Cast and Creative Team Announced for THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY
The Old Globe today announced the creative team for the next show of the Globe's 2017-2018 Season, acclaimed actor and playwright James Lecesne's tour-de-force one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. This thoroughly entertaining new play is directed by Tony Speciale and will run September 30 - October 29, 2017 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Previews run September 30 - October 4, with opening night on Thursday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $30 and are now on sale.
Chuck DeSantis is a brash New Jersey detective eager for a case that gets him out from behind his desk. On one extraordinary day, he finds it: the disappearance of teenager Leonard Pelkey. Digging deeper and deeper into Leonard's life, Chuck follows clues that lead him to unexpected places and show him how one boy's bravery can light the way toward truth. James Lecesne delivers a solo tour de force, effortlessly bringing to life the inhabitants of a colorful seaside town as they awaken to the beauty of being different. The New York Times called Lecesne one of "the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation" and said The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey "leaves you beaming with joy."
James Lecesne (Playwright, Performer) wrote the short film Trevor, which won an Academy Award and inspired the founding of The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24-hour suicide prevention and crisis intervention lifeline for LGBT and Questioning youth. He created The Road Home: Stories of Children of War, which was presented at the International Peace Initiative at The Hague. He adapted Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City for Showtime (Emmy nomination) and was a writer on the series "Will & Grace." He has written three novels for young adults, and created The Letter Q, a collection of letters by Queer writers written to their younger selves. As an actor, he has appeared on TV ("Sex and the City"), on Broadway (Gore Vidal's The Best Man), and Off Broadway (The Boys in the Band, Cloud 9, One Man Band, Word of Mouth; Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards). He won awards from The Off Broadway Theater Alliance, The United Solo Festival, and The Outer Critics Circle for his performance in The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. jameslecesne.com.
Tony Speciale (Director) is the artistic director of Abingdon Theatre Company in New York City. He conceived, co-authored, and directed the world premiere of Unnatural Acts (Classic Stage Company, Drama Desk Award nominee, GLAAD Media Award nominee). His New York credits include The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Westside Theatre/Dixon Place), A Midsummer Night's Dream featuring Bebe Neuwirth, Christina Ricci, and Taylor Mac (Classic Stage Company), Handbook for an American Revolutionary (The Gym at Judson), and Stet (Abingdon). His regional credits include The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Kirk Douglas Theatre), Barry Manilow's Harmony (ALLIANCE THEATRE/Ahmanson Theatre), and Romeo and Juliet (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Speciale served four seasons as associate artistic director of Classic Stage Company, holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University, and is the proud recipient of a Princess Grace Theatre Honorarium and Suzi Bass Award. tonyspeciale.com.
The creative team includes Jo Winiarski (Scenic Design), Matt Richards (Lighting Design), Christian Frederickson (Sound Design), Duncan Sheik (Original Music), Matthew Sandager (Original Animation and Photography), Paul Marlow (Clothing), Calleri Casting (Tour Casting), Hannah Woodward (Production Stage Manager), Production Core (Tour Production Supervisor), DR Theatrical Management (Tour General Management), DR Advertising (National Brand Management), and DR Theatrical Licensing (North American Tour Booking).
"The Globe has produced some memorable solo shows during my tenure here, and The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey will be another unforgettable one," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "Introducing us to a small Jersey town rocked by the disappearance of one young man, James Lecesne gives us a gripping whodunit but populates it with a gallery of eccentrics who are entertaining, surprising, and deeply human. Lecesne's writing is as fierce as it is funny, and his performance is truly a tour de force. Best of all, Brightness tells a moving story of tolerance and openness to difference that none of us can hear enough. I'm excited to open our new season in the White Theatre with this special show."
The Old Globe has partnered with The Center (the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center) to create a lobby art exhibit for The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. Young people from the Hillcrest Youth Center, with the guidance of Globe Teaching Artists, will explore the themes of the play, particularly identity, difference, and individuality. Inspired by the character of Leonard Pelkey, who wears a pair of uniquely decorated high-top sneakers, the young artists will create embellished shoes that represent their own "brightness." The shoes will be on display throughout the production's run along with self-portraits and writing by the young artists. The exhibit is included in the price of ticket to The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey in the Viterbi Family Lobby of the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. The exhibit will also be open to the public on Balboa Park Free Tuesdays, October 3, 10, and 17, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. The Subject Matters presentation on Saturday, October 7, part of our humanities programming, will feature Globe Teaching Artists and several of the teenagers involved in the creation of the exhibit.
The Off Broadway production of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey was presented at the Westside Theatre in New York City. Originally developed and presented at Dixon Place in New York City. Original New York projection design by Aaron Rhyne. The tour team includes Darren Bagert, Daryl Roth, Jane Dubin, Curtis Forsythe, Michael Mayer, Diane Procter, Seaview Productions, and Minerva Productions/Joshua Goodman.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is supported in part through gifts from Production Sponsors Elaine and Dave Darwin, The Prado at Balboa Park, Karen and Stuart Tanz, and US Bank.
Additional events taking place during the run of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey include:
VICKI AND CARL ZEIGER INSIGHTS SEMINAR: Tuesday, October 3 at 5:30 p.m.
An opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatregoing experience. Reception at 5:00 p.m. FREE.
SUBJECT MATTERS: Saturday, October 7, following the 2:00 p.m. matinee.
Explore the ideas and issues raised by a production through brief, illuminating post-show discussions with local experts, in this case feature Globe Teaching Artists and several of the teenagers involved in the creation of the lobby art exhibit. Subject Matters will ignite discussion, bring the play's concerns into sharp focus, and encourage you to think beyond the stage! FREE.
POST-SHOW FORUMS: Tuesday, October 10; Tuesday, October 17; and Wednesday, October 25.
Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast, crew, and/or Globe staff members. Get the inside story on creating a character and putting together a professional production. FREE.
SINGLE TICKETS to The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey start at $30 and are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more. Performances begin on September 30 and continue through October 29, 2017. Performance times: Previews: Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m.; Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m.; and Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. Opening night is Thursday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m. Regular performances (October 6-29): Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. There will be an additional matinee performance on Wednesday, October 18 at 2:00 p.m. There will be no performance on Saturday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m.
The Old Globe is located in San Diego's Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. Through a special arrangement with the San Diego Zoo, Old Globe evening ticket-holders have the opportunity to pre-purchase valet parking in the Zoo's employee parking structure. With a drop-off point just a short walk to the Globe, theatregoers may purchase fast, easy, convenient valet parking for just $14 per vehicle per evening. Pre-paid only, available only by phone through The Old Globe Box Office. Call (619) 234-5623 or visit www.theoldglobe.org/plan-your-visit/directions--parking/valet-parking.
There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Guests may also be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. The Balboa Park valet is also available during performances, located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit www.theoldglobe.org/plan-your-visit/directions--parking/detailed-directions.