- Mark Chambers
Mark Chambers lives in San Francisco these days, but he’s Memphis to the bone. Chambers made his stage debut at the Overton Park Shell as one of 50 flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. He made an indelible impression on Memphis audiences in adult roles, especially that of Frank-N-Furter in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Picture Show. He grew up in Midtown reading In Cold Blood and other Truman Capote stories with his grandmother and watching movies like Eraserhead and Zaza Gabor’s The Queen of Outer Space at The Guild, a Poplar Avenue movie house that’s now home to the Evergreen Theater. “It’s such a great space,” says Chambers, who’s come home to the Evergreen to play Capote, in Cloud9 Theatre Company’s production of Tru, a one-man show about the author’s infamous struggles with booze, drugs, and fame.
Memphis Flyer: Obviously, you like this material. You’ve performed it elsewhere four times now.
Mark Chambers: I think it’s good writing. In a one-man show, you’re always wondering, “Who is this person talking to?” In this one, he just comes out and says, “I like to talk to myself, and for myself, so there.” And it’s all his words. You can trace them back; there are clips. It’s a good fit for me, too, at this time in my life, and I like him.
This is a Capote after he’s passed from being a great writer into being just a celebrity.
That’s in the show, “I used to be famous for writing books, now I’m famous for being famous,” and it’s at the absolutely worst part, emotionally and professionally, of his life.
Capote has to be one of the most impersonated celebrities ever …
I think I’m not doing an impersonation. I’m going to call it an insinuation. I sort of look like him — or I’m told by the end of the play I look like him. I do, but I don’t. If you let the words work, the audience makes connections.
Cloud9 presents “Tru” at the Evergreen Theatre January 10th-January 20th. Theatreworksmemphis.org $20