Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Rain Checked
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2940 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 2940 times since Wed Feb 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Hannah Gadsby at Chicago Theatre on July 13 2022-07-04
- Australian LGBTQ+ comedian Hannah Gadsby will bring her "Body of Work" show to The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., on Wed., July 13, at 7 p.m. Gadsby took the comedy world by storm with the ...

Gay News

COMEDY Hannah Einbinder to perform additional show July 16 2022-06-25
- Due to popular demand, The Den Theatre announced a third stand-up performance for comedian/actress Hannah Einbinder (the TV show Hacks) on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The ...

Gay News

TELEVISION John Early and Kate Berlant discuss 'Would It Kill You to Laugh?' 2022-06-21
- Peacock is releasing a new sketch comedy show called Would It Kill You to Laugh? Starring Kate Berlant and John Early, the show debuts Friday, June 24. This one-hour special features a comedy duo who have ...

Gay News

TELEVISION 'Rutherford Falls' returns for season two with double the diversity 2022-06-19
- Peacock's hit comedy Rutherford Falls is back with season two. (It started June 16.) The story follows two lifelong friends—Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) and Reagan Wells (Jana Schmieding)—as they navigate ...

Gay News

About Face to run immersive comedy about climate-change activism 2022-05-27
- About Face Theatre brings its 27th season to a close with a world premiere comedy created by and starring the About Face Youth Theatre ensemble. Gayme Changers will run June 18-24 at The Den Theater, 1331 ...

Gay News

Ricky Gervais courts controversy with graphic anti-trans jokes 2022-05-24
- (WARNING: There is graphic language in this article.) Yet another Netflix special is courting controversy because of a comedian making anti-trans jokes. Ricky Gervais' Netflix comedy special SuperNature has drawn criticism for a string of grap ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and others to exit 'SNL' 2022-05-20
- In a major shake-up on the long-running hit Saturday Night Live (or SNL), several of the main stars are leaving—including out cast member Kate McKinnon, Deadline reported. McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson (who's ...

Gay News

Casting announced for 'Queer Eye: The Musical Parody' at Second City 2022-05-13
- Comedy institution The Second City announced the cast and crew of Queer Eye: The Musical Parody, which will start running Thursday, May 26. (The production will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at ...

Gay News

COMEDY Netflix holds 'Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration' 2022-05-09
- On May 7, Billy Eichner hosted Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival's "Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration" at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The historic celebration featured LGBTQ+ comedy legends and emerging talent. Highlights included ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Peacock cancels rebooted 'Saved by the Bell' 2022-05-05
- Only a month after the reboot of the classic NBC comedy Saved by the Bell won Outstanding Comedy Series at the GLAAD Media Awards, Peacock has canceled the show after two seasons, Deadline reported. The second ...

Gay News

Raven Theatre announces 40th Anniversary Season 2022-05-02
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (May 2, 2022) — Raven Theatre is pleased to announce its 40th Anniversary Season, kicking off this fall with a fresh take on Noel Coward's iconic 1930 comedy Private Lives, directed by Ian Frank. The ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lily Tomlin, 'The Color Purple,' Walter Mercado, Janelle Monae, Loki 2022-04-24
Video below - In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, legendary actress/comedian Lily Tomlin discussed a variety of topics, including comedy and the Oscars. About the Academy Awards, she said, "I sometimes think they shouldn't be able to tread ...

Gay News

Northlight Theatre announces 2022-23 season 2022-04-20
-- From a press release - Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, announces its 2022-2023 season, opening with the buddy comedy The Garbologists by Lindsay Joelle, directed by Cody Estle; followed by ...

Gay News

Bisexual comedian Hannah Einbinder ('Hacks') now at The Den on July 15 2022-04-13
- Bisexual comedian/actress Hannah Einbinder has announced a new date for her stand-up engagement at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Originally scheduled to perform on Friday, June 17, Einbinder will now appear Friday, July 15, ...

Gay News

Hard Rock's upcoming acts: Trevor Noah, Daughtry, Wanda Sykes and more 2022-04-11
- Trevor Noah and rock band Daughtry (headed by former American Idol winner Chris Daughtry) are among the upcoming acts at Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana's new Hard Rock Live venue. The Trevor Noah "Back to Abnormal" ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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.