Between Two Worlds – A conversation with Rain Pryor

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Interviews, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion on 2016-12-04 02:14Z by Steven

Between Two Worlds – A conversation with Rain Pryor

Connecticut Jewish Ledger

Cindy Mindell

Rain Pryor was born and raised in Los Angeles, the daughter of comedian Richard Pryor and Shelley Bonis (later changed to Bonus), a Jewish go-go dancer. After her parents divorced, Pryor spent time with both grandmothers and in both cultures, forging a unique identity that combined elements from her Black and Jewish legacies.

In 2004, Pryor created and toured in “Fried Chicken and Latkes,” an award-winning solo show based on her life that played to sold-out crowds and standing ovations across the country and in the UK. In 2005, the show won an NAACP Theatre Award for Best Female Performer Equity, and the Invisible Theatre’s Goldie Klein Guest Artist Award. The 2012 New York Times review of the “effervescent” show described Pryor as “a robust, ebullient performer.”…

…Recently, she spoke with the Ledger about the evolution of her “Fried Chicken and Latkes” and the influences that shaped it…

Q: How do you express your dual identity today?

A: For High Holidays, my mom and I go to the Pico Union [formerly Sinai Temple], the oldest synagogue building in Los Angeles. They do a lot of outreach. I also embrace my Black African-centric heritage and practice Ifá, an ancient and mystical Yoruba tradition honoring the ancestors, which to me went beautifully with the High Holiday services. I embrace culture and tradition and I would say I’m a spiritual being more than I’ll ever be a religious being…

Read the entire interview here.

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