Adapted from the words and works of Truman Capote, the play TRU by Jay Presson Allen is set in the writer’s New York City apartment at 870 United Nations Plaza the week before Christmas 1975. Having recognized thinly veiled versions of themselves, Manhattan socialites including Babe Paley and Slim Keith have turned their backs on the man they once considered a close confidant after an excerpt from Capote’s infamous unfinished roman a clef, Answered Prayers, has been published in Esquire. Alone and lonely, Capote soothes himself with pills, vodka, marijuana, and chocolate truffles, all the while musing about his checkered life and career.
When TRU premiered on Broadway, Robert Morse won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show for his tour-de-force portrayal of Truman Capote. 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. As a way to pay it forward, Morse has directed his friend Michael-Anthony Nozzi in TRU presented by Chromolume Theatre and produced by Mike Abramson during this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. Nozzi gives his own tour-de-force performance as the lonely writer and iconic 70’s bon vivant sweetheart.
Nozzi is no stranger to the stage – he has been designing sets, performing, directing, and choreographing professionally for the last 50 years. His larger than life portrayal of Capote is so nuanced and complete, you will forget for awhile that you are not really in the presence of the great writer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood as he struggles to cope with being alone and lonely during the holidays. Nozzi takes you through Capote’s full range of over-the-top emotions and gestures down to his pickiest habits during his many phone calls to order last-minute gifts for his friends.
Nozzi’s Capote ponders what he has done with his life and his deep burning desire to be loved and thought of as a great writer. I can honestly say I learned a great deal about the author as I was totally immersed in Nozzi’s telling of the tales of Capote’s very interesting life.