NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/17/12

October 17, 2012

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We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy

Lizz Winstead, Emily Heller, and more discuss the rise of women in comedy at Brooklyn’s “We Killed”…

Mike Daisy

…and Mike Daisy is among the superb performers at the 10th Anniversary of Jon Friedman’s “The Rejection 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:

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Comedy legend Buck Henry (wow!) is among the guests interviewed at UCB Chelsea for this live taping of Ken Freedman’s & Andy Breckman’s radio show WFMU’s 7 Second Delay Live

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge (at 6:00 pm) and upstairs theatre (7:00 pm on) 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: Celebrating the release of a book about the rise of women in comedy, author Yael Kohen interviews Lizz Winstead, Emily Heller, Julieanne Smolinski, and Jesse David at Brooklyn’s PowerHouse Arena (37 Main Street): We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), Tim Ellis (talented comedic singer/songwriter), Ray DeVito, and Amanda Baramki performing music and/or stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and comedic rapper Andrew Singer (Atom TV): Positively Awesome

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Flower Girl, Dr. Champagne, The Wrath, Featherweight, Horse, Brick, Bloomer, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Bloomer 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 Spooky Ghost and Graceland: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Brent Sullivan presents fake profiles he used to communicate via social networks with people he’d normally be terrified to contact at Profiles in Cowardice

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[FREE] 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): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Andy Hendrickson (TBS’ The Comedy Festival), Chris Difate (voice of Grand Theft Auto videogame characters), Taylor Ketchum, Kunal Arora, Scott Schendlinger, and John Campanelli performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[META-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Killer lineup of Mike Daisy (one of the finest and most respected storytellers in the world; The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs), New Yorker cartoonists Andy Friedman and David Sipress, Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), and Rich Zeroth (rejected by Orbitz) sharing memorable tales of their material being turned down—and celebrating the 10th Anniversary of this wonderful monthly show—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon): The Rejection Show

[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 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

[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 performers include Brandon Gulya and Siobhan Thompson; 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

[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

[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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/9/12

February 9, 2012

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Mike Daisy

Renowned theatrical storyteller Mike Daisy helps celebrate the Fifth Year Anniversary of Stripped Stories...

Morgan Grace Jarrett

...and Morgan Grace Jarrett is a delightful highlight at the mini-play parody "The Bachelor: Romance, Roses & Romance"

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: Jesse Falcon (famed improv troupe Mother) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and 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): The wonderful Mamrie Hart & Stephen Soroka audition their newest BoF show Friends Without Benefits, plus the audition of a show titled Hobby & Grill: Tying the Knot, atUCB ChelseaSpank

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Hot Diner and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 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] 7:30 pm ($5): “If you were alive in the 70’s, you may have attended some ‘Key Parties’ where you were randomly paired with someone to go home with and engage in free spirited coitus. (Today we either stay at home alone or congregate at an improv theater.) Key Party combines the 70’s arrangement with modern anxiety, exploring the rich moments leading up to that act of coupling and the fallout that follows” at UCB East with stellar comics Jordan Klepper (Lights Out Shirley!), Laura Grey (delightful old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm), and guest improvisors: Key Party; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv based on the iPods, CDs, and mp3 players provided by audience members, executed by superb performers Fran Gillespie, Ryan Karels, Megan Neuringer, Jesse Falcon, Silvija Ozols, Doug Moe, Lou Perez, Sue Galloway, and Emily Axford: Soundtrack USA

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($41 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history, and whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range; and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($22 & 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 for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Rich Vos

8:00 pm ($5):A parody of The Bachelor written by UCB Chelsea faves Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN, writer or director of numerous UCBT sketch shows) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox, Pig: A Restaurant), and worth catching if only to experience the delicious comedic performances of standouts Morgan Grace Jarrett (Big Fish, Love Liza, Buffy fan) and Nicole Byer (Doppelganger)—who are especially fun when they turn into an unlikely a comedy duo…: The Bachelor: Romance, Roses, and Romance

…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

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv, followed at 10:00 pm by the brilliant Ed Herbstman directing improvisors to perform in the style of a feature film at The Director Series: The Movie, and then at 11:00 pm improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with last week’s winner challenged by Mr. Gorsky: The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] 8:00 pm ($20): Storyteller Martin Dockery (The Moth, The Liar Show; acclaimed as “fantastic” byThe New York Times) and Canadian actress Vanessa Quesnelle performing a self-described “high-energy, high-comedy, highly surreal play about a guy trying to get a girl into his flying bed. Tempting her with the forbidden promise of a wild flight through paradise, they must negotiate a bizarre and harrowing journey through a wilderness of seduction, temptation, and betrayal at theUnder St. Marks Theatre (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Oh, That Wily Snake

[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), Neal Brennan (HBO,Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), and Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus) performing at UCB Eastwith best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[$] 9:00 pm ($15): Producers & writers for The Daily Show, including Rory Albanese, Elliott Kalan, Michael Hogan, and JR Havlan, performing stand-up at 92Y Tribeca: The Daily Show Does Stand-Up

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Calise Hawkins, Damien Lemon, Christopher Calogero, and Ramon Rivas performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for a weekly comedy show with hosts Dan Wllber & Sean Crespo and producer Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Mike Daisey (NPR’s This American Life, world-class theatrical performer with numerous top one-man shows, called “the master storyteller” by The New York Times) and Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; VH1, Showtime, host of TV pilot of The Liar Show) joining sensual hosts Margot Leitman (VH1, Spike TV) and Giulia Rozzi (MTV,, co-host of Dive Comedy) telling erotic true tales celebrating this show’s Fifth Year Anniversary—plus hot songs from Johnny Showcase (a Philly favorite with album Love Is The Message)—at the best sexy storytelling comedy show in NYC: Stripped Stories

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

9:30 pm ($5): Ashley Ward & Chris Grace host indie musical improv troupes, and also perform themselves as A/C, a musical monoscene duo, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Playlist

[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): Vibrant improv troupes Fuck That Shit and Deckard compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) hosts a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of stand-up, sketch, improv, dance, music, and video: The Soul Glo Project

11:00pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) bringing their A-game—because their sets are captured at this monthly show as audition tapes—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Grass Route

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