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Hamptons Theater Review: Opening Night Of "The Absolute Brightness Of Leonard Pelkey"

T.J. Clemente

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey star James Lecesne. (Courtesy Photo)

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is currently being presented at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. It is both written and performed by James Lecesne.

The author with James Lecesne. (Courtesy Photo)

The acting of Mr. Lecesne is a bombshell of skillful entertainment as his kinetic energy leaves you on the edge of your seat while he spins from character to character with the ease of a summer breeze blowing through an open kitchen window. The one man but multiple character play is set in New Jersey and is incredibly timely in dealing with the issue of gay bashing and bullying. In this case, it is a 14-year-old boy named Leonard Pelkey. Through a myriad of characters the actor eases around the broad circumference of a homicide that defines the essence of how someone so young could be snuffed out of life solely because he is different, yet also provide magic and wisdom because he is genuine. The audience totally enjoyed every line. I could easily watch this 70 minute one-act play more than once because there are nuances within every group of lines. You will laugh, moan, and take pause because this play both entertains and provokes deep thoughts about how society has not yet totally evolved on the LGBTQ community's power to contribute to society.

The play's music is by Duncan Sheik, Tony Speciale directs, and the performance is produced by Darren Bagert and Daryl Roth.

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is must see theater. It is running only until Sunday, July 24th, and there will be a special benefit on Saturday, July 23rd where partial proceeds will benefit Live Out Loud, an organization that inspires, nurtures and empowers LGBTQ youth to build a successful future by connecting them to positive role models and affirmative experiences in the LGBTQ community.

Tickets are $35.

Bay Street Theater is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-725-9500 or visit www.baystreet.org.

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