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Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] 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] 5:30 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
[FREE] 6:00 pm: “Short-form improv teams battle it out for the most points and a prize. C’mon, admit it! You miss the quick-witted fun and audience involvement of short-form improv. A different short-form team joins Mishmash! each month and struts their stuff for a panel of judges (including one judge chosen from the audience) until a winner emerges. There will be a series of completely improvised scenes, stories and musicals all based on your suggestions. Come ready to shout out suggestions, and even shout at the judges,” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Scrimmage
[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Ace improvisors Christina Gausas & Megan Gray make up scenes for 25 minutes, and then Matt B. Weir and Matt J. Weir perform sketch for 25 minutes, at this Magnet double-bill: Gausas & Gray and We’re Matt Weir
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 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]: UCB Chelsea’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 & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match
[FREE] 8:00 pm: Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), Kevin Barnett (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor), Amanda Baramki, and Mike Brown performing at RG’s free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Phil Hanley (Jay Leno), Jeff Dye, Nimesh Patel, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show; one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace): Comedy Night
[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Andy Sanford, Dave Stone, Rojo Perez, and Evan Davis performing stand-up 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
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: After over eight years, the longest-running NYC comedy show in a gay bar will lower the curtain for the final time (but only because it’s moving to a different night, along with a different name: Testosterone on Thursdays at 11:00…). Helping bid a fond farewell with host Brad Loekle will be “some of my favorite headliners from the past eight years, special music comedy guests, and a few more surprises” at Therapy: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour
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.