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Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[FREE] 6:00 pm: 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
[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
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