POST: 'The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey' - no such thing as too much of yourself

What's it about?

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is a one-man play staring James Lecesne, who plays a detective in a small town in New Jersey. He is investigating the cruel murder of a 14 year-old boy named Leonard Pelkey. Through his journey, he finds the mark that Leonard left on the small town, teaching women about a LBD or teaching his aunt and cousin that you could never be too much of yourself.

What did I experience?

When I was looking for which shows, this was the first that stood out to me. The image for the play stood out, untied rainbow platform converse. 

It was a Sunday and I was with my family, we went to church and after we normally go to my grandma's house and enjoy lunch with her. This day, I was on my way to the theater after church. I got there pretty quickly, and went to the box office to get my ticket. After, to the usher to find my seat. But all I heard was "seat 7" - I thought I was in the fourth or fifth row but the lady replied,"no sweetie, it's the second row seat seven." I thought to myself second row - I was expecting to sit that close to the stage. But she was right, I did, and my seat was amazing! And Honestly, my seat affected my whole mood, I was instantly excited about the play and the one actor who did many characters. I've never seen a play with just one actor.

The stage was set with was a table with butterfly wings, a lamp, a folder, and the rainbow platform sneakers. There were two empty seats surrounding me so I was pretty comfy. The play started with an old age man coming on stage - he was a detective in a small town in New Jersey, investigating the murder of a 14 year-old boy named Leonard Pelkey. 

I kept wondering how he (the actor) would portray a female and other characters. When he became a woman he changed his whole body language and the his sound of voice. He had a stereotypical female jersey accent and even though he didn't have any props, you could tell he was  putting on lipstick or looking into the mirror and fixing her (or his?!) hair. When he spoke, hat stereotypical jersey accent, I was dying of laughter.

Leonard was living with his aunt who had a daughter. The daughter wasn't very fond of Leonard, but I knew she couldn't have done it, I just had a gut feeling she didn't kill Leonard. Even though she had to defend him plenty of times, and he didn't help her popularity status by being out there and different, she still loved him because he taught her things.

Throughout the play, the detective would find evidence and it would show on the projector on stage. The story hit a rocky road once they found one of Leonard's rainbow platform converse in a lake. They kept looking for days and days and finally his body was found. The murderer tied him to an anchor and left him in the lake so his body wouldn't rise up. It seemed, to me, like Leonard was harshly killed, by a guy who thought that he was way too different and he had to be taught a lesson.

In that small town, Leonard stood out. To the women, he taught  them that they must MUST have a LBD - a little black dress (And its completely true!). To the town, Leonard Pelkey taught people that even though he was different, you have to be yourself. By standing out, he taught them that there's no such thing as being too much of yourself.

Want to see it?


$25 Student Rush
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
@ The Westside Theater
thru Oct. 18