The Music Theater of Connecticut continues its streak of producing single-person shows during COVID-19. Each of these performances focused on a particular person’s life, such as “RFK” or “Dr. Ruth”. This time, it is Truman Capote. Or more simply, “Tru”. It is written by Jay Presson Allen. She was one of the few women who were able to make a living as a screenwriter during her time in the industry. Already, the making of this show was ahead of its time.
This show reflects on the life of Capote personally and professionally. The artist discusses his stories and works, while also talking about his struggles with his sexuality and addiction. The combination of the witty dialogue, Jeff Gurner’s performance, and the homey set makes the show feel incredibly human, even while viewing through a screen.
Gurner gave it his all in this role. His connection with the audience is electric. The audience feels as if they are chatting with a childhood friend. He approaches the humor of Capote just right. It’s dry and clever. And with this role, it can be easy to overact the part. This is an addict’s story, and one must approach it gently. An actor can overdramatize the life of a man who feels his sexuality and gender identity are at war. Instead, Gurner stays respectful. The inner turmoil of Capote is realistic. While Capote is confident in himself, there is still a twinge of shame he expresses when reflecting on his past. The set makes the show feel even more intimate. We are welcomed into Capote’s home that is decorated for Christmas. It is a common tradition that everyone can connect to.
This was a perfect time for MTC to put on “Tru”. So many artists’ sexualities are hidden to lost in history, and this is a reminder that Capote powered through discrimination and became a successful author, storyteller, and celebrity.
The future of MTC is looking bright. As guidelines relax, bigger casts will soon grace the stage and greet a larger, in-person audience. If you want to return back to viewing live performances, MTC has you covered! This summer, various artists will take part in MTC’s summer cabaret series. The “Hot Summer Nights” will feature Broadway stars Saturday nights as viewers can relax, listen, and enjoy drinks at the bar.