Cheap Laughs: The Best in Independent Comedy This Week, 2/12 - 12/18
Siobhan Thompson presides over "Wes Anderson's Overly Whimsical Valentine's Day Show" at UCB Chelsea
It's the sexiest time of the year, people. Valentine's Day approaches, when all relationships grow stronger via expensive prix fixe dinners and Whitman Samplers bought at gas stations. Want to avoid the heartache baked deep into this crappy, sappy holiday? There's a whole city full of cynical clowns here to help! This week in New York comedy, there are stage performances riffing on the great cinematic romances of our time (Groundhog Day and the Royal Tenenbaums of course), game shows for single people with odd friends, unproduced porn scripts, and an all-female mariachi band to serenade your date. So, fuck V-Day. The best independent comedy producers in New York are on hand to deliver you a kick-ass week, whatever your love life looks like.
Wednesday, February 12th
Wes Anderson Show
UCB Chelsea, 8 p.m. $5.
This show celebrates love, as viewed through twee, doll-like prism of Wes Anderson. If you think human beings' fiercest passions cannot be expressed without vintage fonts, solid color cinematography and a Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack, you'll be in heaven. So come celebrate love with some of your favorite Wes Anderson characters. The show is hosted by Chas, Margot and Richie Tenenbaum (who look a lot like David Bluvband, Siobahn Thompson, and Grant O'Brien).
Friends of Single People
Littlefield, Doors 7.30 p.m / show 8 p.m. $5.
In honor of Valentine's week, why not embarrass your single buddies? On this show, friends get to represent single people onstage in a live dating game, while the single people can cringe anonymously in the crowd. Once they're chosen as a match, the singletons must reveal themselves and receive free drinks with their new chosen date at the back bar. The game's open to all orientations, and according to the organizers, out of 80 couples matched, four have turned into actual, long-term relationships. That's a 5% chance of love. Get there early to register you and a friend for the game, hosted by comedian Jo Firestone.
Thursday, February 13th
Three of Cups, 8 p.m. Free.
It's the second anniversary of this show, hosted inside that old school punk-rock redoubt Three of Cups. Because it's a special occasion, the lineup is extra good, including pass-ag crowd work specialist Phil Hanley, cat fan Rob Cantrell, and the hilarious Louis Katz. Evan Davis and Myka Fox share hosting duties as they ring in a new year of jokes.
Friday, February 14th
And I Am Not Lying
UCBeast, 11.59 p.m. $5.
The stated goal of this show? "Cock-rocking the NPR crowd." If that sounds like your jam, keep reading. This Valentine's Day special variety show has A LOT of cool stuff going on. In addition to great stand-up comics and storytellers, there's an all-female mariachi band, an aerial Lucha Libre burlesque act... oh and comedian Abigoliah Schamaun will also chew and swallow an entire light bulb during her set. For real. Need an unforgettable show to erase a very forgettable Valentine's Day? This, my friends, is it. Hosted by Jeff Simmermon.
Friday, February 14th
Crappy Cinema Council
Over the Eight Bar, Doors 7.30 p.m. Free.
What is Crappy Cinema Council? Watch their submission video to the Bridgetown Comedy Festival above. It's dudes, watching crappy movies, and making fun of them, in between acts from great stand-up comedians. This month, the theme is "music", so prepare yourself for the very worst of late '80s, early '90s MTV excess. Stand-up sets from Tyler Fischer, Neal Stastny and Jake Young attempt to compete.
Saturday, February 15th
First Comes Love
Pine Box Rock Shop, 7 p.m. Free
In 2012, comedian Kyle Ayers posted a fake Craigslist ad seeking scripts for porn scenes. He received dozens of responses, which became this wonderful event. Part-variety show, part-comedy play, it brings together NYC's perkiest performers who will act out a series of unbelievable, barely sexy scripts written without irony by real, live aspiring porn writers. There will be nuns, guns, a seance, and President Obama. You know, standard stuff.
Monday, February 17th
Groundhog Day Live
UCBeast, 8 p.m. $5.
In case you didn't hear, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last week, guaranteeing six more weeks of winter. We need things to do indoors: so what better than a live stage version of Groundhog Day? From the two-man team that brought you December's "Home Alone Live" comes a seasonally appropriate sequel. Weatherman Phil Connors (Becky Abrams) is doomed to repeat his least favorite day over and over, all while trying to court producer Rita, avoid Ned Ryderson, and bond with every resident of Punxsutawney (who are ALL played by Toby Mitnick). Bing!
Tom Cowell is a comedian. Follow him on Twitter @mrtomcowell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with all listing suggestions.
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