NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/26/15

March 26, 2015

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
tomorrow-Sunday; for details & tickets, please click here

TV Alert: Will Ferrell, Ellie Kemper, and Andy Woodhull
are on Conan O’Brien;
Zooey Deschanel is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Natasha Leggero, Jeff Ross, and Sarah Tiana are on @midnight

Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine

See R. L. Stine, Jo Firestone, Arthur Meyer, Rebecca Vigil, and more at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

Mike Shvenderman

…or help stand-up Mike Shvenderman record a comedy album about being a drug addict (free show and, ironically, free drink) at Junkie

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] 6:30 pm ($5): Matt Dennie wrote and co-stars in this mini-play in which “You have won a golden ticket to a concert at the most insane music factory in the world! A place where the records are flavored, defective ex-prostitute robots sing, and the Ocean exists in human form. Little surprises are around every corner as the most eccentric Record Producer in history, Funnel Cake Sugar, presents an evening with the greatest musicians of all time” co-starring Vincent Moore, Eric Gersen, and Sarah Heveron-Smith, and directed by Anthony Apruzzese, at theUCB Chelsea theatre as a Spank audition (along with a second mini-play): Funnel Cake Sugar & The Record Factory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Natalie Wall (host of superb storytelling shows Awkward Sex and the City and Awkward Poop and the City, and co-producer of Bad Assery), Caitlin Brodnick (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show, writer for Glamour.com, docu-series Screw You Cancer), and Calvin Cato and irresistibly charming host Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) featuring such magic as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A staged version of a TV episode written just for this show, with tonight’s subject Parks & Recreation presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A Groundlings-trained improvisor, sketch comic, and stand-up who’s a regular on Chelsea Lately and After Lately headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club:Fortune Feimster

7:30 pm ($5): John Fugelsang (former host of America’s Funniest Home Videos), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank onMystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Alison Leiby (host of It’s a Long Story), Kyle Ayers (Comedy Central Roasts), and Tim Dillon performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Lynne Koplitz, Sam Morril, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, and Dan Soder at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Lawrence, Dan St. Germain, Pete Lee, Mark DeMayo, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Rashomon (eight improvisors explore human nature and the nature of truth using time-jumps and multiple perspectives), at 10:00 pm by a sketch comedy salute to gun-toting jerks in American Action Heroes, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), and Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up) performing stand-up, plus music from Alex Castle, all at Brooklyn’sSplitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) writes and stars in sketch show American Weidl

…and in the other half of this double-bill, wonderfully talented performers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp do a show that tries to make a virtue of extreme, about gay twins who sing, dance, screw each other, and screw over everyone else. The results are mixed, because a script that merely goes over the top relentlessly isn’t enough to be emotionally satisfying, but there are scattered delights—especially a tuneful, show-stopping song about never giving up that’s by itself worth the price of admission: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

8:00 pm ($5): Katie Haller & Corrine Fisher host this show consisting of female stand-ups (sadly, not announced this week) plus one male stand-up (also not announced) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Token Guy Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

[TOP PICK] [FREE plus FREE DRINK] 8:30 pm: Stand-up comic Mike Shvenderman is filming an hour long special called Junkie. “The name reflects the stories of his degenerate past which include heroin abuse, heroin withdraw, near death experiences, violent encounters with pimps, and nonsensical relationships” (for a sample, click here) atThe Lovecraft Bar (50 Avenue B, between 3rd and 4th Streets): Mike Shvenderman: Live Taping of Comedy AlbumJunkie

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Matt Koff (writer forThe Daily Show), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor) performing stand-up, plus Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here) and Sean Keane (sketch comic) at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mentionHyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, MTV’s Wild N Out), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): A hybrid of theatre, dance, and performance art about “Marshall, a 35 year old fat depressed nerd, and his wife Shelly, a loving, butch 50s housewife, at the end of their relationship as it metamorphizes to new dimensions in an exploration of the homogenization of the gay body” at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by groupForever Dog: Forever Dog Presents Of Cake and Vanity: A Musical Painting

9:00 pm ($5): “Lovebot is a robot from the planet Outer Space. It has been sent to earth to learn about love from normal earth humans, but the job is proving more difficult that Lovebot thought. Come help the automaton understand what it means to be in love, and maybe even fall in actual (robot) love, written by Rob Tanchum, Rollie Williams, and a super intelligent screenwriting software program” and performed by Rollie Williams, Lauren Clark, Tom Johnson, Nicole Conlan, and Peter Smith at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Love Factually

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($9.93 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Superstar children’s horror writer R. L. Stine (megaselling Goosebumps series), Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; co-author of food parody book FUDS), Brendan McLaughlin (VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live), Nick Naney, and more being interviewed or performing at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, ace improvisors Connor Ratliff, Molly Lloyd, Terry Withers, and more somehow create an improvised murder mystery on the spot—with the audience helping to commit the crime: The Terry Withers Mysteries

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Toby Muresianu (CTV, Real Time with Bill Maher), and Lisa Corrao (Nickelodeon) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’sLittle Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) produced by Jaqi Furback, Taylor Clark, Casey James Salengo, Owen Straw, and TJ Young: Big Ups Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Ricky Velez (correspondent for The Nightly Show), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Giulio Gallarotti, and Alex Pavone performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Dan St. Germain, Pete Lee, Ricky Velez, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Untitled Kokomo Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a major upset, last week Lloyd Night improv group Rizzo defeated Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love in a squeaker audience vote of 78-76. Tonight Rizzo tries to both hang onto its new championship and widen its winning margin against challenger Affirmative Action competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but there’s a whole lot of people in it performing at the UCB East theatre: $$$

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage atThe Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/21/12

October 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine

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

A Charlie Brown Apocalypse

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

Jester's Dead

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

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/13/12

September 13, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Amy Schumer

The lovely & brilliant Amy Schumer headlines at Gotham (nearly sold out, but tickets still available for Saturday at 11:45 pm)…

Goosebumps

…and mega-selling author R. L. Stine is interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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] [FREE; and tonight only, FREE PIZZA!] 6:00 pm: An “exciting mystery guest” helps celebrate the One Year Anniversary of 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: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[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

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about but sound cool—Rewrite Movie Night and Bedtime Sketches—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: 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 The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully make scenes up (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Amy Schumer is one of the very finest stand-ups in the country, with performances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, and more; and Amy’s just getting started with a career that’s likely to skyrocket. Amy’s headlining tonight through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club. Tickets are mostly sold out, but there are still some left for Saturday at 11:45; grab them while you can…: Amy Schumer

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, The Wrath, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Neil McNamara directing Deep Dish (long-form improv interspersed with character monologues), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Leah Bonnema, Adam Lash, Adam Lehman, and Aalap Patel performing in Astoria Queens’ Mosaic Cafe & Lounge (25-19 24th Avenue) hosted by Liz Simons & Jenn Wehrung: Laugh It Up, Astoria

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), Ashley Brooke Roberts, Josh Gondelman, Jono Zalay, Damien Lemon, and Nato Green performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) 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: The wonderful Ben Schwartz (NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Showtime’s House of Lies, written for SNL and David Letterman, was member of brilliant sketch/improv troupe Hot Sauce) briefly returns from LA to improvise with some of his friends at UCB Chelsea in “a show that has nothing to do with snowpants:” Ben Schwartz Presents Snowpants

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) returns to The PIT upstairs theatre to host “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people,” with tonight’s guests mega-bestselling horror author R. L. Stine (Goosebumps), Emmy Award winning journalist David Shuster (CNN, MSNBC, host of Take Action News), Dan Klein & Kelly Hudson (creators of Rejected Pitches on the Above Average Channel), and comedy duo twins Stone & Stone (Last Comic Standing): Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[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): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, did something really difficult last week by crushing Diamond Lion—specifically, 137-29. Sorry I missed that; but tonight provides another chance, when the champion vies with The Improvised Play (performing every Saturday night at The Soho Playhouse). Come experience these two formidable teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): A mock Presidential fundraiser at UCB East featuring Chris Gethard, Will Hines, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and many more: The Concert for Ratliff 35/2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/4/11

November 4, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jester's Dead

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

R. L. Stine's Goosebumps

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

2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

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

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the best scripted ensemble shows to grace UCB West for some time, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long show directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), Dan Klein (The Law Firm), and Ari Scott (Thunder Gulch)—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

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

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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes The Made-Up Musical (NYC) and Happy Karaoke Fun Time (Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Made-Up Musical and Happy Karaoke Fun Time

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

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

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

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCB West schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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