THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY Plays Final Performances This Weekend
The Square One Theatre Company in Stratford, Connecticut completes its 28th Anniversary Season with The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lescene. Lecesne's multihued play glows with such humanity (and robust humor) that the audience may find itself choking back a tear or two. The play, directed by Tom Holehan, is a dazzling beacon of theatrical talent.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, hailed by The New York Times "...leaves you beaming with joy...a superlative solo show..." is playing its final performances on Friday (8pm), Saturday (4pm & 8pm) and Sunday (2pm) through May 20 (2018) at Stratford Academy located at 719 Birdseye Street in Stratford, Connecticut.
Square One Theatre has partnered with Stratford High School Gay/Straight Alliance and members of PFLAG for post-performance talkbacks with the audience following the 4pm twilight matinee performances on Saturdays, with the final talkback on Saturday, May 19. The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, selected by The New York Times as a 'Critic's Pick' with "BRAVO! A tale that shimmers with needling suspense," concerns the disappearance of Leonard Pelkey, a flamboyant 14-year-old boy who dared to be different, and the small New Jersey town that will never be the same without him. Chuck DeSantis, a small-town investigator, who gets a kick out of uttering famous Shakespearian lines in his working-class accent, sets out to solve the disappearance. Through Leonard's world, the detective confronts the horrors of bullying and sees how a community can learn to embrace their differences by having the courage to stay true to their individuality.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is an affecting and entertaining testament to the beauty of a world in which difference is celebrated rather than denigrated. Detective DeSantis begins with such gruff, blue-collar masculinity that it's something of a shock when, in the blink of an eye, he morphs into nine totally different characters orbiting Leonard's world including Ellen, the sultry owner of a local hair salon who takes Leonard under her wing...her 16-year-old shy, nerdy daughter Pheobe...even Otto, an old German clock repair shop worker who came to understand his own gay son through talking with Leonard. Through differing viewpoints, the secrets of the mystery, as well as those of the community, are slowly revealed. As the playwright, Lecesne manages to convey the meaning of this loss in a town that slowly begins to feel the absence of such a creative, peacefully nonconforming spirit.
Musing in his Shakespearean way, Detective DeSantis asks when reflecting on the troubled yet inordinately bright life of Leonard: "Is there anything in this world more unexpected than a human being? What is it about a kid who gets chased and jumped and slammed into his locker on a daily basis and still insists on being himself?" That's the question asked in this remarkable and heartwarming one-man show.
The cast features ALEXANDER KULCSAR, who is the all-time record holder of Square One Subscriber Awards winning a total of nine times for his leading roles in Chapatti, The Outgoing Tide, Freud's Last Session, Southern Comforts, Moonlight and Magnolias, The Shop at Sly Corner, Camping with Henry and Tom and The Business of Murder as well as a Featured Actor Award in Later Life. Other Square One credits include Olive and the Bitter Herbs, Deadly Murder, ART, The Right Kind of People, Match, Talking Heads, Inherit the Wind, The Countess, Twelve Angry Men, Three Viewings, The Heiress, Two Rooms and The Business of Murder.
Square One Theatre is in residence at Stratford Academy located at 719 Birdseye Street in Stratford, Connecticut. There is ample FREE parking. Stratford Academy's stage has been re-configured by Square One into an intimate 64-seat black box-type theatre. The audience is seated in new padded chairs on the stage along with the actors, insuring that all patrons have a good seat to hear and see. With this redesigned, modern venue no audience member is more than 15 feet from the stage.
Tickets are: $20 for each adult single ticket $19 for each senior citizen & student single ticket
Single tickets may be purchased: By phone: Box Office at 203.375.8778(24/7) Online at: squareonetheatre.com In person: at box office 60 minutes prior to each performance By mail: self-addressed, stamped envelope & check payable to Square One Theatre sent to Administrative Office; 656 Longbrook Avenue, Stratford, Ct 06614-5117 The Stratford Academy is wheelchair accessible. Please inform the box office of any special needs when reserving tickets.
For more information and up-to-date news about the theatre, the play and the actor visit squareonetheatre.com