In November, 1975, Esquire magazine published a story called "La Côte Basque 1965," an excerpt from Answered Prayers, an unfinished novel by Truman Capote. It ended Capote's relationship with most of his high society friends, who recognized the unbecoming characters as thinly disguised versions of themselves, with unflattering incidents from their lives now recounted in print.
The aftermath of his betrayal is the impetus for Jay Presson Allen's one-man show Tru, in which Capote gleefully gossips, ruminates on his life, and self-medicates as a solitary Christmas approaches. Tru opens on December 2 and continues through January 1, with specially priced previews on November 30 and
stars Rob Donohoe and is directed by Lynnette Barkley. Scenic and lighting design are by Paul Black, costume design is by Brian O'Keefe, and sound design is by Brad Pawlak.
Donohoe has been a frequent visitor to PBD since making his debut with the company in the 2012 production of The Pitmen Painters. A compelling stage presence, Donohoe has also been seen here in A Delicate Balance, Exit the King, Dividing the Estate, Buried Child, and The History Boys. For Tru, he has worked with a vocal coach to create a "semblance" of Capote's voice. His overall approach to the role, he says, is "to do a tribute to Truman Capote without doing an imitation of him."
The original Broadway production of Tru opened on December 14, 1989 and ran for 297 performances. It starred Robert Morse, who won the 1990 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. The author was also the subject of the 2005 film Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, which focused on the writing of his "non-fiction novel" In Cold Blood and his relationship with one of the book's subjects, the killer Perry Smith. Hoffman won the Academy Award for his portrayal of Capote.
Jay Presson Allen (1922-2006) had a long career as a playwright and screenwriter. In addition to Tru, she wrote the play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the Broadway adaptation of Forty Carats, which originated in France. Her films include the screenplays (sometimes as co-author) for Marnie, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Cabaret, Travels with My Aunt, Forty Carats, Funny Lady, Prince of the City, and Deathtrap. In addition, she was the creator of the acclaimed TV series Family, which ran from 1976-1980.