Tickets to American stand up comedian Dave Chappelle’s two-night show at The Theatre at Solaire Resort and Casino on January 14 and 15 next year were snapped up as soon as sales opened online and at Ticketworld outlets at 10 this morning. Tickets to upper and middle balcony seats priced at PHP 7500 and PHP5000 sold out within thirty to forty five minutes. The priciest tickets which cost PHP 25000 are selling briskly as well, “Front row seats are always hot ticket items because they know when the acts are comics, there is a fair bit of interaction in those first three rows,” said Samantha Sewell, Vice President of PR & Marketing at Ticketworld. “Those went quite quickly, we got interest from the expat community and from the foreign embassies for front row tickets specifically.”
There was a healthy queue at TicketWorld outlets also, with a noticeably international crowd. Sewell, says, “It was quite hectic, there were last minute calls for balcony tickets, but there were slim pickings by that time, about 10:30AM.”
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Chappelle is legendary in stand-up comedy, catapulted to fame by his satirical comedy sketches in the Chappelle’s Show, which ran for 3 years from 2003 to 2006. He famously walked away from a $50M contract with Comedy Central. But in 2016, Netflix paid him $60 million for five standup specials. The latest, which streamed in August was Dave Chappelle : Sticks and Stones.
Solaire’s VP for Brand Marketing Lorenzo Manalang is proud that once again The Theater will be known for a first: it is Chappelle’s first time to perform in SouthEast Asia. “We want to make sure that when we do a lot of things here for Solaire, we will be the first, and luckily when I was in the US, one of the talent agencies we worked with approached me and said, ‘Hey, Dave is available in January.’ We were actually asking who are the great people who have never been to the Philippines that we can get. Luckily I was able to talk to my President and Chairman Ricky Razon and we both thought showing Dave Chappelle would be perfect.”
As of today only half the seat inventory is left across both shows. Ticketworld estimates that, at the current rate, the rest of the inventory will go very quickly over the next couple of days.
It may be a little known fact but hard core Chapelle fans know that he is married to a Filipina, Elaine Mendoza Erfe, who was raised in Brooklyn, New York.
Elaine is hardly seen in public with her husband. They have been married for 18 years and live in his hometown, Yellow Springs in Ohio, with their three children: Suleyman, Ibrahim, and Sanaa in a 39-acre home.
In his press interviews, Chappelle has also kept away from speaking about his wife. She also does not have public social media accounts.
That they are a couple came to be known when they made their first public appearance during the annual Philippine- American picnic in Dayton, Ohio.
From the Age of Spin 2017 Netflix special, where Elaine did a brief appearance in a backstage segment, Chappelle joked, “My wife is Filipino. Yeah, that's why you see me in those Filipino events. I wasn't picking up pussy. I was dropping some off.”
The comedian also came to Manny Pacquiao’s defense when he was dropped by Nike for his anti-gay remarks. He said "I thought it was a little harsh, just a little harsh.” He showed awareness of the OFW phenomenon in the Philippines, “But if you know what’s popping in the Philippines, you know that they got a whole generation of kids in the Philippines growing up without their mothers. Yes. A lot of women in the Philippines go to the Arabian Peninsula, they come to the United States, they make all their money here, they send all that money back home, which is still one of the number-one staples in the Philippines’ economy– money that the expats send back to the Philippines. The men, on the other hand, are left rearing children, twiddling their thumbs, waiting on their wives’ checks. These men have been fucking emasculated. And then suddenly, a boxer rises from amongst them and reinstates their manhood with his motherfucking fist. This is not the guy you’re supposed to ask, ‘What do you think of homosexuals?’ He’s not your champ!”
Unlike US based Fil-Am comedian Jokoy’s show on January 11 at The Theater at Solaire which will be filmed for Netflix, Chapelle’s show will not be filmed.
“And no open phones are allowed in the theatre as Yondr, the company behind the patented locked phone pouch system, will be introducing its product to the Philippine market for the first time. They will be locking all phones in pouches for the whole show. So people should not miss the show because the show will be unique and exclusive to people watching only. People who are on the fence with buying tickets thinking the show will be recorded are misinformed. There is no recording of the show.”
Elaine, Chappelle’s wife will be coming to Manila. They have an itinerary that will be taking them out of the captial. before the show’s first night on the 14th of January. Dave’s fans are excited that the jokes he may dish might have a Pinoy flavor.
Chappelle has had five Netflix comedy specials, with his latest one being the Grammy-nominated Sticks and Stones. The Art of Spin, Deep in the Heart of Texas, Equanimity, and The Bird Revelations each bagged a Grammy award for Best Comedy Album in 2018 and 2019. He received his first Emmy in 2017 for his guest appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Photos courtesy of Solaire Resort and Casino.