Spalding Gray struts his anecdotal stuff once again in Monster in a Box, a frisky follow-up to Swimming to Cambodia and film rendition of his 1990 stage hit.
Titular ‘Monster’ is Gray’s 1,800-page autobiography, Impossible Vacation. Starting his peregrinations in 1987, Gray recounts how celeb status after Swimming gave him plenty of excuses to procrastinate.
The easy laughs come at the start: East Coaster Gray’s barbed comments on Tinseltown, where execs invite him to ‘idea lunches’ and CAA woos him in hyper meetings. Subsequent divertissements include Columbia Pictures’ putting him on a US fact-finding mission to Nicaragua (a comic horror show), AIDS hysteria in New York, a flying saucer project for HBO, taking Swimming to the Moscow fest and Gotham critics’ trashing of his perf in Gregory Mosher’s Broadway production of Our Town.
Pic was shot at London’s Riverside Studios before a live aud (seen briefly at first and occasionally heard reacting).