Spalding Gray on Aging, on Skis, on Broadway

Spalding Gray on Aging, on Skis, on Broadway 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.
Monologist Spalding Gray: still life with grapes.
Monologist Spalding Gray: still life with grapes. (Photo by Photo by Starla Smith)

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