Tru, the one-man show about the life of the late Truman Capote, will return to New York in the fall in a new production Off-Broadway.
Written by Jay Presson Allen, Tru is set in 1975 at Christmas time and finds the author at a particularly low moment in his life. Esquire magazine has just published a gossipy excerpt from his roman à clef, "Answered Prayers," which has precipitated his social ostracism.
Robert Morse, the Tony-winning How to Succeed star, earned his second Tony Award for his portrayal of Capote in the original Broadway production, which opened in December 1989. About his performance former New York Times critic Frank Rich wrote, "Mr. Morse so eerily simulates the public Capote of the pathetic waning years that he could be a Capote robot, an Audio Animatronic figure in a macabre theme park, Xenonland perhaps, envisioned by Andy Warhol."
The new production will be produced by the playwright's husband, Lewis Allen, and Jay Presson Allen will direct as she did for Broadway. The actor who will portray Capote this time around is an unknown thespian from Wichita, KA, named Tom Frye. Lewis Allen recently explained the genesis of this production to Variety: "Last year, this fellow from Wichita, Kan., sent us a videotape of his performance in the play. We liked it so much that Jay directed him in another production there, at the Scottish Rites Theater. He was wonderful. We talked about doing a tour, then decided to put it on here in New York first. A couple of companies want to book a tour."
Born Truman Streckfus Persons in 1924, Truman Capote was a novelist, journalist and a celebrated man-about-town. His many writings included "Other Voices, Other Rooms," "A Tree of Night" and "The Grass Harp," which was mounted as a play in 1952. His novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" became an award-winning film starring Audrey Hepburn, and two of his short stories, "A Christmas Memory" and "The Thanksgiving Visitor," were later adapted for television. Another Capote success was his novel "In Cold Blood," which received the Hollywood treatment in 1967. Capote died in August 1984. —By Andrew Gans