Dave Chappelle | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dave Chappelle

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In 2004, when Richard Pryor was too ill to speak on camera, his wife told 60 Minutes that her husband felt he'd "passed the torch" to Dave Chappelle. "That's a lot of pressure," responded Chappelle, who turns 30 this month--but whether he likes it or not he just may be the current barometer of race relations in America. There's still speculation about why he walked away from the third season of Chappelle's Show more than a year ago; in interviews he's insisted he was unhappy with the direction and with himself as a sketch comedian. But the more interesting question is "What's next?" His music documentary Dave Chappelle's Block Party was released in March, he's slated to appear in the film Ballers (2007), and over the last year he's been busy doing stand-up, mixing surprise club appearances, like the one at Zanies in May, with big-venue stops like this one. His comedy is riddled with the profanities typical of Chappelle's Show--expect lots of niggas and motherfuckas--but the result is a powerful delineation of racial stereotypes. Sat 8/19, 7:30 and 10:30 PM, Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, 847-671-5100 or 312-559-1212, $57.50-$65.

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