly kissing Molly, which no one expected, and which clearly shook new troupe member Molly. This was contrasted later in the show when Brenna illustrated a point about breasts by exposing hers to long-time member Lynne, who calmly responded with interested clinical appreciation. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then nab tickets for tonight’s installment at the Soho Playhouse of Naked in a Fishbowl
7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy Fallon; Electric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson), and UK comic Aidan Bishop, and “a possible surprise guest” performing stand-up in the Lolita Bar for Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): The Found Footage Festival (hilarious amateur video clips), Stuckey & Murray (superb comedic music duo), Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central), and Claudia O’Doherty (oddball UK comic who kinda grows on you…but Kristen, for god sakes don’t let her do the smoke routine) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Rory Scovel (Comedy Central), Steven Benaquist (Spike TV), Phil Hanley, George Gorden, and Alex Grubard performing at Aces & Eights (34 Avenue A, off 3rd Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday
8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Gorilla Gorilla and Stone Cold Fox, trying out new bits at Maude Night
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Thomas Middleditch, Eliza Skinner, Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, and tonight’s guest Erik Tanouye (Bastian)—making up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the country—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), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, movie star; host of Sweet), Louis Katz (HBO’s Down & Dirty, Comedy Central), and Sheng Wang (Comedy Central)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash
[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on Leo’s show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills on this new stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh
For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.