By A. O. SCOTT
NY Times Published: December 9, 2010
“Here is a description of some of the most innovative and important American theater of the last quarter of the 20th century. A man sits at a table and starts talking. If he has props, they are minimal — a spiral notebook, a record player, a box of pictures — and his costume is correspondingly modest, consisting usually of a flannel shirt, blue jeans or chinos, and sneakers. He speaks mostly about himself, digressing from anecdotes about his childhood and professional life into more serious confessional territory, though always with reserve and good humor.
When Spalding Gray, the man at that table, began performing his autobiographical monologues in the late 1970s and early ’80s — first as a member of the Wooster Group, then on his own — they felt radical and revelatory, like bulletins from newly discovered artistic territory. By 2004, when Mr. Gray committed suicide by jumping from the Staten Island Ferry, his work was a familiar and widely appreciated feature of the cultural landscape. He made occasional appearances in movies, television series and conventional plays, but his great role, his great project, was himself.”
Saw “Swimming to Cambodia” when I was quite young and it made a huge impression on me, found & read transcriptions of his other performances (no internet). It hurt me when I found out that he had gone.