"I don't know how to make anything up. If I could make things up, I'd finish my book." So said Spalding Gray in Monster in a Box, "a monologue about a man who can't write a book [the novel Impossible Vacation, which he did finish] about a man who can't take a vacation." One works with one's limitations; averse to pure invention, Gray, who died of an apparent suicide in 2004, used his life and neurosis to create a highly influential corpus wildly gesturing toward fictionalized autobiography, rambling travelogue, and public psychoanalysis. In his most famous stage monologues (Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in a Box, both filmed), he sat at a spotlighted desk with a few props at hand and followed the Laurence Sterne school of endless digression. In Monster, for instance, he discussed his mother's suicide, his infidelity and AIDS anxieties (related issues), his budding fame, Nicaragua, Cher, and how he found some inner peace by performing on Broadway in, of all things, Our Town. Stories Left to Tell, conceived by Gray's widow, Kathleen Russo, brings together a variety of performers (David Cale, Ain Gordon, Carmelita Tropicana, and others) to perform excerpts from Gray's monologues and previously unperformed pieces from his journals. A local notable guests each night: Louie Anderson on Thursday, Kerri Miller on Friday, and Kevin Kling on Saturday.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: March 18. Continues through March 20, 2010