15 months after closing, Radio City Music Hall reopens with Dave Chappelle’s film


New York – Fifteen months after the pandemic closed, New York’s Radio City Music Hall reopened on Saturday for the Tribeca Festival premiere of a new Dave Chappelle documentary for a full capacity, fully vaccinated audience.

The debut of “Dave Chappelle: This Time This Place,” which chronicles Chappelle’s pandemic stand-up series held in rural Ohio’s cornfields, marked the first time that Sacred City Hall was in. new packed since it closed in March 2020 – a stop that has put over a year of concerts, including famous Radio City Rockettes, on the ice for the longest time since the Art Hall opened Deco in 1932.

The first Saturday night, the closing gala of the 20th Tribeca Festival, was seen as a symbolic revival of the arts in New York City, where many of the world’s most famous stages – Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Broadway Theaters – remain dark.

But after so many pandemic months of silence, that is changing rapidly. On Sunday, Madison Square Garden will host its first full capacity concert with the Foo Fighters. “Springsteen on Broadway” is scheduled to resume its performances on June 26th.

After the screening, Chappelle took to the stage in spectacular fashion to the beat of DJ Clark Kent and a hoarse standing ovation. The comedian paused for a moment to apologize for those who lost someone during the pandemic before reporting a renewal note.

“But, man, let’s get up,” Chappelle said. Soon after, he presented a New York feast of hip-hop acts that performed according to their hometown, including Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Fat Joe, A $ AP Ferg, Redman, Ghostface Killah and De The Soul.

Masks were not required inside Radio City, but proof of vaccination was. Announcing the event in May, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said it “would go a long way in bringing this state back, as a whole.”

Directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, creators of the Oscar-winning “American Factory” (and other Ohioans Chappelle called her neighbors), “This Time This Place” shows Chappelle realizing her chimerical vision to maintain stand-up and live performances. until summer 2020 and beyond.

In the rural town of Yellow Springs (population 3,700), Chappelle set up a scene at a friend’s farm and flew in a comic book parade, some of which showed up dying for an audience, from others who were rusted from months of quarantine. Among them: Chris Rock (who was present on Saturday), Jon Stewart and Tiffany Haddish – as well as regulars Michelle Wolf, Donnell Rawlings and Mo Amer.

The film captures an unusually nervous Chappelle ahead of his first appearance, the considerable safety precautions taken (including Chappelle and others grimacing at a cotton swab), their battles with the local zoning council, the protest and the pain that have taken place. followed the death of George Floyd, and, ultimately, the profound benefits of comedy and community.

“Look what we did,” Chappelle said on stage at Radio City. “Imagine what we can do together. “

The Tribeca Festival, largely canceled last year, held its 20th edition largely face-to-face with a focus on outdoor screenings. It opened last week with the New York premiere of “In the Heights,” the acclaimed adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical and an ode to the upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. He made his debut with screenings held in New York’s five boroughs.

On Saturday, some entered Radio City a little hesitantly. But most seemed invigorated by being back in Radio City for a highly anticipated film. Joel and Abby Ralph, who tied the knot a few months before the pandemic began, were overjoyed to be dating and not in their Upper West Side apartment. “It seems normal,” Abby said.

Festival regular Kyra Houston came with her more reluctant friend, Renee Cassell. “I’m happy. I was going through a funk,” Houston said, looking around. It was his second movie of the day. “I feel like a haze has lifted.”

In front of the audience neck and neck, Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal celebrated the occasion. “We are completely relaxed and socially tight together,” said Rosenthal, presenting the film. “Isn’t that great? “

The crowd roars.

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