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Bobby Morse Gets Raves in One-Man ‘Tru’

Times Theater Critic

Bobby Morse as Truman Capote? Hard to picture. But Morse’s solo portrait of Capote in “Tru,” at the American Repertory Theatre in Boston, has brought Morse his best reviews since “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Kevin Kelly of the Boston Globe called it “an eerily perfect performance. Padding around his nicely cluttered apartment at the United Nations Plaza and making plans for Christmas, 1975, Morse is Capote. There is such an underlying anxiety . . . that your heart breaks for him.”

Arthur Friedman in the Boston Herald said that Morse had pulled off “one of the great stage impersonations in memory--a solo performance I’d rank with Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain, Julie Harris’ Emily Dickinson and Emlyn Williams’ Charles Dickens.”

Joyce Kalhawik of WBZ-TV: “Morse disappears and only Tru is there, the bitchy and brilliant writer who gave us ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘In Cold Blood.’ ”

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Jay Presson Allen’s script was also praised. Kally: “A monologue it may be, but it has been so shrewdly written that it has the range and the depth of a fully developed play.”

“Tru” has been extended through mid-October, and may move to Broadway’s Booth Theatre after that. This is no more than Truman--and Bobby--deserve. It’s still hard to picture.

What else is new in Boston? Ask, rather: What’s old? The critics mildly approved the Broadway-bound musical “Grand Hotel,” first seen in 1958 at Civic Light Opera as “At The Grand.” “Shear Madness,” the beauty-shop murder mystery at the Charles Playhouse, has now been enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running non-musical play in U.S. history--4,000 performances plus. And the Huntington Theatre has unearthed a virtually forgotten Restoration comedy, James Shirley’s “Hyde Park” (1632.) Until the Royal Shakespeare Company revived it two seasons ago, the play hadn’t been seen for 200 years.

Playwright Jo Carson had a terrific week. First, the opening of her “Daytrips” at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Then the news that “Daytrips” had won her the $10,000 Joseph Kesselring prize, given annually by the National Arts Club to an arriving, but not yet arrived, playwright. The awards ceremony will be Nov. 12 in New York.

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IN QUOTES: Joe Namath in the October issue of Esquire, on doing live theater: “It’s the only thing I’ve found that compares with the rush of adrenaline when you were in the tunnel waiting to play a game.”


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