Tru (play)

Last updated
Tru
Written by Jay Presson Allen
Characters Truman Capote
Date premieredDecember 14, 1989
Place premiered Booth Theatre
Original languageEnglish
Setting New York City
December 1975

Tru is a 1989 play by Jay Presson Allen, adapted from the words and works of Truman Capote.

Contents

Background

Adapted from the words and works of Truman Capote, Tru is set in the writer's New York City apartment at 870 United Nations Plaza the week before Christmas 1975. An excerpt from Capote's infamous unfinished roman à clef, Answered Prayers , recently has been published in Esquire . Having recognized thinly veiled versions of themselves, Manhattan socialites such as Babe Paley and Slim Keith turn their backs on the man they once considered a close confidant. Alone and lonely, Capote — soothing himself with pills, vodka, cocaine, and chocolate truffles — muses about his checkered life and career in what is essentially a two-act monodrama.

Production

After 11 previews, the Broadway production of Tru, directed by Allen, opened on December 14, 1989 at the Booth Theatre, where it ran for 297 performances. Robert Morse starred as Truman Capote.

In his review in The New York Times , Frank Rich said, "Intentionally or not, Tru is a creep show: a hybrid of necrophilia and tame fan-magazine journalism that doesn't so much rekindle fascination with a troubled writer as reawaken the willies prompted by those disoriented talk-show appearances … that were the desperate final act of his career.

"In place of a life portrait with depth, Tru settles for its wind-up Mme. Tussaud's caricature of the wrecked 1975 model Capote. This Tru is sporadically funny — if one shares Mrs. Allen's taste for the campiest of anecdotes and one-liners — and rarely boring. But since the soul of the younger Capote doesn't shine through as Mr. Morse's youthful spirit does, the potentially touching drama of decay is lost. The complex, possibly tragic figure of a wasted artist is replaced by a maudlin, some might say antediluvian, stereotype of Boys in the Band vintage."

In 1992, Morse recreated his performance for the PBS series American Playhouse .

Morse also directed a production of the play in Toronto in 1996, starring Canadian actor Louis Negin. [1]

Accolades

Robert Morse won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play [2] and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show.

For his performance in the 1992 American Playhouse presentation of Tru, Morse won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. [3]

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