Dave Chappelle’s Playing on My Block, My Block

Say what you will about Dave Chappelle, but dude knows what’s important in life. He had a fat $55-million contract to continue doing Chappelle’s Show for Comedy Central, but the gig was turning his life into something he didn’t want. So, deciding his sanity was worth more than the cash, he left it behind. Chappelle retreated to his small-town home in Ohio, emerging to do occasional stand-up performances and benefit shows. Now that takes guts.

But that’s not the only reason Chappelle has his priorities straight. He’s constantly leveraging his celebrity to do cool, charitable things, like the time he flew a bunch of folks from that small Ohio town into Brooklyn for a free, daylong concert. Yup, Chappelle knows good music and good friends are what it’s all about, so he set up a stage on the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant; invited hip-hop acts like Common, Mos Def, the Roots, and the Fugees; and opened the whole thing up to the public. With the help of director Michel Gondry, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party hit the big screen in 2006, but it’s getting a deserved encore tonight at 8:15 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso. The screening is the first in a series of concert films called MidWeek Live, running throughout February. Tickets cost seven bucks.
Feb. 6-29, 2008

 
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