"When God hands you a gift," wrote Truman Capote, "he also hands you a whip, and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation." Jay Presson Allen's biographical piece takes place during Christmas, 1975. Esquire published two chapters from his long-promised masterpiece, Answered Prayers, a tell-all about the super rich, and many of his closest friends reject him. He's also suffering from a creative crisis (when he died nine years later, he had only 180 pages of the novel in his papers). In Act one Capote talks -- on the phone, to a tape-recorder, to the audience -- and, in the first act, drinks straight vodka like water. In Act two he tries to change his life. The play is impressionistic with occasional depths, Along with a wordy second act, it unfolds like an entre nous dish-fest (assumes you know the names dropping by the minute). Capote was a deliberate caricature of himself, decades before Stonewall. Todd Blakesley has Capote's mannerisms, but minus the caricature, which some might find incomplete. But the choice draws attention past the surface and paints the desperate portrait of an addict on the edge. Capote can still choose. Two years later, that option was gone. Worth a try.
Ongoing until Sunday, December 21, 2014
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