NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 7/2/07
One of the PIT's top improv groups, Fancy Dragon normally performs on Wednesdays; but because the theatre will be closed on July 4th, FD will be entertaining us tonight instead.
7:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street; tickets are $5
Hot Sauce Sells Out and Sidecar: Condiment City
Kicking off this double-bill, Hot Sauce (Gil Ozeri, Adam Pally and Ben Schwartz) perform sketches and screen funny videos for 30 minutes; for some samples, please click here and here. Then Sidecar (Matt Fisher, Alden Ford and Justin Tyler) perform a sketch-filled show about the fabled Condiment City; for some examples of their work, please click here and here.
8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
Jason & Jessica: First Date and Black Habanero
Jason Mantzoukas and Jessica St. Clair are two of UCBT's brightest stars. The duo previously shined in their wonderful comedic plays We Used to Go Out and I Will Not Apologize; and they make audiences happy every Saturday night as members of Mother: The Soundtrack. It's therefore exciting news that tonight Jason & Jessica are launching a new improv show titled First Date. The piece is "a 30-minute single scene experiment in finding love. How many bad dates have you been on? Trust us—this will be worse."
The other half of the double-bill consists of sketches by Black Habanero.
For samples of this troupe's short film work, please click here and here.
9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
Normally hosted by Aziz Ansari (one of the best stand-up comics on the planet, and member
of Human Giant). However, as Nick Kroll nicely put it, Aziz's career has been "blowing up" as a result of Human Giant's richly-deserved success. Therefore, Crash Test has been hosted for the past several weeks by extremely capable substitutes—such as Nick himself (like Aziz, one of the most razor-sharp and hilarious comics around), Brett Gelman (boldly oddball comedic chameleon; e.g., check out his and partner Jon Daly's jaw-dropping version of commercial endorsements by clicking here), and John Mulaney (whose memorable routines include an instant classic about Donald Trump; check out recent triumphant Late Night with Conan O'Brien appearances by clicking here and here). Whoever the emcee is, guests are typically superb comedians trying out new material; and this is often among the funniest shows in New York.
11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free
Post-Show Note: Aziz returned as host. And, as usual, was brilliant.
NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 7/3/07
An hour of improvisation from all-female comedy group Frank, consisting of (from left to right in the photo above) Elizabeth Blue, Julie Dulude, Caroline Goldrick, Mary Jacobson, Desiree Nash, Abigoliah Schaumaun, and (not pictured) Leslie Collins.
7:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $5
An hour of improvisation from troupe Sid Viscous: Jacob Brown, Alex Farlow, Kevin Gottlieb, Liz Hope, Keith Huang, Kathryn Reynolds, James Rich, Mandy Schmieder, and Phil Wells.
8:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $5
Threat and Starkey & Grace
Improv group Threat (Stephen Booth, Matt Donnelly, Jim Festante, and Rebekka Johnson, pictured above) performs for 45 minutes; and then improv duo Starkey & Grace ( Nate Starkey and Chris Grace) performs for another 45.
9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $5
The Reuben Williams 4th of July BBQ
Join UCBT-NY Artistic Director Anthony King and the rest of the stellar Reuben Williams troupe—Chris Kula, Lennon Parham , Charlie Sanders, Eric Scott, Kate Spencer, Charlie Todd, and Joe Wengert—as they improvise a barbecue celebration of our nation's independence. "There will be hot dogs, hamburgers, plenty of games, and maybe even a Slip 'n Slide. Oh yeah—and fireworks."
11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 7/4/07
The usual suspects are closed tonight.
But if you're craving live laughs on Independence Day,
and are okay with both a $15 cover and 2-drink minimum, consider:
Stand-Up NY's July 4th Spectacular
One of the better conventional stand-up clubs in NYC. Tonight's lineup includes
Doug Saulnier and Mike DeStefano (Showtime's White Boys In The Hood),
KT Tatara (Comedy Central's Live at Gotham), and
JJ Ramirez (Comedy Central's Premium Blend).
9:00 pm at Stand-Up NY Comedy Club, 236 West 78th Street (between Broadway & Amsterdam);
$15 for a ticket (which you can buy online) plus 2-drink minimum
NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 7/5/07
Tim Key and Tom Basden
UK comics Tom Basden and Tim Key create a world of bullying, folk singing, housework, and spitting; i.e., much like the one we live in, but more so. Their show has been described as follows: "If you can imagine a landlord and tenant taking their domestic relationship onto a stage, invigorating it with song, theatre, mime, magic, poetry, and body art, and then playing 1950s Soviet lounge music underneath, youre getting there. Freeze...an idiosyncratic brand of comedy."
7:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
Get Psyched! Variety Show (and Adira is Back!!)
Hosted by Rob Lathan (who plays comedic characters such as Lanny Lathan and "Quick Lips" Lathan with immense energy and boldness) and Adira Amram. Adira dealt with awful family events for the previous two weeks; but all who know and love her are delighted she's on stage again. A brilliantly funny and sexy writer/singer/performer, Adira's a rising star not to be missed.
Tonight's scheduled guests are Colin Jost (Saturday Night Live writer), Sean Conroy (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central), Sue Ball (The Rochelle Show, Dobbins and Ball), Robert Keller (VH1/Logo's Can't Get a Date, off-off-Broadway's The Best Party Ever), Charles Star (Onion News Network, Stay Free! Daily), and Jess Wood (check out the documentary about her at MySpace.com/jesswooddoc).
8:00 pm at Rififi, 332 East 11th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); tickets are $5
Classic theatre scenes performed by professional actors who stay on book—
and an improv comic who hasn't read the play and has to make up lines on the fly.
Featuring genius improvisers such as Michael Delaney and Anthony King.
If you ever want to introduce an actor friend to the world of improv, start with this show.
9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
Todd Barry and Koala bear in cuteness contest
FatSmiles (with more Adira!!)
Terrific new monthly comedy show, hosted tonight by acclaimed writer/performer Leo Allen. Scheduled guests are the wry Todd Barry (one of the best stand-ups working today), Eugene Mirman (Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, HBO's Flight of The Conchords, Aqua Teen Hunger Force), John Roberts (My Son is Gay), Andres Du Bouchet, (Giant Tuesday, comedic videos), and Adira Amram (racing over from her Get Psyched! show).
10:30 pm at The Green Room, 45 Bleecker Street (off Lafayette); tickets are $12
Cage Match: Working Girls vs. C, C + C Improv Factory
Last week, this show that pits two improv teams against each other saw the birth of a star.
The champion was Omlette Vision, consisting of Michael Delaney, Billy Merritt and Andy Secunda, who are three of the most talented improvisers alive.
The challenger was Working Girls—Susannah Becket, Marcy Jarreau, Pam Murphy, Silvija Ozols, Amber Petty, and Jamie Skinner—a new group without nearly as much experience.
As always, Delaney, Merritt, and Secunda were brilliant.
But the gals created something magical by playing New Jersey secretaries who've recently learned the art of improvisation. This meta-approach resulted in a thoroughly hilarious parody of an improv troupe that had audience members rocking with laughter and gasping for breath.
The final votes: Working Girls 36, Omelette Vision 29. And it was a victory well-earned.
Tonight's challenger is C, C + C Improv Factory, consisting of Chuck Dauble (Chuck D. & Jawnee Show), Charlie Sanders (Conan O'Brien, Reuben Williams), and Charlie Todd (Improv Everywhere, Reuben Williams). These talented guys have got a helluva fight on their hands...
11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 7/6/07
Andy Ofiesh, creator of The Naked Comedy Showcase
The Naked Comedy Showcase
Oddly enough, this is just what it sounds like—
stand-up comics performing in the buff.
A reviewer from The Boston Globe observed, "The dynamic of nude comedian
and clothed audience added an extra dimension to self-deprecating material."
For a New York Magazine review, please click here.
8:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theatre, 154 West 29th Street; tickets are $10
Jeremiah Smallchild and Gideon Lamb are on a mission from God
God's Pottery Saves The World!
While visiting NYC last summer, Gideon Lamb and Jeremiah Smallchild got lost and ended up in Harlem, where they met a small boy named LaVert Washington who informed them he had cancer. They quickly moved to raise money for the lad with their now-famed The Concert for LaVert. It later turned out the boy was healthy and had lied through his teeth; but the incident made Gideon and Jeremiah appreciate the impact they almost had on his life...and the impact they could have on literally millions of more lives if they saved the entire world. Therefore, the duo have created this new show, in which they tackle global issues such as adoption, drug addiction, and Africa in an effort to rescue all mankind through the power of song, true belief, and a PowerPoint" presentation.
According to their Web site,"God's Pottery is a Christian acoustic duo formed to spread the Word (using) their unique blend of music, people-skills and Biblical know-how to inspire all who are willing to listen with open hearts." Some in the secular world have called them Wilson Hall and Krister Johnson; others have called them harsher things. But most have called them very funny.
8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8
"They're all street, all the time." Five women—pictured left to right, Jessica Allen, Bayne Gibby, Stephanie Kasen, Caitlin Miller, and Tara Copeland—who've won the 2004 ECNY award for Best Improv Group, and have repeatedly been a Time Out New York Critic's Pick.
8:30 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
Some of the best improv comics in NYC—Michael Delaney, Christina Gausas, Chris Gethard, Billy Merritt, Bobby Moynihan, Silvija Ozols, and Zach Woods—make stuff up, and make you laugh.
9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8
Death by Roo Roo: Your F*cked Up Family
Comedic powerhouses Jackie Clarke, Curtis Gwinn, Brett Gelman, Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, and John Gemberling interview an audience member about family and then act out his or her life story via improv scenes. Scary and funny.
11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8
The ultimate in audience participation: any group can submit a sketch and perform it!
If all you want is to be entertained, this show probably isn't a good choice.
But if you'd like to act on the UCBT stage, and/or have your sketch writing judged by an exceptionally savvy audience, this is a golden opportunity.
Sign-up begins at 10:30 pm and runs till 11:30 pm; sketches will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, so it's wise to arrive early. For a complete list of the rules, please click here.
Midnight at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free
NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 7/7/07
The Liar Show
Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true...but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fiction. Host Andy Christie (The New York Times) welcomes tonight's stellar yarn-spinners (pictured left to right): James Braly (NPR, The Moth, called "a master storyteller" by author Jonathan Ames); Margot Leitman (ESPN, VH1, Stripped Stories, and one of the best storytellers I know); Steve Osborne (retired NYPD detective); and Jennifer DeMeritt (Nerve.com, Bust Magazine).
6:00 pm at Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street (between West 4th Street and Bleecker);
tickets are $12, which includes one house drink
Adira Amram and Rob Lathan want to help you Get Psyched!
Get Psyched! and Smellin' Up the Den
The first half of this double-bill is a parody of popular New Age fads such as The Secret. Hyperactive host "Lanny Lathan" (Rob Lathan) has his own book, Top Secret, which he explains is much better because it reveals what you really must do to succeed: "Get Psyched!"
Aiding him is his lovely assistant (Adira Amram), who adds even more energy to the show with her witty singing. And along for the ride is a hapless audience member who didn't even realize he needed Lanny's aid (Nate Shelkey). Note: In contrast to Rob's & Adira's weekly Thursday variety show, this production is effectively a comedic one-act play. When it premiered at UCBT about two months ago, the show started out fine, but in its second half failed to inject conflict and up the stakes and so felt a bit repetitive. Here's hopin' those problems have been ironed out; but either way, the dynamic performances alone make this worth catching.
The second half of the double-bill is described as follows: "When Dr. Richards, a no-nonsense oncologist with a penchant for compassion, and Dr. Larry, a medical malcontent with 'rapier wit,' begin taking appointments down the hall from one another, only one thing can happen: Tomfoolery." From sketch group The Situation Room: Scott Courlander, David Juliano, Seth Kirschner, and Todd Blass.
7:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8
The Tiny Spectacular
The Magnet's instructors, plus stars of Mother: The Soundtrack (see below) Jason Mantzoukas, Tara Copeland, James Eason, Christine Walters, plus occasional special guests (such as superstar Mike Meyers), turn a tiny suggestion into larger-than-life improvised scenes.
7:30 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5
According to the spurn Web site, this sketch group has "amassed a cultish following and a cast who blindly throw themselves into the most questionable of onstage situations, bless their black little hearts." For examples of the troupe's work, please click here and here.
8:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theatre, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $10
Mother: The Soundtrack
Fiercely funny comedy duo Jason Mantzoukas and Jessica St. Clair (see my review of We Used to Go Out and info on their upcoming First Date) lead a vibrant team of improv comics who make up scenes based on CD tracks contributed by the audience. One of UCBT's most beloved shows.
9:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8
The Harvard Sailing Team: On the Jitney
The highly inventive sketch troupe Harvard Sailing Team (which recently
appeared in SketchFest NYC) performs its newest show.
9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theatre, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $8
Reuben Williams: As Seen on TV
Anthony King demonstrates that in addition to running UCBT-NY brilliantly, he's a formidable improv performer. Joining him are stellar talents Lennon Parham (see my review of her Showgirls parody), Chris Kula, Charlie Sanders, Eric Scott, Kate Spencer, Charlie Todd, and Joe Wengert.
10:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8
NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 7/8/07
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre's signature show, which features a monologist telling stories based on audience suggestions and a group of top improvisers (sometimes including celebs such as SNL's Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz) creating scenes based on the stories. There are two shows every Sunday which share the same format, but are otherwise entirely different because everything is improvised. The 7:30 pm show is $8; tonight's advance tickets are sold out, but a limited number of seats may be available at the door for those who arrive early enough to nab 'em. The 9:30 show is free, with tickets distributed outside the theatre at 8:15 pm; but again, you may need to come early and wait on line to ensure getting into this first come, first served performance.
7:30 pm & 9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue)
Aziz Ansari and John Mulaney at Carolines
Stand-up from two of the sharpest and funniest comics in the country: Aziz Ansari (member
of smash hit comedy group Human Giant and host of UCBT's hilarious Crash Test; for a sample of Aziz's work, please click here); and John Mulaney (whose memorable routines include an instant classic about Donald Trump; check out John's recent triumphant Late Night with Conan O'Brien appearances by clicking here and here).
Carolines is a great venue, but a bit pricey; total cost for this show is likely to be around $35 per person. If you're cool with that, though, there's virtually no one who deserves your comedy money more than Ansari and Mulaney.
8:00 pm at Carolines, 1626 Broadway (between 49th and 50th Streets);
$22.25 cover charge, plus two-drink minimum (with tip, figure an additional $10 or up)
Faceboyz Open Mike Night
If you're looking for a good time, this might not be it.
But if you're interested in getting on the Mo Pitkin's stage and
performing stand-up—or any other kind of act—a mere $4 will buy you
a chance at being selected via the show's lottery system. The rules are:
Sign-up is at 9:00 pm sharp.
You get eight minutes maximum for your act.
You can do anything you'd like on stage, with two exceptions:
1. Don't damage the stage or equipment (respect the space).
2. Don't pick out people in the audience, even just to say something nice (respect the audience).
No online reservations available; simply pay at the door.
Again, this show isn't for everyone.
But if you're a performer, you've probably risked
a lot more that $4 to nab an NYC stage credit...
9:00 pm at Mo Pitkin's, 34 Avenue A (between East 2nd & 3rd Streets); tickets are $4
On the other hand, if you're in the mood for some comedic theatre,
consider catching the final performance of...
Fitz and Walloughs Get It In the End!
(please click title for complete info)
8:00 pm at Ace of Clubs, 9 Great Jones Street (3rd St. between Lafayette and Broadway); $15
NYC Comedy Picks for Tonight
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