Comedian Aziz Ansari is on the comeback trail after being accused of sexual misconduct this year, and people in Maine seem eager to hear what he has to say.

Tickets for Ansari’s stand-up comedy show at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the State Theatre in Portland went on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, and all 1,300 seats were sold out by Saturday night, said Lauren Wayne, the theater’s general manager.

A second show, at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 28, was added and tickets went on sale Monday. Tickets are $37.

Ansari, who played the goofy Tom Haverford in the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” and stars in his own Netflix series “Master of None,” was accused of sexual misconduct in January by a New York photographer in an article published on The photographer, whose real name was not used, said she went on a date with Ansari and was pressured into sexual activity with him. She described him repeatedly asking for sex in crude language.

Ansari responded to the article with a statement saying that the sexual activity on the date “by all indications was completely consensual.”

After the allegations, Ansari kept a low profile for a while. In May, he resurfaced to do comedy shows in New York City.


This summer, he quietly began his “Working Out New Material” tour. A tour lineup has not been announced, but on Ansari’s website there is a place for people to sign up to be notified about “some pop-up shows to work on material.”

News outlets in the cities where he has played report that sometimes shows were only announced a few days before they were held, and that he doesn’t address the sexual misconduct allegation on stage.

The Portland show was announced two weeks before its scheduled date. So far on tour, he has performed in Nashville, Tennessee; Columbia, South Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; and Philadelphia, among other cities. The day before his Portland show, Ansari is scheduled to perform in Burlington, Vermont.

People who go to see his show won’t be able to share the experience, other than talking about it. Audience members will not be allowed access to their cellphones, cameras or recording devices during the shows. Those devices will be placed in locked Yondr brand pouches, which will stay with the device’s owner, and be unlocked after the show, according to a notice on the State Theatre’s website. If needed, the pouches can be unlocked in the lobby.

Anyone caught with a cellphone in the theater will be ejected. Locking phones in pouches is not a common practice at concerts in Maine, but the technique has been used at comedy shows in other states. In April, Jack White launched the first major rock tour to use Yondr to control phones, according to Rolling Stone.

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

Twitter: RayRouthier

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