Benefit for Performance Space in Honor of Spalding Gray

Posted on 18 June 2014

Spalding Gray_Photo Courtesy of Kathie RussoThe late Spalding Gray with his son, Forrest. Photo courtesy of Kathie Russo.

By Genevieve Kotz

The life of the late playwright and performer Spalding Gray will be celebrated at a cocktail party to benefit the contemporary performance hub, Performance Space 122, on Saturday, June 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Sag Harbor.

The event, which will be hosted by Jonathan Ames, Alec Baldwin, Mike Daisey, Mercedes Ruehl, and Katherine Russo, will raise funds for the Give Performance Space campaign in honor of Mr. Gray.

The celebration will include the reading of one of Mr. Gray’s monologues by the Academy-Award winning actress Ms. Ruehl as well as a chance to win a dinner at the Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, courtesy of award-winning chef Tom Colicchio. Cocktails and hors d’ouevres will be served throughout the evening. It will be held in the home of Ms. Russo, Mr. Gray’s widow.

Mr. Gray was an American actor and writer, known for his autobiographical monologues. He was an influential member of the Wooster Group, a New York avant-garde theatre company. He appeared in 50 movies, including “Swimming to Cambodia,” which was based on one of his monologues. He took his own life in 2004.

“Spalding’s unfailing ability to ignite universal emotions and laughter in all of us while gloriously wallowing in his own exquisite uniqueness will remain forever one of the great joys of American performance and literature.” Jonathan Demme, who directed the movie, “Swimming to Cambodia,” said.

PS122 is a performance space in the East Village, dedicated to giving artists a place to challenge the boundaries of live performance. The building is currently being renovated to better serve the artists and audiences of New York City.

Tickets for the cocktail event are $122. For more information, visit

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