Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

From 53 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

About the show

Award-winning storyteller James Lecesne's solo show about a small Jersey Shore town where a young boy goes missing. More…

In 'The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pekley,' Lecesne takes on every character in a small Jersey shore town, where Leonard, an optimistic and flamboyant 14-year-old, goes missing. He becomes an unexpected inspiration as the town’s citizens reflect upon his life, their interactions with him, and come to question their own lifestyles.

1h 30m | Already closed | Westside Theatre Upstairs (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (53)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking
87
Avg Score

60
Quirky, Disappointing, Well acted, Poorly plotted, Engaging

See it if you like being told a story, even if weak-plotted. Characters were vivid, the acting effective, but the story didn't work. Best for YA.

Don't see it if you have high standards. There are better solo shows. Not a disaster, but not fully satisfying. The message to be yourself is obvious.

Also I'm catching up on reviews of shows I've seen. Leonard Pelkey held my ... Read more Read less

100
Original, Profound, Must see, Masterful

See it if Brilliant. Moving, Stirring. Brilliant

Don't see it if Don't miss it.

75
Brings dead back to life, Compelling one-man show

See it if you like a tour-de-force one-person show transmitting a well-told tale

Don't see it if you want to see a complex production where sparks fly, that requires a multiplicity of actors

92
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to understand the complications humans endure.

Don't see it if you think that everything is black or white.

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see incredible acting

Don't see it if you don't like one man shows, even if it is unlike any other one man show you've ever seen.

75
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a remarkable solo performance.

Don't see it if you can't abide one-person shows.

90
Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Great writing

See it if You want to see a one man show about inclusion and embracing differences, with a strong statement against bullying and a light, loving touch

Don't see it if You're a homophobe.

100
Intelligent, Masterful, Original

See it if Powerful. Engaging. Amazing.

Don't see it if If you are homophobic.

88
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if topical stories about identity and inclusion move you.

Don't see it if the one man show format doesn't appeal to you.

90
Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Great acting, Profound

See it if u want a unique evening and story telling experience

Don't see it if you don't like the gays

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent, Memorable

See it if You enjoy one actor shows done right, are ok with being emotionally vulnerable while watching

Don't see it if I can't think of a good reason not to see this play

88
Funny, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you like terrific acting, an absorbing tale of a gay 14-yr-old boy & the townsfolk who appreciate him plus the sad fact of hate and fear.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate brilliant acting and writing, in this case by James Lecesne creating multiple characters.

90
Hilarious, Great acting, Relevant, Original

See it if One actor playing many roles, diversity and inclusion

Don't see it if homophobic

68
One man show, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Slow

See it if you'd like a mystery about a very out gay teen.

Don't see it if don't like one-man shows. It drags a bit (no pun intended), and the novel fills in more of the story.

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Touching, Moving, Masterful

See it if You like watching a masterful solo performer at work.

Don't see it if You are looking for a show with bright and fluffy subject matter.

75
Clever, Delightful

See it if You like clever one man shows/mysteries.

Don't see it if You aren't into small productions or one man shows.

100
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Must see, Great writing

See it if you're looking for an amazing oneman show. it's almost over GO SEE IT!! he is so talented, the writing and staging are epic. amazing amazing

Don't see it if THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO GO. GO SEE IT BEFORE IT CLOSES!!

87
Great acting, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a masterclass in character acting, or if you want a good introduction to solo shows.

Don't see it if you already know you hate solo shows (though, really, this one is a good one!)

82
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want a positive message despite/predicated upon a senseless crime via charismatic storytelling in a streamlined one-man-show. Uplifting.

Don't see it if you want bells & whistles with your production. This show is ideally suited for portability, i.e. traveling to youth centers or campuses.

80
Great acting, Intelligent, Original, Relevant

See it if you want to see a very talented actor tell a good story from the viewpoint of several characters

Don't see it if You need a lot of bells and whistles in a show

100
Masterful, Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Resonant

See it if you want to see a transcendent performance by James Lecesne. The story and performance were simultaneously uplifting and devastating.

Don't see it if You hate children, gays, or one-person shows. This is an absolute gem of a show, and if it gets any future re-mountings RUN, DON'T WALK.

95
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in the experiences of marginalized youth and also appreciative of an amazingly talented actor/writer.

Don't see it if You are not culturally enlightened or compassionate about marginalized youth.

79
Funny, Great acting, Clever, Resonant, Original

See it if you want to see one man create many unforgettable characters.

Don't see it if you don't want to see one man create many unforgettable characters.

89
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Original, Resonant

See it if You want to see a great one man show. Seriously, the actor was fantastic slipping into each character flawlessly.

Don't see it if It's pretty heavy without giving anything away, the subject matter is not for everyone.

89
Great writing, Engaging, Insightful, Solo performance, Original

See it if you appreciate good writing/storytelling; a strong solo performance; and entertainment with a relevant message and heartfelt energy.

Don't see it if you only like big musicals or famous stars; are looking for an edgy drama, or can't overlook a few flaws (though the message compensates).


July 27th, 2015
"The antibullying message is beyond reproach, and it pulls heartstrings successfully. But the characters are familiar and often bluntly drawn, and the central mystery lacks depth and suspense. A blend of 'Law & Order,' 'The Laramie Project' and 'Encyclopedia Brown,' the play does not sprout far e...
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July 27th, 2015
"There’s not much mystery here, nor much drama of any other sort. Instead, we get a series of amusing if sometimes too cute impersonations of people...If the play weren’t so sincere, you’d have to laugh. As it is, you simply disengage from the story, refocusing on the technique. And though Lecesn...
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July 27th, 2015
"There's so much to admire about 'The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey' that one practically feels guilty for not liking it more. James Lecesne's solo play is clearly a labor of love, and the writer-actor, playing nearly a dozen characters, delivers a tour-de-force performance. But for all i...
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July 27th, 2015
"Not all of the characters are convincing, but what they have to say about Leonard is very interesting, indeed...Although we never actually meet Leonard but come to know him from the fond memories of his neighbors, he seems very much alive."
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