Gray Areas

There’s no doubt that Spalding Gray, the monologue artist who disappeared into the East River in January of 2004, is — and will be for some time — a cult figure of magnitude. His autobiographical storytelling, delivered so nakedly, frankly and without pretension, often from behind a desk, was an aural diary that opened the audience members’ minds to explore their own secret places. So it’s no surprise that his fans still want more, and the touring theatrical presentation, Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, gives the people what they want by utilizing four actors who reprise some of Gray’s best moments, along with unpublished diary entries, onstage. And when the show comes to the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., Kirk Montgomery of Denver's 9News will join the cast as a guest reader.

Newman Center executive director Steve Seifert, who’d hoped to bring Gray himself to the center prior to his death, first caught the show in a coffeehouse setting in New York. Seifert loved it, and sees it as the next best thing to presenting the artist himself. “Because the text is all his, it has this form he invented in full display,” he notes. “It’s extremely personal and epic at same time. It’s hilarious, touching, heartbreaking...and hilarious all over again.” Staging it in the center’s Byron Theatre flexible black box space, he adds, increases the intimacy of the performances.

The Newman Center is at 2344 East Iliff Avenue on the University of Denver campus; for tickets, $35, visit www.newmancenterpresents.com or call 1-800-982-ARTS.
March 11-12, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd