He has the quirky ability, the high voice and the debonair manners to pull it off. And when he puts on the hat, the button-up sweater and crosses his arms over his stomach just so, you can hardly tell the difference between actor Tom Frye ’71/84 and Truman Capote, the flamboyant — and acclaimed — writer who is the subject of a new one-man play called simply, Tru.
Capote, perhaps best-known for his book In Cold Blood, died in 1984 after years of drinking and drug abuse.
Nearly two years ago now, Frye performed the play at two venues in Wichita, where Randy Ervin, general manager of Mosley Street Melodrama, caught the show. “He was wonderful,” Ervin says. “He is Truman Capote.”
Frye sent a tape of the show to Jay Presson Allen, the playwright, and her husband, Lewis Allen, a Broadway producer. The Allens loved Frye’s performance so much they decided to tour the show — and they envisioned Tru as a possible off-Broadway production.
Frye recently returned to Wichita after taking Tru to St. Petersburg, Fla. “The response there was great,” he reports. “We originally scheduled 10 performances, but after we sold out 10, we decided to offer one more.
We had 11 shows and 11 standing ovations.”
Although no date has yet been set for Tru’s opening night off-Broadway, Frye says he’s keeping a suitcase packed.