NYC Comedy Picks for Week of June 29, 2009

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 6/29/09


Adira Amram (Hot Jams for Teens Album Release Party), John Oliver (Whiplash), and Stephanie D'Abruzzo (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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] brilliant, sexy, and red-hot rising star Adira Amram celebrating the release of her new album Hot Jams for Teens joined by most of the finest comedic musicians in NYC in a not-to-be-missed free extravaganza: Adira's Hot Jams for Teens Album Release Show & Party (7:00 pm),

the perfect show for short attention spans, open mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set

and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—tonight including Emily Epstein, Chelsea White, Lisa Kaplan, Luke Cunningham, Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Sean Donnelly, Blaine Perry, Aalap Patel, Matteson Perry, and John Morrison—at John Morrison's Ochi's Motel (6:30 pm & 9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] luminous Broadway & TV actors Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Jonathan Kaplan, Julie Sharbutt, and Kate Tellers mixing it up with some of the best  improvisors in the world—Michael Delaney, Becky Drysdale, Peter Grosz, Anthony King, and Tami Sagher—as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at Gravid Water (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] terrific stand-ups Christian Finnegan (three Comedy Central specials, commentator on MNBC's Countdown with Keith Oberman and VH1's Best Week Ever; Chappelle's Show, The Today Show), Giulia Rozzi (VH1, co-host of Stripped Stories), Jay Larson (Comedy Central, Craig Ferguson, host of ComedyJuice), Allison Castillo, Mike Birch, and more at Liam McEneaney's Tell Your Friends (8:00ish pm),

tuneful comedic theatre from 2Pac: The Musical (9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] and a free weekly show featuring some of the best stand-up comics in the country—who tonight include John Oliver (star correspondent of The Daily Show)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central) at Whiplash (11:00 pm).



Adira Amram

Adira's Hot Jams for Teens Album Release Show & Party

Adira Amram is a brilliantly funny and sexy writer/singer who keeps pushing the envelope by slyly poking fun at both pop culture and notions of sensuality (for sample songs & videos, please click here).

Adira's credits include Jane Magazine Editor's Choice; co-star of Get Psyched!, one-woman show Adira Amram is an American Idol at Ars Nova; and what tonight is all about, her just-released second album Hot Jams for Teens.

Adira is one of the most beloved comics in NYC; and so joining her to celebrate are almost all the notable singer/songwriters in NYC's alt comedy scene:

Jessica Delfino, Shockwave, Shayna Ferm,

Glennis McMurray, Eliza Skinner, Stuckey and Murray,

Mindy Raf, Erin and Her Cello, the Amram Family Band,

and "surprise guests."

Expect an incredible show & bash, running from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Admission is free.

But for goodness sakes, buy multiple copies of Adira's album.

7:00 pm at Fontana's, 105 Eldridge Street (between Broome and Grand Streets); free

Take the B/D subway to Grand Street (Lower East Side, at the edge of Chinatown)



Ochi's Motel

Lottery-style open mic for stand-up comics trying out material,

with 4½ minutes per return for a $5 contribution to the weekly prize kitty.

In addition, Ochi's 1-item food or drink minimum applies to everyone.)

A breathtaking 25 comics perform in this 2½ hour show; producer

John Morrison (above) has described it as "comedy on crack."

If you're seeking consistent laughs, this might not be the best way to spend

your evening. But if you're patient and adventurous, it's a potentially wild ride.

And if you're a performer looking for some stage time, it's a nice opportunity.

Plus if you stick around till the show's end to support your fellow comics,

 you have a chance at winning the cash from the kitty, along with smaller prizes.

There are two shows, at 6:30 and 9:00 pm, with entirely different groups of stand-ups.

Tonight's 6:30 lineup includes Emily Epstein, Lisa Kaplan, Francoise Gordon, Andrea Grimes, Lisa Haim, Pamela Brown, April Bruckner, Luke Cunningham, Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Christian Polanco, Sean Donnelly, Blaine Perry, and John Morrison.

And the 9:00 pm lineup includes Chelsea White, Shannon Brandt, Crystal Ward, Julie Rosing, J-L Cauvin, Don Weir, Danny Solomon, Aalap Patel, and Matteson Perry.

Ochi's Motel is hosted at 6:30 by Sean Donnelly and Blaine Perry:


...and at 9:00 pm by Aalap Patel and Matteson Perry:


To be entered into the weekly random drawing for performers,

please send email to

6:30 pm & 9:00 pm, Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues)

no cover, 1 drink or food item minimum (e.g., draft beer for $4-$5)




Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Julie Sharbutt...


...and Becky Drysdale, Anthony King, and Michael Delaney

Gravid Water

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.

Starring these world-class improvisers (in alphabetical order):

Michael Delaney (genius improvisor, actor, and improv instructor; Late Night with Conan O'Brien; Will Ferrell Broadway Bush comedy You're Welcome America; member of UCBT star troupe The Stepfathers and legendary troupe The Swarm),

Becky Drysdale (stellar charismatic performer; acclaimed one-woman show

One Woman in Several Pieces, Web video series Time Traveling Lesbian),

Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials, member of acclaimed improv troupe 4 Square),

Anthony King (brilliant UCBT-NY Artistic Director; Reuben Williams, Happy Hour,

Let's Have a Ball, off-Broadway show Gutenberg! The Musical), and

Tami Sagher (writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006).

And also starring some of NYC's top theatre & TV actors:

Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Tony nominee for Avenue Q; Sesame Street),

Jonathan Kaplan (Tony nominee for Falsettos),

Julie Sharbutt (Shakespeare In The Park: Twelfth Night), and

Kate Tellers (The Man In My Mother's Purple Bathrobe).

Gravid Water is directed and hosted by Stephen Ruddy,

and is one of the finest comedy productions in New York.

If you want to introduce an actor friend to the world of improv, start with this wonderful show.

8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5




Christian Finnegan and Giulia Rozzi

Tell Your Friends

This long-running weekly comedy show is produced by Liam McEneaney

(VH1's Best Week Ever, Comedy Central's Premium Blend,

former writer for Standup Nation with Greg Giraldo).

Tonight's host is Allison Castillo (Comedy Central, VH1, FOX).

And tonight's superb guests are

Christian Finnegan (two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials and recent hour-long Comedy Central special Au Contraire; commentator on MNBC's Countdown with Keith Oberman and VH1's Best Week Ever; Chappelle's Show, The Today Show, host of TVLand's Game Time, former staff writer for Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; comedy CD Two For Flinching;  for stand-up videos on how to get rid of a boring  guy and what your movie choices say about you, please click here and here),

Giulia Rozzi (VH1's Best Night Ever podcasts; monthly video series The Message Board, which makes fun of brides, on; co-producer of East coast version of hit national show Mortified; co-host of red-hot comedy show Stripped Stories;

for a video sample, please click here),

Jay Larson (Variety's "Comics to Watch;" Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, CBS' Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson; AMC's Date Night; Web series The Steamer; star of film Nacho Mountain about underground competitive eating; for stand-up video about uncomfortable anniversaries, please kick here),

Mike Birch (partner with Rick Homan of comedic singer/songwriter duo Fish & Chips),

and more.

8:00ish pm at Lolita Bar, 226 Broome Street (between Allen and Orchard Streets); tickets are $5

Nearest subway stops are Delancey Street via the F or Delancey-Essex via the J/M/Z



2Pac: The Musical

All I know is what's on the poster above.

But really, how wrong can you go spending five bucks for a comedic musical?

9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5




Leo Allen and John Oliver

Whiplash with Leo Allen: The Finest in Stand-Up Comedy, Free

Leo Allen is one of the most sharp, honest, and likeable stand-ups working in NYC. Leo was a writer for Saturday Night Live from 2002 through 2005. He's also performed two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; done stand-up on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.; acted on Ed and Sex and the City; and is in an upcoming HBO miniseries. Plus Leo's the host of this show—for which he crafts inventive, hilarious material week after week, and always generously demonstrates his warm appreciation of his fellow comedians. For all these reasons and more, Whiplash is one of the finest showcases of top comedy talent in the country...and it's entirely free.

Tonight's thoroughly wonderful guests include

John Oliver (genius who's one of the very finest—and nicest—stand-up comics in the biz;

delightful & hilarious star news correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart;

superb hour-long Comedy Central special Terrifying Times; co-writer/star

of The Department for BBC Radio 4, and host/star of BBC stand-up radio show Political Animal).

11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free



NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 6/30/09

This site is going on vacation—aside from brief updates—for two weeks so I can focus on book and film projects. (And by the way, if you need help with a book or screenplay, please visit my sites and

Daily listings will resume on July 13th.

That said, here are some quick recommendations of notable shows happening this week:

Tuesday 6/30 at 8:30 pm: Michael Showalter and Dave Hill at Jessi Klein's & Pete Holmes' Punch Up Your Life

Tuesday 6/30 at 9:00 pm: Pete Holmes and Victor Varnado at Seth Herzog's Sweet

Wednesday 7/1 at 8:00 pm: Charlie Sanders in Minnesota Muslim

Wednesday 7/1 at 8:00 pm: The one-year anniversary of Sharon "Mama" Spell's Shrink

Wednesday 7/1 at 9:30 pm: Todd Barry headlining at Carolines

Thursday 7/2 at 8:00 pm: NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler hosting Hot Tub

Friday 7/3 at 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm: Pete Holmes headlining at Comix

Sunday 7/5 at 6:00 pm: One-woman show I Wanna Be Famous at 308 Broadway from Jessica Delfino


Recommendations for next week will be posted by July 5th.


Also, more broadly, to keep up with what's happening in NYC comedy please visit the Web sites of these stellar & inexpensive venues:

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

The Peoples Improv Theater

Ochi's Lounge at Comix

The Magnet

The Creek and the Cave (Queens LIC)

Union Hall (Brooklyn)


And for comedy clubs, please visit:


Carolines Comedy Club Discounts


Finally, please buy lots of copies of Adira Amram's just-released album Hot Jams for Teens:




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