"Unspeakable": Inspired by the Life of Comedian Richard Pryor

Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

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In a Nutshell

An award-winning, unauthorized biography of legendary comedian Richard Pryor finds drama in the darkness of his off-stage life

The Fine Print

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The Deal

Unspeakable – Inspired by the Life of Richard Pryor

He was one of the funniest comedians to ever take the mic. But as has often been noticed, there’s a thin line between comedy and tragedy. Playwright and star James Murray Jackson, Jr. explores the cloud behind the silver lining of Pryor’s storied career, starting in the house of ill repute where he grew up. This is the comedian’s off-stage story, and follows Pryor through seven failed marriages, a persistent drug problem, and the racism he faced in his personal and professional life. Jackson won Outstanding Actor when his play debuted at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival, and he’s joined in these Chicago performances by director and co-author Rod Gailes.

Given the strong language and adult situations inherent in this story, this production is recommended for audiences 16 years of age and older. Unspeakable is not endorsed, supported or sponsored in any manner by the Estate of Richard Pryor or any other party connected with the Estate or the comedian himself. Unspeakable is a theatrical event inspired by known facts about a public figure in order to offer a perspective on the entertainment business, race, human nature (and/or whatever you take away from the experience). Otherwise it is work of fiction, and any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and not intended.

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