I don’t care what anybody says about me as long as it isn’t true.
— Truman Capote
Truman Garcia Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began his life as a writer at the tender age of11 and didn’t stop. His stories were published in both literary publications and well-known magazines, Harper’s Bazaar, The New Yorker, and Mademoiselle and others. He’s well remembered for the novels turned hit movies “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood”.
Actor Jamie Galen could pass for Capote’s twin. He’s charming, witty, intelligent and a gossip monger. This side comes out when, as Capote, he feels rejected from the beautiful people, who once accepted his quirks as part of his magnetic personality and now sees him as a threat with his biting words. This revulsion stems from a chapter of his upcoming book “Answered Prayers” in Esquire Magazine, describing in painstakingly detail, how the rich really behave when no one, meaning middle to poor class, is looking. He reluctantly tries to get it together to meet these same “friends” for a night out. Capote, wearing a blue kimono, a Santa’s cap, loose fitting pants, pours himself a drink and laughs like a chicken with his head cut off. He invites the audience into his penthouse apartment in New York the night before Christmas Eve in 1975 and says what he feels. No filter, just pure words from the late author. The play consists of conversations and dialogue from his works. He doesn’t leave anything out. He likes to name drop. Louie Armstrong, Oswald, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and socialites Babe Paley and Slim Keith, to name a few dozen.
He takes pride that he can tap dance, type 60 words a minute. He enjoyed the high life of the rich but still detested them, however, he likes what they offer. He says they are “violently, vindictive, they own five homes and drink vodka.” He says how they “want me to gravel at their feet.” He admits he hits the bottle too much and has been a mainstay in many hospitals for alcoholism but doesn’t stop drinking. He said that writing is hard then you get depressed.
Directed by veteran movie and television actress Joanna Cassidy (Wes Craven’s Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991). She captures Capote’s true essence. He loves the attention he gets from a group of people who wouldn’t normally enter his hemisphere. A regular mainstay at Studio 54, Capote got lit with the best of them and was still able to churn out explicit and outstanding books.
Galen is wonderful. He beautifully captures Capotes, idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, and speech to the letter. Like, the writer, he too is charming, funny and can tell a great story. Still, there’s a bit of vulnerability that comes out subtly. That’s when you got to pay attention because it flies by quick. Capote would be happy to know that somebody got it right.
TRU ends its short run this Saturday, the 25th at 7:30 p.m., 70 minutes, playing at the Three Clubs Stage Room, inside the Three Clubs, located at 1123 N Vine St., in Los Angeles For ticket information, go to: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7509