Dave Chapelle to play surprise, phone-free shows at Denver’s Comedy Works

Mega-comic Dave Chappelle will play a half-dozen last-minute shows at Comedy Works’ 500-seat downtown location April 5-7, according to an announcement on the stand-up club’s website.

Chappelle, who has sold out Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the past, visits Denver on and off to play surprise shows at Comedy Works — which also instantly sell out. He came up playing the 500-seat club and has a friendship with owner Wende Curtis, he has said. That’s why he likes to choose such a tiny venue in relation to his audience draw, working out new material in the same that big comics often visit New York’s Comedy Cellar.

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Ticket prices are commensurate with Chapelle’s stature: $156 each, and available first to Comedy Works subscribers. They went on sale at 10:30 a.m. Monday, according to comedyworks.com (where tickets are being sold). As of this writing, all but the Thursday show at 9:45 p.m. was sold out.

As with past shows, Chappelle is asking patrons to leave their cell phones at home. Chappelle has been instrumental in testing the Yondr technology in the past, which puts patrons’ cell phones in magnetically locked bags until the show has concluded. Other comics, such as Chris Rock, went on to use it at much larger Denver shows including at Bellco Theatre.

“Please leave your phones in your cars or at home,” Comedy Works officials wrote. “Everyone is subject to a pat down. Anyone caught with a cell phone inside the venue will be immediately ejected and no refund given.”

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Chappelle’s jokes have sparked controversy in recent years as he’s repeatedly hammered home his misgivings with the trans community, criticizing trans culture and the fundamental notion that gender is fluid. Employees of Netflix, which regularly airs his new specials, have walked out in protest of his views.

Chappelle has also gained attention last month for supposedly trying to block an affordable housing project in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he’s become a local celebrity and investor. However, he reportedly pushed back against that in a statement via his spokesperson, arguing that, “Chappelle didn’t kill affordable housing. Concerned residents and a responding Village Council ‘killed’ a half-baked plan which never actually offered affordable housing.”

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