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Dave Chappelle gave his thousands of fans in Washington, D.C. a lot to love this weekend. About 3,500 shows attended his concert venue The Anthem on Friday, and this was the theater’s first after-dark show for 485 nights.
“You can power an entire city with the electricity that’s in that room,” says Audrey Vicks Schaefer, an IMP spokesperson who owns The Anthem. “It was a wonderful thing,” she says, “after all this time and all this worry we haven’t been able to bring in people and give them jobs and let people in and enjoy themselves.”
On Sunday, at the nearby Kennedy Center, more than 2,000 masked Chappelle fans flocked to the concert hall to screen his new documentary on the pandemic. Dave Chappelle: This Time This Place. Temperatures were checked. Mask wearing is required. Seen as a Chappelle show, the iPhones were silenced and sealed in Yondr bags. In the comments before the film began, co-producer/director Julia Reichert rejoiced that this was the “first fully-functional event” at the Kennedy Center since it closed its doors in March 2020.
Among those at the Kennedy Center was DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. Her newly re-applied mask to delegate For indoor gatherings valid one day prior to the show. conservative Washington Examiner alleged Bowser undermined the mandate when images of the unmasked mayor circulated on social media, including a Photo With her and Chapelle. In a statement to WTOPThe mayor’s office responded, “If Mayor Bowser was photographed indoors without a mask, it was during the indoor dinner, when she was eating or drinking.”
Chappelle appeared to lightly refer to the controversy in his post-show remarks, citing Mayor Bowser when he reminded audiences to wear masks.
Dave Chappelle: This Time This Place He recounts Chappelle’s efforts to entertain audiences during the pandemic with a series of outdoor performances in a field near his home in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Produced and directed by Academy Award winners Reichert and her partner Stephen Bognar (American Factory), the documentary weaves together the generous aid of stand-up comedy provided by Chappelle and his A-list friends with scenes of the challenging behind-the-scenes logistics and the emotional and financial cost of both the pandemic and deadly police brutality against Black. spirits.
We see protesters – including the Chappelle children – walking the streets of Yellow Springs. During some of his performances, Chappelle unleashed his anger over the killing of George Floyd. An employee at a local restaurant is missing interaction with customers. “All human things are completely gone,” he says. We watch a show of comedians like Chris Rock and Jon Stewart pulling back while Q tips stuck in their noses when they arrived.
For audience member Sahar Khan, who attended the Kennedy Center screening with her husband, the documentary “really captures the feelings of the past year”. Khan says the evening – her first indoor public event without social distancing – “was really fun…I didn’t realize how much I missed being close to strangers.”
After the show, an audience of over 2,000 people erupted when Chappelle came out on stage. It was homecoming. Chappelle, who grew up in the metropolitan area, attended Duke Ellington School of Art and did his first improv show in the city in 1987 when he was still a teenager. “You got so much love on these streets, I thought you thought I was someone else,” Chappelle said as he walked around the capital over the weekend.
As he did in the new movie, he addressed the murder of George Floyd, and uttered the word “unacceptable.”
Chappelle softened when he called on people to “protect each other now more than ever.” “Don’t be afraid to be kind,” he said. But he also urged people of color to stand up for themselves. “Make it non-violent.”
Then he joked: “I have a long patience for eggs.”