NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/29/17

May 29, 2017

Amy Rutberg, Zoey Martinson, and Cristin MiliotiBroadway, TV, and/or film stars Amy Rutberg (CBS’ Bull, Netflix’s Daredevil, HBO’s Recount), Zoey Martinson (Ndebele Funeral, Are We There Yet?), Cristin Milioti (FX’s Fargo, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, Broadway’s Once (Tony nominated), Sarah Stiles (Broadway’s On a Clear Day…, Hand to God (Tony nominated), and Mark Gagliardi (Thrilling Adventure Hour, Drunk History) steadfastly stick to the script of classic plays, while genius improvisors Scott Adsit, Neil Casey, Brian Stack, and Michael Delaney spontaneously react to being thrust into the scenes of these plays they’ve never seen or read, all mixing it up for actor/director Stephen Ruddy‘s Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $7 (tickets still available as I write this; but even when the show sells out of seats, you can still get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing), UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Terrific storytellers David Lawson (fresh, sharp, edgy storyteller; Solocom; host of The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show), Anna Roisman (MTV; co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), Sean O’Brien (Moth GrandSlam Champion), and Andrew Collin tell tales set outside of NYC (e.g., in their home towns) at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Andre Medrano: The Town and the City

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

7:30 pm (second show at 10:30 pm) ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray & Christina Dabney at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts a stellar lineup of Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, Roy Wood Jr., and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Brilliant improvisors Langan Kingsley (briefly back in NYC), Aaron Jackson, and Josh Sharp make up scenes while being unusually thin at the UCB East theatre: Big Fat Fatties

8:00 pm ($10): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT Mainstage. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show aren’t quite at that level, but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

9:00 pm ($7): Improv from visiting San Francisco duo Mona Thompson & Shara Tonn, plus an opening improv set from Megan Gray, Chet Siegel, and Veslemøy Mørkrid, all performing at The Magnet theatre: Mona and Shara Do a Bunch of Scenes

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) & Richard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, sketch gals Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece are hilarious playing 13-year-old boys who are “the Internet’s most viral, most teenage, and most white hip hop duo:” Famous Male Duo

…and in the second other of this double bill, a play in which “Blue’s Clues meets Avenue Q in puppet comedy:” Simon’s Street

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform this show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

9:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes about moms—springboarding off stories by a “mom-ologist”— at The PIT Mainstage: Ad Mom-orium

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Laurie Kilmartin (dynamite stand-up; writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Justin Silver (star of CBS’ Dogs in the City), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, @midnight, This is Not Happening; MTV’s Guy Code Vs. Girl Code; Chelsea Lately), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Graham Kay, Elon Altman, Ramy Youssef, and Justin Smith perform stand-up at one of best comedy clubs in NYC at absolutely no cost to you (feel encouraged to order food and//or drinks, but you don’t have to) for The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Sandford: Permission to Fail

10:30 pm ($7; see also 7:30 pm): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray & Christina Dabney at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Situ Mel ton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm ($3): A walk-in stand-up open mic hosted by Katherine Dudas and a walk-in improv jam hosted by Collin Gossel somehow happen at the same time at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Improv Open Mic Stand-Up Jam

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for telling stories or jokes about sex, desire, and romance, with each performer getting 7 minutes at The Delancey (168 Delancey Street) produced by Ames Beckerman: Safe Word: The Sexiest Open Mic in NYC

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform in this show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/30/10

August 30, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Zoey Martinson

Zoey Martinson and other luminous theatre stars collide with top improvisors at tonight's Gravid Water

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: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Erin McNeely about her true-life story of being a waitress and a shoplifter…and her salvation through dance: Why I Stole Things

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Ali Wong (MTV; hilarious comedy dynamo), Mark Normand (co-host of We’re All Friends Here), Damien Lemon (host of Comedy on the Hump), Aparna Nancherla, Thomas Dale, Phil Hanley, and Yamaneika Saunders performing at a free weekly show in theManchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson (Last Comic Standing): Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Some of the best  improvisors in the world—Tara Copeland (Mother, Ms. JacksonThe Other Guys), Becky Drysdale (Let’s Have A Ball), Anthony King (Gutenberg The Musical, Reuben Williams), Thomas Middleditch (Improvised Shakespeare Company, Baby Wants Candy), and Michael Patrick O’Brien (Saturday Night Live)—mixing it up with Broadway & off-Broadway stars Carson Elrod (Reckless, Noises Off), Jennifer Grace (Theatre World Award Winner for Our TownThe Hypocrites), David Manis (Our Town, The Coast of Utopia, Henry IV), Zoey Martinson (The Clean House), Julie Sharbutt (Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night, Little Cecily), and Amy Warren (August: Osage County, Adding Machine) as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Master sketch comic Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central Presents; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets) hosts his & Kristen Schaal’s legendary weekly sketch & stand-up comedy show (Kristen’s tied up this week), with guests Eugene Mirman (Conan O’BrienComedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1, book The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life, host of Tearing the Veil of Maya), Christian Finnegan (three Comedy Central specials, commentator on MNBC’sCountdown with Keith Oberman and VH1’s Best Week Ever; Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Totally J/K; author of new book Look at This F*cking Hipster), Carla Rhodes (acclaimed ventriloquist), and Sheng Wang (Comedians of Comedy tour) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Myq Kaplan (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special), Daniel St. Germain (hilarious quick-witted comic), Laura Sweeney & Bradford Scobie (comedy duo Bradford & Laura), Chris Lamberth, and musical guest Mike Doughty performing in the Lolita Bar for producer Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson; 2010 ECNY Award for Best Male Stand-Up; host ofComedy Night; comedy CD My Name is Hannibal), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night Live;Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy showWhiplash), Nick Turner (College Humor; co-host of Too Cool for School), Anthony Devito, and Ron Babcock performing at Aces & Eights (34 Avenue A, off 3rd Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special), Sara Schaefer (staff blogger for Jimmy Fallon, host ofGet Off Your Knees), Matt Goldich (writer for David Letterman), John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central), and musical guest The Psychedelic Knights of Zohar performing at a free weekly LES show at Pianos, tonight guest-hosted by Roger Hailes: It Is It

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Thomas Middleditch, Eliza Skinner, Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, and Fran Gillespie—making up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the country—tonight including Anthony Jeselnik (writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Andrea Rosen (Comedy Central, Stella, Variety SHAC), Kurt Metzger, and Ron Babcock—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.