NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/5/12

September 5, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For free & $5 Greenwich Village Comedy Club tickets, please click here.

Mamrie Hart

Red-hot rising star Mamrie Hart shows off her sugary sweet side in The Honeymen: A Salute to Honey…

John Lutz

…and improv genius John Lutz (above right) teams with fellow genius Scott Adsit as John & Scott

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre for PIT Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Wrath, Indigo, Featherweight, Plaid, Chet Watkins, Egg White, Horses, and Rose Petal performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Graceland and Spooky Ghost: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

8:00 pm ($5): Paul Mecurio (HBO, Comedy Central, writer for The Daily Show), Erin Conroy (XM/Sirius Radio), Trey Galyon (from Austin TX), and Pete Bladell (from DC) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Conner (freelance writer for SNL, BBC): Free Healthcare

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color), Bill Dawes (Broadway’s Lombardi), Scott Moran (producer of weekly documentary Web series Modern Comedian), Chris Distefano, Sagar Bhatt, and Josh Gondelman performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Red-hot rising star Mamrie Hart, plus a bunch of guys, perform a variety show extolling the wonders of nectar at UCB Chelsea written by & starring Colin Elzie, Pat O’Brien, and Ben Wietmarschen: The Honeymen: A Salute to Honey

…plus in the second half of this double-bill, sketch troupe Fambly performs material with no relevance to current events whatsoever: Fambly’s Rusty Bucket

9:30 pm ($5): Website Laughcake.com allows you to hire professional comedians to make personalized video “roasts” for friends and family to celebrate special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, engagements). This show at The PIT downstairs lounge features stand-ups who work for the site, plus topical videos addressed to celebrities. “Audience members beware: The person with best laugh will win a free Laugh cake video:” Laughcake Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Dan St. Germain, Julia Weideman, and Ashley Brooke Roberts; for the full lineup, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For free & $5 Greenwich Village Comedy Club tickets, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/27/12

June 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Jessica Delfino and Elna Baker

NYC comedy stars Jessica Delfino, Elna Baker, and many more celebrate the dark and bright sides of Summer Camp at The Talent Show…

Dave Hill

…Dave Hill is interviewed by Janeane Garofalo at Bryant Park about about his bestselling new book Tasteful Nudes…

Mamrie Hart

…and the gorgeous Mamrie Hart is on a double-bill with a stellar dark comedy at “BoF: Friends Without Benefits” and “Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical”

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $13 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 12:30 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper), is interviewed about his new bestselling bookTasteful Nudes by TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo at at the Bryant Park Reading Room, West 42nd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues in the park): Dave Hill interviewed by Janeane Garofalo

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation The PIT upstairs theatre for Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm ($5): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding new show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Spooky Ghost and Hoops: Lloyd Night

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, Horses, Leviathan, Featherweight, Brick, Chet Watkins, Silver Fox, and The Wrath performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, or $6.39 in advance online—the latter is highly recommended because this show usually sells out): Genius storyteller/writer/actress Elna Baker welcomes you to “roasting marshmallows, singing songs, best friends for a week, first kisses, packages from home, pranks, panty raids, and that one counselor who was a little too touchy-feely. Tonight’s theme is Summer Camp, and we will entertain and amaze you, and probably make you squirm a little.” The diverse and deliciously quirky guests include 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; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), John Epperson (best known as Lypsinka, a drag queen singer), Edgar Oliver (legendary indie playwright/theatre actor), Mike Albo (The New York Times), Molly Hager (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Michael R. Jackson (singer/songwriter), and Clay McLeod Chapman (playwright/author), all performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with hosts Kevin Townley (Men in Black III, The Sitter, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Law & Order) and, again, comedy jewel Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance): The Talent Show: Summer Camp Edition

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Kevin Michael Murphy, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., Kevin Michael Murphy’s ieg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform puns, wild facial expressions, dance, rock trivia, audience pranks, murder reenactments, and more as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from two twenty-something gals having trouble finding love and describing why in a multimedia show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Kelly and Lindsey Do New York

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Acclaimed Chicago-based Katy Colloton visits The PIT downstairs lounge to perform a multi-character one-woman show for one night only: What Would Carol Do?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers —who tonight are Adam Wade, Ophira Eisenberg, Anthony Atamanuik, Jake Hart, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s delightful theme PatheticThe Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90): 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 The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes—and probably some fun surprises at this special Del Close Marathon edition of The Improv Jam

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform along with side-show attractions such as jugglers, contortionists, and fire eaters at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Superb improv troupe Doppelganger hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled performers include Katey Healy-Wurzburg and Veronica Osorio; for the complete lineup, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy and audience participation at The PIT downstairs lounge from a young troupe setting your expectations low: The Disappointments

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/13/12

June 13, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Kristen Schaal

Thoroughly lovely comedy genius Kristen Schaal goes to Queens LIC to practice for a one-hour TV special: Going Blue…

Mamrie Hart and Stephen Soroka

…and the beautiful Mamrie Hart and pretty cute Stephen Soroka perform as comedy duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre for PIT Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: The Cole County Book Club Presents Local Authors Night at The Mid-Missouri Public Library and Moustache Man: Confessions of a NYC Graffiti Artist. These might be great or awful; but at $2.50 per show, you can’t go far wrong either way (heck, those super-long titles are worth a buck all by themselves…). That’s part of the fun of Spank

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, Silver Fox, The Wrath, Featherweight, Horses, Chet Watkins, Leviathan, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Party Lions at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Hoops and Spooky Ghost: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform puns, wild facial expressions, dance, rock trivia, audience pranks, murder reenactments, and more as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar perform as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko), and stand-ups Jon Savoy, Jason Marcus, Katie Compa, and Cory Reppond performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) hosted by Selena Coppock, Dan Cartwright, and Emily Epstein: Connotation

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5 if you say “It’s not a tumor,” otherwise $8): Stand-up/storyteller Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Kevin Laferriere (character comic), and sketch troupes The Chris & Paul Show, Rachel & the Elf, and Charm Noodle performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Jay Welch: June Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm ($5): TV & movie star Kristen Schaal practices for her upcoming one-hour taped special (in San Francisco) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre. If you got shut out of Kristen’s UCBT shows, which all sold out tickets in a flash, here’s your chance for a show that can’t get sold out because it’s free and doesn’t accept reservations (but arrive early because it’s first come, first serve): Kristen Schaal: Going Blue

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer created Broad City as a Web series, which was then picked up for development as a TV series for FX…and now it’s a live monthly show at UCB Chelsea! Tonight’s theme is Secrets Society, with new videos, stand-up, character pieces, and “a delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Streeter Seidell, Rob Lathan, Ben Kissel, Boris Khaykin, Human Pyramid, and something called “Improvised Play;” plus guest host Sean Hart. For the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/16/12

May 16, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Newsadoozies

A dancing orphan named Cripply, a sex cult that eats orphans, and more in the 30-minute dark musical Newsadoozies…

Mamrie Hart

…and the unsinkable Mamrie Hart (above) and Stephen Soroka performing as comedy duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre for PIT Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, Silver Fox, The Wrath, Featherweight, Horses, Chet Watkins, Leviathan, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Horses at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Hoops and Spooky Ghost: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform puns, wild facial expressions, dance, rock trivia, audience pranks, murder reenactments, and more as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

…and in the other half of this double-bill: Comedy genius Kate McKinnon used to dominate UCB Chelsea with her dark and deliciously quirky sketch shows. Now Kate is at Saturday Night Live, the show she was born to shine on. Meanwhile, nobody on an NYC stage has really stepped into the void Kate left…but this show is the closest I’ve seen so far as a contender. Sue Galloway delivers smart, organic, beautifully crafted physical & verbal comedy that’s fresh, specific, at times surreal, and very funny. It’s no easy thing to walk the tightrope between darkness and hilarity, but Sue manages it here with impressive grace. Kudos also go to UCBT’s Artistic Director Nate Dern, who did a brilliant job of providing guidance and judgment as the show’s director. Ignore this production’s lame title and official description, which don’t do it justice, and simply come to see one of the best one-woman sketch shows of 2012: Pose

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar perform as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Kevin Michael Murphy, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., Kevin Michael Murphy’s ieg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, unique and relentlessly silly performer Brandon Gulya does a one-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea that’s at times hilarious (the restaurant bit, which is an instant classic) , and at other times less so, in the hope that Brandon Gulya Will Be Famous Soon

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Becky Yamamoto and Brandon Gulya; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/2/12

May 2, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

Sketch rules at UCB Chelsea tonight, including a 30-minute dark musical about the rich eating the poor: Newsadoozies...

Mamrie Hart

...and the wonderful Mamrie Hart (above) and Stephen Soroka performing as comedy duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation The PIT upstairs theatre for Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Maude Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Spooky Ghost and Hoops: Lloyd Night

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, Silver Fox, Leviathan, Horses, Featherweight, Chet Watkins, The Wrath, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Leviathan at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): 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), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Jermaine Fowler (cast member of new In Living Color), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), and Kate Berlant performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Conner (freelance writer for SNL, BBC): Free Healthcare

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform their all-new sketch show BoF: Friends Without Benefits

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a one-woman show by Sue Smith about anger, directed by the always inventive and delightful Laura Grey: Minimum Rage

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): John Fugelsang (Politically Incorrect), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Stuckey & Murray (terrific comedic singing duo; Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse), and more performing at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, off Bleecker Street) with hosts Dan Allen & Ray DevitoSacapuntas!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mara Herron, Amy Albert Cobb, and Frank Gallo performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and/or Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members ofDeath by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie

9:00 pm ($5): Young solo sketch comics Emily Axford, Brooke Bundy, John Early, and Matthew Robert Gehring each perform at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Branson Reese: Comedy Expo

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites asYouTube.comNewYorkTimes.com, and EntertainmentWeekly.com. But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process (for a trailer, please click here). Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this is one of the very best solo shows in NYC: Commercial Interruption

…and in the second half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Kevin Michael Murphy, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., Kevin Michael Murphy’s ieg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform along with side-show attractions such as jugglers, contortionists, and fire eaters at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup can be found here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

11:00 pm ($5): Stand-up, sketch, improv, and chats about books at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Jessica Rionero: Book Club

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/4/12

April 4, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Dratch

Former SNL member Rachel Dratch reads from her new book "Girl Walks Into a Bar"...

Mamrie Hart

...and real-life bartender, the unsinkable Mamrie Hart, debuts her new sketch show with Stephen Soroka: "BoF: Friends Without Benefits"

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation The PIT upstairs theatre for Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A former Saturday Night Live cast member reads from her new bookGirl Walks Into a Bar at the Union Square Barnes & Noble (33 East 17th Street): Rachel Dratch

7:00 pm ($5): A new tradition begins with the performances of longform improv house troupes Spooky Ghost and Hoops. UCB Chelsea has Tuesday’s Maude Night, and now UCB East is host on Wednesdays to Lloyd Night

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, The Surge, Leviathan, Horses, Chet Watkins, Brick, The Wrath, and Featherweight performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Surge at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight debut all-new material as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

…and in the other half of this double-bill at UCB Chelsea, a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but pig (including “bacon-infused martinis”), written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams (keep an eye out for her Aurora, a hot and hilariously bubble-headed waitress): Pig: A Restaurant

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): John Fugelsang (Politically Incorrect), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Anthony Devito (VH1’s Best Week Ever), and Danny Cohen (Fast Films) performing at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, off Bleecker Street) with hosts Dan Allen & Ray DevitoSacapuntas!

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): 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: 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] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jessica Gross, Colleen Watson, Beth McGregor, Chris Distefano, Amy Albert Cobb, Greg Edwards, and Koretta Gray performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and/or Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members ofDeath by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie

9:00 pm ($5): Young solo sketch comics Zoe Costello, Matthew Robert Gehring, Sam Martin, and Tim Martin each perform at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Branson Reese: Comedy Expo

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sketch troupes Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Boat, and Chess Club each performing one of their most popular sketches and one of their personal favorites in what’s likely to be a fun revue at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Joe Stanton and Scott Dooley; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

11:00 pm ($5): Stand-up, sketch, improv, and chats about books at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Jessica Rionero: Book Club

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, 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 Monday 2/13/12

February 13, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Murderfist

It's sketch night with Murderfist on A-Side/B-Side...

Mamrie Hart

...followed by the unsinkable Mamrie Hart's troupe Fambly on Maude Night

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 Jim O’Grady (NPR’s This American Life, WNYC, Moth GrandSlam Champion), with improv illustrator Sharon Spell drawing scenes as they’re described, all at Under St. MarksThe Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

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 ($5): One of this show’s best lineups ever: brilliant stand-up Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host ofComedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), and HammerkatzNYU (NYU’s sketch troupe) each performing one of their most popular sketches and one of their personal favorites in what’s likely to be a way fun revue at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): 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), Gabe Delahaye (senior Editor of Videogum.com, host of Mr. Coconuts), Brent Sullivan & Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish), and Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central; co-host of The Party Machine) 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] 8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

8:30 pm ($5, which includes FREE BEER): Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh and The I Like You Too Show; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here), RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up), Katie Hannigan, Sam Morril, Daniel Enfield, and Akaash Singh 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: Comics perform solo sketches, monologues, etc. as characters at The PIT upstairs theatre: It’s a Character Thing

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Brad Austin, Travis Irvine, Kendra Cunningham and musical guest Michael Wagner performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) hosted by Giulia Rozzi (VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories) and guest-host George Gordon: Dive Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new bits: Neighbor Boy (which tends to be weak on material, but includes such talents as Kate Hess, Tim Dunn, and Beth Appel, and may get a shot in the arm with the addition of writer Caitlin Bitzegaio), and Fambly (which includes wonderful rising star Mamrie Hart, Nicole Byer, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, and a sharp crew of writers): Maude Night: Neighbor Boy & Fambly

[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 dark, unsettling improvised tribute to Valentine’s Day at UCB East as “David Lynch and his friends celebrate the most romantic day of the year! It’s a holiday special that’s sure to be a surreal and polarizing experience. Bring your date!” for David Lynch’s Blue Velvetine’s Day

[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 Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Kumail Nanjiani (David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), and Neal Brennan (HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show) performing at UCB Chelsea probably hosted by the wonderful Sean Patton: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 PITupstairs 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.

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 Thursday 11/10/11

November 10, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Bloom

Comedy gets hot tonight with rising stars Rachel Bloom (Triple Threat)...

Mamrie Hart and Stephen Soroka of BoF

...and Mamrie Hart & Stephen Soroka (BoF: Friends Without Benefits)

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 10th-13th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival are shows by comedy titans Louis C.K. (11/10 and 11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), Tracy Morgan (11/11 at the Beacon Theatre), Bill Burr (11/11 at Carnegie Hall), and Sarah Silverman (11/12 at BAM); shows by comedy stars Wanda Sykes (11/10 at Town Hall), Michael Ian Black (11/10 at Bowery Ballroom), Glenn Wool (11/10 at UCB East), Kumail Nanjiani (11/11 at UCB East), Bill Maher(11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), Norm MacDonald (11/12 at Town Hall), and Kathy Griffin (11/12 at Carnegie Hall); three panels on the art of comedy writing & performing (11/12 at UCB East), plus a panel discussion with the writers of Saturday Night Live (11/13 at the Paley Center); and a leisurely chat with Ricky Gervais (11/13 at the 92nd Street Y). For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn and tonight’s stellar guest host Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; Moth Grandslam Champion, Marie Claire Magazine, amazing blog, roving adventurer): 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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Charming sketch duo BoF (Mamrie Hart & Steve Soroka) audition their latest sketch show Friends Without Benefits, plus UCBT star writer/director Caitlin Tegart auditions a sketch show titled Caitlin Wins the Crop, all at this fun UCB West showcase: Spank

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and a long (and ongoing) run Saturdays at The PIT, doing a special extended show for one night only at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): The comics who train, teach, and perform at UCBT are among the finest improvisors in the world. The UCB Touring Company consists of the cream of the crop, with the mission of showing audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For just this evening, however, the traveling troupe—which includes brilliant comics Gavin Speiller, Neil Casey, Shannon O’Neill, Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, and Brandon Gardner—will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo All-Stars

7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Boss, and Phooka, performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with Friday Night Sh*w pitted against Aquarius at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): YouTube sensation Rachel Bloom performs a one-woman “musical theatre industry showcase for you that is sure to make you feel terrible about your own abilities” atUCB West to build on her cult following from such video hits as F*ck Me, Ray Bradbury and I Steal PetsRachel Bloom is a Triple Threat

[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] 9:00 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, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), Todd Barry (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; 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), and Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1) performing UCB East, plus videos from Oren Brimmer starring Pete Holmes and Matt McCarthy, all hosted by best bud Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[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] 9:30 pm ($5): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches atUCB West, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre use an audience suggestion to make up a rockin’ musical on the spot: (Title from Audience): A Rock Opera

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7; or FREE COVER if you show up 30-60 minutes early and buy $7 worth of snacks/drinks): Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes blaxploitation in this delightful new series by Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) and Donwill (hip-hop group Tanya Morgan) in which the boys watch a black cinema cult classic and yell comments at it throughout. It all happens at Brooklyn’s reRun (147 Front Street, between Pearl & Jay Streets), with tonight’s film a happy surprise: Shouting at the Screen

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A sharp, thoughtful, and silly stand-up who’s Canadian, is a star in the UK, and is currently visiting NYC to entertain us performs tonight for an hour at UCB EastGlenn Wool

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Round 2 of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB West—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

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 9/23/11

September 23, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Mamrie Hart

Mamrie Hart mourns the passing of Gwyneth Paltrow at Celebrity Funeral...

Rich Vos

...and Rich Vos headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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 Creekdownstairs lounge 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 ($5): A one-woman show by Alexis Lambright about her quest to pop her cherry: Combating Adult Virginity

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Called ‘a seedbed for mighty comedy talents’ by Time Out, this UK sketch comedy troupe has helped launch such stars as Monty Python, Hugh Laurie, Peter Cook, Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, Emma Thompson, and Sacha Baron Cohen…This current show has already played a string of prestigious London venues and a sell-out month at the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival. Now it transfers to the US, stopping off at Second City (Chicago), iO West (Los Angeles), and UCB West (New York):” Cambridge Footlights’ International Tour Show: Pretty Little Panic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors—tonight featuring guests Fran Gillespie, Jim Santangeli, and Ari Scott—making up a musical on the spot at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 online or at the box office using discount code TMAN): 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, see Faye be a Green Bean 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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm:Three sketch teams compete, with the winner decided by combining audience votes with that of a panel of judges. And while the votes are being tallied, a well-known sketch troupe outside of the competition will perform. Tonight’s show is part of a 15-team sketch tournament at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Arena Sketch League Finals

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 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 tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

[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 & 10:30 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 tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Rich Vos

8:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy, sometimes interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[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): The unsinkable Mamrie Hart (rising star who’s snared over 180,000 visits to date with her Harry Potter viral video) hosts eulogies for Gwyneth Paltrow, with participants including Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), Henry Zebrowski (Murderfist), Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, and a small army of other comics at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Celebrity Funeral: Gwyneth Paltrow

[$] [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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, 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 UCB West’s The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): NYC comics Sad on Vacation, John Hartman, and Uber Luber Death Metal (Adam Newman & Trevor Williams) performing at UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Gentrify

[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 visits NYC only once a month; if he’s at this performance, upgrade it to “MEGA-TOP PICK.” Either way, the other superb players are 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), 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 UCBT 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 UCB West 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 new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/3/11

August 3, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz, blissfully unaware of her passing...

Mamrie Hart

...and Mamrie Hart mourning said passing at tonight's "Celebrity Funeral"

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Superb storytellers Ryan Paulson (Pentecostal Wisconsin, I’m Uncomfortable) and John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives) joining hosts Robin Gelfenbien (VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC) and Michelle Markowitz (Failing Our Twenties) for the debut of this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) that they hope will be deliciously good: Yum’s the Word

8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The unsinkable Mamrie Hart (rising star who’s snared over 130,000 visits to date with her latest YouTube viral video) hosts eulogies for an actress I happen to like enormously (Mamrie, in all of Hollywood you couldn’t find someone genuinely icky…?), but hopefully this will be great fun regardless, with participants including Arden Myrin, Sue Galloway, Katie Schorr, Tim Martin, Eliot Glazer, and a small army of other comics for Celebrity Funeral: Cameron Diaz

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): 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), Nate Bargatze (Comedy Central), Brent Weinbach, and Sean O’Connor performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner: Monsters

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Sarah Tollemoche (Last Comic Standing), Catie Lazarus, Cocoon Central Dance Team, and Zach & Zach performing in a Brooklyn bowling alley (no, seriously) called The Gutter (200 North 14th Street) hosted by Aaron Glaser & Lee Rubenstein: Get Loose

8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): Nick Prueher (Found Footage Festival), Nick Cobb, D.C. Benny, and David Cope performing at the Bowery Poetry Club with host Dan Allen: Sacapuntas!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Mike Still (Death by Roo Roo, Diamond Lion) pulls out all the stops for a dynamic one-man show packed with comedic ideas revolving around a tyrant so evil that he machine-guns the audience (twice!), with direction by fellow Roo Roo star Neil Casey: Dictator For Life;

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Seth Kirschner (30 Rock, Lipstick Jungle) plays every character in a half-hour one-man TV episode parodying 90s sitcoms titled Sertainly Seth

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Short videos from NYC comics (lineup not announced) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Free Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

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.