Suspend any expectation that the actor playing Truman Capote in the one-man play Tru, now on at Theatre Three, will attempt an impression of the author as accurate as the late Philip Seymour Hoffman did in his Oscar-winning performance in Capote.
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Jaston Williams, co-creator and longtime star of the original company of Greater Tuna, doesn't do Truman. He's more Vera Carp (one of his Tuna personae) than the famous carping whiner who penned In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's. And yet, Williams is such a captivating presence and sensitive comic actor, he makes it work.
Directed by Marty Van Kleeck (based on direction for an Austin production by Larry Randolph, who died last summer), this Tru is truly a delight. We find Capote alone, depressed and tipsy on Christmas Eve, just after his banishment from high society for daring to write about fancy friends Babe Paley and Gloria Vanderbilt in Esquire mag. He putters around his New York apartment, moaning that "poinsettias are the Bob Goulet of botany."
Capote also quotes the Roman philosopher Cicero: "Life is a relatively good play with a poorly written third act." Not here. There are just two sharply written acts in Jay Presson Allen's play, which was drawn from Capote's words and bio. Every moment is deliciously bitchy, witty and beautifully performed.
Tru continues through February 8 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., tickets $10-$50, call 214-871-3300.