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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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox
[FREE] 7:00 pm: Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Kyle Grooms (Comedy Central Presents, Chappelle’s Show), Myka Fox (Comical Radio), Maddog Mattern (Carolines), and Barry Sobel (host of The 3 Minute Talk Show) performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) for this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the finest scripted shows to ever grace UCB Chelsea, 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 production 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. Don’t miss this last chance to catch one of the sharpest and funniest comedy shows of the year from the first sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCBT weekend schedule: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.34 online): Witty political commentator Scott Blakeman performs stand-up about the year that was, and then hosts a panel with Lee Camp (Showtime’s The Green Room), Rob Taub (Onion News Network), Steve Rendall (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), and T.J. McCormack (host of FOX and Friends) at The Tank’s Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street, 8th Floor): The End of the Year as We Know It with Scott Blakeman
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?
[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic best known for his appearances on Comedy Central celebrity roasts, but who’s also performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Today Show, The View, HBO, CNN, MSNBC—and even ABC’s Dancing with the Stars!—headlining through Friday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeffrey Ross
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special The Byrne identity headlining tonight and Friday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with opener Colin Jost): Steve Byrne
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, ABC) as his cinema connoisseur character Stinson screens the highlights of a notoriously awful film—which tonight is the “epic” 2012—at UCB East along with comics James Adomian, Murderfist, Mike O’Gorman, and Jessie Cantrell: Stinson’s Awesome Movie Night
9:30 pm ($5): An iTunes comedy podcast with over 2 million downloads goes live at The PITupstairs theatre: The Complete Guide to Everything: 2011 Year in Review
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Nate Lang, Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder
11:00 pm ($8): Stand-up Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here) opens for a sketch comedy troupe at The PIT downstairs lounge for their all-new show: The Upset Triangle
[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w
[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCB Chelsea 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.