A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Tru” adapted from the words and works of Truman Capote, starring Jamie Galen, directed by Joanna Cassidy and produced by Devix Szell at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
What could be more perfect for Fringe than Truman Capote? “Tru” tells the story, in Truman Capote’s own words, of one Christmas night in his own U.N. Plaza apartment after his bombshell article in Esquire Magazine hit the newsstands. In this article was his first chapter of the book “Answered Prayers.” His never published thinly veiled high society expose novel mysteriously disappeared after his death, never to be seen again.
On the night in question, Truman, or “Tru,” fields phone calls from friends, lawyers and agents, sends apologetic telegrams to injured parties and talks the audience through his present situation. All while consuming copious amounts of Stoli. He is of course his always charming self and dishes even more about the various people in his life, as much as he does about his own. His childhood, his family, his lovers, his finances, his predilections. His yearning to be female.
Jamie Galen, who originated the role of Jay Kurnitz in Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Lost in Yonkers” and performed the role over 800 times on Broadway at The Richard Rodgers Theater (under the name Jamie Marsh) is utterly mesmerising as Truman. He embodies him completely as he seduces us all. And yet this performance doesn’t feel like mimicry, none of the coy affectations and the unique voice feels at all contrived or comic.
He oozes the same kind of surreal charm and enigmatic candor that Truman Capote parlayed into a career.
His wit and enigma took him to the four corners of the earth, mostly on someone else’s dime. But who wouldn’t want to spend time with such an icon? And many paid handsomely for the privilege.
I love this kind of performance and Jamie Galen is absolutely masterful. He lures us in and holds our gaze as he agitates and ruminates and entertains.
The space at Three clubs couldn’t be more perfect. Like dinner theatre almost, it becomes another character, the light reflecting on the ice cubes in our cocktails as Tru pours himself another and another and another. Slowly numbing himself before leaving for a late-night dinner with the few friends in New York he has left. There’s no apparent sadness though. Truman Capote is always in control.
“Tru” is a really wonderful play. The first act of a fuller piece. And deftly directed, very subtle and profoundly real.
I loved it and I cannot recommend enough that you saunter over to the Three Clubs, grab yourself a sturdy cocktail and spend some time with the master of innuendo and repartee, the man himself, Tru.
Saturday, June 11 at 7:30PM
Saturday, June 18 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 19 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 PM
1123 Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90038