Rain Pryor & I talk Fried Chicken and Latkes
Written by
Hunter S. Jones
June 2013
Written by
Hunter S. Jones
June 2013

Fried Chicken and Latkes is Rain Pryor’s award winning solo show based on her life. It is an irreverent and poignant look at racism in the late 60’s - early 70’s. Rain completely wrote and created her Off Broadway show including adding some of her own original music and lyrics to the production. Rain was a Los Angeles Times “Critics Choice” and her singing voice and sense of timing were hailed as rare gifts. Fried Chicken and Latkes played to sold out crowds and standing ovations every night at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills. She repeated that success at the Culture Project in New York, Chicago, Ohio, Virginia, Texas, and The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh,Scotland.


Fried Chicken and Latkes, written and conceived by Rain Pryor, is a hero’s journey from the standpoint of a person born into a world of “Us vs. Them” – but not quite an “us” and not quite a “them”. Told through heavy characterization and a few songs, Fried Chicken and Latkes takes you on a journey of racial identity, family, spiritual growth and love. She gives us a glimpse into the universe that was her childhood and is her life, morphing effortlessly, into the people around her, we all end up completely identifying with her story. Rain’s father, legendary actor/comedian, Richard Pryor, gave her a sharp sense of timing and character. Her mother imbued her life with political consciousness to stand up for what you believe in!

Fried Chicken and Latkes, teaches us that living an authentic life is not about “where do I stand” – it’s about “Here, I stand.” Fried Chicken and Latkes will take you back in time and move you forward making you laugh, think and cry.

Growing up Black and Jewish gives Rain a unique perspective on race, religion and spirituality. She shares her views and has lead panel discussions on diversity in education and in the entertainment industry at Princeton University, The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore. “I’m Black and Jewish. Which mean’s I’m proud, but yet I feel so guilty for it!” says Ms. Pryor. You gotta love that!

Rain Pryor is an acclaimed director, actor, stand-up comedian, educator, dynamic speaker, and mother. As artistic director of the Strand Theater in Baltimore, MD, Pryor, placed the theater on the DC/Baltimore map. She stepped down to start her non-profit Baltimore based TheatreWorks. Baltimore’s TheatreWorks provides performance opportunities and builds a theatre arts culture for grades 6-12 in Baltimore City.

Pryor is a headlining stand-up in her own right. She fills her own shoes where stand-up is concerned and is not trying to be her iconic father Richard Pryor. She has been featured regularly in Baltimore with good friend Mickey Cucchiella. Pryor and Cucchiella are in current development of numerous projects.

Pryor made her television debut in 1989 as a series regular, T.J., on the hit ABC series Head of the Class, a character adopted from Pryor’s own monologues at the request of ABC producers during her second audition. Pryor starred for several years opposite Sherilyn Fenn and Lynn Redgrave, as Jackie, the lipstick lesbian drug addict on the Showtime series Rude Awakening, and has additionally guest starred on network television series such as The Division and Chicago Hope. Rain has been the guest of TV host Travis Smiley. She has also appeared numerous times on the late night shows of Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, as well as The Late Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Rain’s stage credits include playing the title role of Billie Holiday in the UK tour of The Billie Holiday Story and the title role of Ella Fitzgerald in the UK premiere of Ella, Meet Marilyn, teamed with award-winning UK soap actress Sally Lyndsay. She’s performed in the Los Angeles production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. Rain has shared the stage with Nora Dunn of “Saturday Night Live” fame and Charlene Tilton. Other onstage credits include Cookin’ With Gas with the Groundlings improvisation troupe, The Exonerated with Aidan Quinn, and The Who’s Tommy at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Here’s just a sampling of what the critics have said:

“Make no mistake: Rain Pryor, the star of the autobiographical solo show Fried Chicken and Latkes, is not just defined by her father, the comedian Richard Pryor. There are many dimensions to this robust, ebullient performer, all evident in this trim production, which sails by in an effervescent 70 minutes. Her show is a parade of friends, relatives and tormentors, in which she also sings — with impressive power — accompanied by a skilled jazz trio led by Charles Lindberg. But she has an outsize presence built for Broadway; at times her salty banter suggests Bette Midler without the camp. But she certainly seems right at home in Manhattan.” – New York Times Critic’s Pick

“Funny, energetic… Pryor provides plenty of laughs, along with poignant glimpses of what it was like to be a bi-racial child. The show is capped off by Pryor ably impersonating Billie Holiday while singing “God Bless the Child,” an apt song for a woman who needed to figure out who she was and “get her own” identity.” – Associated Press
Amusing! Moving! Most satisfying! – New York Post

Rain was also featured in the Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure
For Rain Pryor and Kelly Carlin, Comedy Is a Family Business
FATHERHOOD has become a popular subject in stand-up comedy, but usually from the perspective of the besieged comedian nervous about his daughter turning into a stripper or, worse, a comedian. But maybe there is no need to worry. That’s the impression one gets from spending time with Kelly Carlin and Rain Pryor, children of George and Richard. Their happy equanimity comes as more of a surprise than their frankness and humor, particularly because they have gone into the family business.

Fried Chicken and Latkes
Actors Temple Theatre
339 W. 47th Street
New York, NY 10036
Saturdays, 2pm & Sundays, 4:30pm

You can connect with Rain at the following links and don’t miss this show!



Twitter: @FriedChickenL

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