On Sunday and Monday nights at Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theatre, when the musical Juan Darien is resting, the stage belongs to that monologist extraordinaire, Spalding Gray. Gray has performed his one-man works among them, Swimming to Cambodia, Monster in a Box and Gray's Anatomy (soon to be released as a film directed by Steven Soderbergh) throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. Now he is back with his latest: It's a Slippery Slope.
"It's about surviving a mid-life crisis by finding my balance on skis," Gray says. "The reason we have a mid-life crisis when we're 52 is we realize it's not mid-life. It was mid-life when we were 35. So particularly at age 52, men start doing everything we wanted to do. And the two things I wanted to do were to have a child and to learn how to ski. So it turned out that my son was learning to walk when I was learning to ski."
Surviving both the crisis and the ski lessons were not easy, he says. "I'm 55 now. I crashed on the skis a few times, but I've come through, and now I can talk about it." And if the past is any indication, audiences will be eager to listen.
-- By Mervyn Rothstein