Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Rain Checked
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3181 times since Wed Feb 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

In a world of curses and gifts, being the child of a celebrity can certainly be a mixed blessing. On one hand, there are the perks of fame and materialism, if one is into such things. However, those same perks can also become minefields, enticing parent and child into areas from which it may be very difficult to escape.

In her one-woman show, Fried Chicken and Latkes, Rain Pryor—daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor—tackles the highs and lows of growing up. The show, which runs Jan. 27-28 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, does not just look at class-related issues; being half-Black and half-Jewish, Rain also examines aspects of race while being raised in one of the poshest areas in California.

Recently, Rain spoke with Windy City Times and Identity about her childhood, her show and, of course, her iconic father.

Windy City Times: Tell me about your show.

Rain Pryor: The show is about my life growing up Black and Jewish in the 1970s and '80s and it's about the racism I had to go through. I also introduce people to my family, including my dad, my mother and my grandmothers. [ The show ] definitely shares their points of view about it was like to either have a Black and Jewish granddaughter or daughter. It's also about how I became my own person and identified with both. I don't have to choose between the two.

WCT: On a scale of 1 to 10—with 1 being 'not at all' and 10 being 'extremely'— how surreal was it to grow up Black and Jewish in Beverly Hills?

RP: Ten [ Laughs. ] When you think about that era, being Black and Jewish was, like, taboo. There weren't many people like me around. European Jews at that time were not accepting that someone could be dark-skinned and Jewish.

In my show, I describe Black Jews, including people from Tunisia, Morocco and Ethopia—with skin darker than mine and hair thicker than mine. But at that time, it was hard for people to conceive that someone could be [ both ] , and that was out of fear. These are people who fled Germany and Poland because they were being persecuted for being Jewish. They were protecting their culture and it was hard for them to see outside of the box.

I was just a child then, of course, and really didn't understand. Now, I do. Look ... who else would end up having dinner with [ Nation of Islam leader ] Louis Farrakhan? I got to talk to him about being Black and Jewish. As a Black woman, I understand his perspective, although I don't always like how he puts things. As a Jewish woman, I also understand the other perspective. But there are ways to bridge the two together.

WCT: What actually motivated you to enter show business?

RP: You know what? I've always been a performer since the time I was born, I think. With my dad being the greatest comedian of all time ( as far as I'm concerned ) and my mom being a performer, all I knew was show business. My grandfather was Danny Kaye's manager for 35 years. I didn't grow up in a household of doctors or lawyers; I grew up in a house of artists.

WCT: Now I'm trying to imagine Richard Pryor as a doctor.

RP: Yeah, it's frightening. He tried it in a movie [ Critical Condition ] and it didn't work. [ Laughs. ]

WCT: How would you describe your comedic style?

RP: I would say it's a cross between Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Bette Midler and John Leguizamo. It's a combination. I'm not a 'set-up, punch, set-up, punch' stand-up comedian. I'm like my dad in the sense that I tell stories. I also sing [ in the show ] .

WCT: Is there any topic in comedy that's off limits?

RP: For me, yes. There's smut and there's real smut, and real smut is off limits.

WCT: What about the movie The Aristocrats?

RP: That's real smut. You pull that out when you have nothing else and you're dying. [ Laughs. ] It's embarrassing to me; I'm still a prude in some areas.

WCT: You recently came back from Hawaii. I saw on your Web site that Hawaii was your dad's favorite place to vacation. Is that part of the reason you went there?

RP: Yes. I went to our place where I spent a lot of my childhood with him, Hana Maui, and did my own service on behalf of my brothers and sisters with people who actually cared about him and who got to see the real Richard Pryor. It was also [ a chance to get away from ] the Hollywood B.S. and that horrible funeral that was here for him.

WCT: Why was it horrible?

RP: It's like the person who gave the service was a cross between Last Comic Standing and Disney on Crack. Her language was foul and wasn't representative of who my dad was and it wasn't respectful of his family.

WCT: Tell me one thing about your father that people didn't really 'get' about him.

RP: My dad was a really kind and gentle man. He was also a magical man. His children and the people of Hana got to see that. He opened up his home to people there— something you can't really do in L.A.

Many of the people who were around my dad and who are trying to keep his legacy alive are sycophants, and they always want something. Rarely did they ever get to see the pure soul of this tragic, magical genius. I got to see both sides of him—and yell at him for both. [ Laughs. ]

WCT: If you had to describe your relationship with him in one word, what would it be?

RP: [ Pauses. ] Extraordinary. He was the love of my life.

Centre East presents Rain Pryor's Fried Chicken and Latkes on Jan. 27-28 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. Tickets $37; ( 847 ) 673-6300 or visit .

Rain Pryor

— Last bad movie you saw: 'I want to say Rent, but it's because I love the stage show. I'm a theater purist. I don't think the movie captured the subject matter in the same way as the stage show, even though the film has most of the same people.'

— Favorite female singer: 'Billie Holliday. She lived her songs.'

— Favorite guilty pleasure: 'Traveling. I love London, Scotland—and Baltimore. I like the people in Baltimore and the culture in Scotland.'

— The worst thing about L.A.: 'The people. [ Laughs. ] It's a very vapid city. It's full of actors and wannabes. It's full of takers, not givers.'

— Favorite of the five senses: 'Touch. It's stimulating, it's sensual and it's healing.'

This article shared 3181 times since Wed Feb 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Laid,' 'Nimona,' Lukas Gage, Lil Nas X, Lily Gladstone, John Waters 2024-01-19
- Peacock has given a straight-to-series order to the comedy Laid, which is slated to feature queer actress Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Variety noted. Based on the Australian series of the same name, the ...

Gay News

EMMYS RuPaul, Niecy Nash-Betts win; Elton's EGOT status; GLAAD's award 2024-01-16
- Succession, The Bear and Beef dominated the 2024 Emmys, held Jan. 16. The ceremony was televised on Fox. Succession was named best drama series, The Bear was named best comedy series and Beef was named best ...

Gay News

Scott Thompson returns with Buddy Cole character in 'KING' stage show 2024-01-05
- Buddy Cole—the barfly raconteur/provocateur portrayed by gay Canadian performer Scott Thompson for several years on the comedy show Kids in the Hall, is a character who's never been afraid to say what's on his mind. And ...

Gay News

'Sleeping with Beauty' serves up naughty holiday laughs 2023-11-27
- Seasonal British pantomimes have been securing the talents of such known performers as Henry Winkler, George Takei and Sir Ian McKellen for decades now. This inventive recounting of fairy tales, utilizing popular song, comedy and rowdy ...

Gay News

'A League of Their Own' cancelled; second season not filming 2023-08-19
- Prime Video is not moving forward with the previously ordered second and final season of comedy-drama A League of Their Own, which is about a WWII-era women's professional baseball team, according to Deadline. The show's fate ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, Marvel, 'Guardians,' Deborah Cox, Provincetown film fest 2023-05-12
Wanda Sykes' 'I'm an Entertainer' trailer below - GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics named Nathan Lane its Timeless Star for 2022-23, per a press release. "Nathan Lane is an icon of stage and screen, a master of both drama and comedy, and ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Joy Ride,' Cynthia Erivo, David Bowie, March Madness, Kevin Bacon 2023-03-25
Video below - The first trailer for the upcoming comedy Joy Ride has been released, Out noted. The movie stars Ashley Park, queer Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), bisexual comedian Sherry Cola (Good Trouble) and ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Wanda Sykes, Jonas Brothers, 'Queen of Versailles,' 'Bloodshed' 2023-03-04
Adam Lambert video below - Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes' new comedy special, I'm An Entertainer, will premiere globally on Netflix on May 23, a press release announced. The special, directed by Linda Mendoza, was filmed in early February 2023 at Philadelphia's ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, Alan Cumming, Andre Leon Talley, AIDS drama 2023-02-05
- Openly gay stand-up comic and recent Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael is set to star in a comedy documentary series for HBO, according to Entertainment Weekly. The yet-untitled series will center on Carmichael's personal life, following ...

Gay News

Young trans playwright queers Shakespeare in new production 'Malapert Love' 2022-10-29
- The Artistic Home will debut Malapert Love on Nov. 5-Dec. 11 in Wicker Park at The Den Theatre's Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The gender-bending, Shakespearean romantic comedy was written by 18-year-old Siah Berlatsky, who's ...

Gay News

THEATER About Face showing LGBTQ+ play 'Mosque4Mosque' 2022-10-01
- About Face Theatre opens its 2022-23 season with the world premiere of Omer Abbas Salem's new play Mosque4Mosque, directed by Sophiyaa Nayar. Mosque4Mosque is a family comedy about a queer Arab-American Muslim man navigating his first ...

Gay News

REELING Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane on their big-budget LGBTQ+ movie 'Bros' 2022-09-25
- The new movie Bros could prove to be a very important movie in LGBTQ+ culture this year. This gay romantic comedy is directed by Nicholas Stoller, who co-wrote the script with Billy Eichner. Stoller and Eichner ...

Gay News

COMEDY Extra performances added for Jerrod Carmichael at Steppenwolf 2022-09-23
- Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre has added two additional performances of Emmy award-winning comedian Jerrod Carmichael's new solo show on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 4-5, at 10 p.m. as part of ...

Gay News

Out comic/writer Sam Jay talks career ahead of Wicker Park performance 2022-09-22
- Stand-up comic and Emmy-nominated writer Sam Jay will be performing at The Den Theatre, located in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, on Sept. 23-24. The first Black lesbian writer in Saturday Night Live's history, Jay is a ...

Gay News

COMEDY Cameron Esposito at The Den Theatre on Dec. 30-31 2022-09-22
- The Den Theatre is welcoming back LGBTQ+ comedian Cameron Esposito, performing two stand-up shows on Dec. 30-31, 2022 on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Esposito (a onetime Windy City Times 30 Under 30 honoree) ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.