Renaissance man Rod Gailes OBC’s long-in-development stage production on the “tragic genius” of comedian Richard Pryor titled UNSPEAKABLE: a dramatic fantasia, is now set for a limited engagement, starting Friday, November 1, 2013 to Sunday, November 3, 2013, on the Apollo Theater’s Sound Stage, in Harlem (NYC), 253 West 125th Street, 10027.
Described as an unflinching look at the life of comedic legend, Pryor, UNSPEAKABLE will be presented by the Apollo Theater, Creative Mind Entertainment, OBC DreamTheatre and Stefani Nicole Von Huben in association with Seattle Theatre Group.
The November 1st performance will start at 7pm, while the Saturday and Sunday shows will (November 2nd & 3rd) are set for 2pm & 7pm.
Tickets are $20 and are available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125th Street and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
The work was conceived and is directed by Rod Gailes OBC, based on a script by Gailes and James
Murray Jackson Jr.
More of the story follows via press release below…
New York, NY, September 3, 2013 — UNSPEAKABLE, a dramatic fantasia inspired by the life
of comedic icon Richard Pryor, is set for a limited engagement, Friday, November 1, 2013 –
Sunday November 3, 2013, on the Apollo Theater’s Sound Stage. This critically acclaimed
UNSPEAKABLE is an unflinching look at the life and times of an iconic comedic genius
informed by sex, drugs, comedy and pain. Co-writer & Director, Rod Gailes OBC, brings a
cinematic vision to the provocative odyssey of Richard Pryor, highlighting the comedian’s
journey from damaged child to comic legend. Spanning more than sixty years, with a focus on
the period between 1967 and 1982, audience members travel through the emotional landscape
that is Richard Pryor. Growing up in the Peoria, IL brothel owned and operated by his
grandmother, where his mother toiled as a prostitute, Pryor faced situations that forever shaped
and scarred his sensitive soul. His imagination offered an escape from reality and ultimately lead
him to comedy. From his rise to superstardom (in the shadow of Bill Cosby) to his blazingly selfdestructive
love affair with cocaine and women, UNSPEAKABLE juxtaposes his success with
the internal and emotional demons he battled throughout his life. At the center of
UNSPEAKABLE is the humanity that connects us all through our vulnerability, intimacy and
truth. The cast of seven — most taking on multiple roles – features James Murray Jackson Jr. as
Richard Pryor, a role he originated at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival, earning
him an award for Outstanding Lead Actor and a New York Times rave for his “magnetic lead
performance.” Richards will be joined by Benja Kay Thomas, Margot White, Alvin Keith, Nedra
McClyde, Adam Couperthwaite and Nyahale A. Allie.
“Richard Pryor broke down barriers, and stereotypes once thought unimaginable, said the
unspeakable and did the unthinkable. He taught us by holding a mirror to the conscience of
America while self-destructing, and imploding on his own pain and grief. Though flawed in life,
he lived uninhibited onstage. He was part preacher, social commentator, political activist, addict
and a whole lot of devil. Richard ushered in a groundbreaking style which paved the way for a
generation of comedians. He was able to convert his painful personal experiences and searing
political observations into mainstream comedy” said Rod Gailes OBC.
Due to the strong language and adult situations inherent in this story, this production is
recommended for theatergoers 16 years of age and older.2