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Andy Warhol and Truman Capote were famously friends: The artist depicted the writer in his work several times, and the pair spent hundreds of hours in conversation (some of it published). Now pieces of those conversations will be adapted into “Warhol Capote,” a new play opening this September at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.
All of the dialogue in the play will be drawn from recorded conversations between the two from the late 1970s, when they intended to create a Broadway play together. The tapes of these conversations were recently discovered and culled through by the director Rob Roth.
Mr. Roth hoped to take the play to Broadway in 2015. Instead, it will open at the American Repertory, which has hosted many recent Broadway-bound productions, including “Waitress” and “Finding Neverland.” Michael Mayer, a Tony Award winner for “Spring Awakening,” will direct.
When Warhol arrived in New York, in 1949, Capote was already a literary star there, and the artist took a keen interest in befriending him. “He used to write me these letters all the time,” Capote said of Warhol in a 1973 interview with Rolling Stone. “They were just admiring letters. He seemed a very shy, pale person, rather like he is today. Only much shyer.” When Warhol presented his first New York one-man show in 1952, he called it “Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote.”
The two continued a friendship until Capote’s death in 1984, with many of their conversations published in Interview, Warhol’s magazine. In the later years, Warhol was well aware of Capote’s struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction, which would lead to his death: “He’s like a different person now, he’s very distant, not friendly,” he wrote in 1980.
In 1989, Capote’s words were adapted into the Broadway production “Tru,” with Robert Morse in the title role. A play by Calvin Levels about the relationship between Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, entitled “Collaboration: Warhol & Basquiat,” ran Off Broadway at HERE last year.
“Warhol Capote” has the support of both the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Truman Capote Literary Trust. More information is at americanrepertorytheater.org.
Source: New York Times