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Chicago backers sought for Richard Pryor show

ConcertsMusicRichard PryorThe New York TimesJames MurrayFringe Festival

"Unspeakable," a unauthorized show about the late comedian Richard Pryor, will be performed before an invited audience at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Chicago on Friday. The non-public performance is an attempt to secure backers for a commercial future for the piece.

Pryor is played by an actor named James Murray Jackson, Jr, who was praised for the veracity of his performance in a 2005 staging of an earlier version of this show at the New York International Fringe Festival.  The material, though, got mixed reviews. Jason Zinoman's New York Times review noted the show's exploration of Pryor's early life in a Peoria brothel and the late comedian's well-known problems with narcotics, but argued that the show contained "far too many drugged-out scenes."

Work has been done since then. Chicago actors in the reading include Stef Tovar and Wandachristine. Rod Gailes is the writer-director.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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