A dramatic life

Pryor play opens in New York

A new play about the life of Richard Pryor has opened in New York.

The off-Broadway show   Unspeakable: Richard Pryor Live & Uncensored, a Dramatic Fantasia is billed  as ‘an unflinching ride through the emotional landscape of comedic legend Richard Pryor’.

The show starts with his early life in an Ilinois brother, covers his rise to superstardom in the shadow of Bill Cosby and his self-destructive love affair with cocaine and  his wife Jennifer.

It opened last week, with the influential New York Times giving it a mixed review, saying the script got ‘bogged down in the offstage drama and [loses] sight of why we cared about him in the first place’.

The review added:  ‘The script is weighted down with far too many drugged-out scenes,’ but praised the ‘magnetic lead performance’ of James Murray Jackson Jr , who co-wrote the piece, as Pryor.

It is on at the SoHo Playhouse as part of the New York International Fringe Festival until August  24.


Published: 18 Aug 2005

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