Pryor's One-Woman Show Draws On Comic Upbringing
The daughter of one of the most influential comedians of all time is finding ways to make people laugh while mining material much closer to home in her new one-woman show. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Rain Pryor has been performing most of her life: Acting, singing and doing stand up comedy. But only now has she decided to take on one of the biggest figures in her life, her late father, the iconic comedian, Richard Pryor.
"Like I never went into my dad. I never performed him outright. And then it was suggested, 'Well, how come you're not doing him? Like why are you not?' First of all, I'm a woman, so, how could I do him?" recalls Pryor. "And I realized I had his cadence and I didn't know that. So, I went back and I watched some clips and, you know, and my perception of who he was as a dad, and wove it all together."
Pryor plays dad and her entire extended family in a new version of her one-woman autobiographical show "Fried Chicken and Latkes" at the Abgingon Theater on West 36th Street. It's about growing up black and Jewish in the 60s and 70s.
"I do my grandmother on my dad's side, I do my grandmother on my mother's side - the Jewish one - you'd have to have a Jewish mother to be Jewish," Pryor says.
Pryor also plays her mom in she show, though that hasn't always gone over well.
"She was like, 'Why do you describe me as this white Jewish mother who is a black militant?' And I said, 'Because you were.' You're the one who taught me my black history. You were the warrior in my life," recalls Pryor.
While Rain certainly has her dad's natural comedic talents, she didnt always intend the show to be a comedy.
"I thought I created a drama," Pryor says. "And then the audience laughed and I was like, 'What? My life's a comedy? Are you kidding me?"
"Fried Chicken and Latkes" runs through Sunday.
Tickets are $30.