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The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

The critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, written by and starring James Lecesne, the writer of the Academy Award-winning film Trevor comes to the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts for a limited performance engagement Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4, 2016.

The new play, awarded the United Solo Special Award and a New York Times Critic’s Pick, is produced by Darren Bagert and Daryl Roth, directed by Tony Speciale, with original music by Tony Award-winning composer Duncan Sheik.  The United Solo Special award honors the sensitivity, audacity and wisdom of artists who remind us of the immense power of a singular performer and the possibilities of solo storytelling.   Previous winners include Anna Deavere Smith, Patti LuPone, John Leguizamo, Fiona Shaw, and Billy Crystal.

“One of the greatest storytellers of his generation” (The New York Times), veteran New York actor and writer James Lecesne portrays every character in a small Jersey shore town as they unravel the story of Leonard Pelkey, a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant 14 year-old boy who goes missing. A luminous force of nature whose magic is only truly felt once he disappears, Leonard becomes the unexpected inspiration for a town as they question how they live, who they love and what they leave behind.

Charles Isherwood in The New York Times wrote, “Absolute Brightness leaves you beaming with joy … a superlative solo show by James Lecesne, himself a pretty darn dazzling beacon of theatrical talent.  Mr. Lecesne has the channel-changing virtuosity to portray a hardened New Jersey detective in the classic gumshoe mold; a withdrawn teenage girl; her abrasive but warmhearted hairdresser mom; the British proprietor of a dance-and-drama school; and at least half a dozen equally distinctive characters. Each is drawn with the precision of a fine engraving and a dollop of a great cartoonist’s comic expressionism.  Lecesne is also a writer of wit and keen observational skills … and his multihued performance glows with such humanity (and robust humor) that while you may find yourself choking back a tear or two.”

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey comes to the Kravis Center as a part of the P.E.A.K. (Provocative Entertainment At Kravis) Series, and is made possible by a grant from the MLDauray Arts Initiative in honor of Leonard and Sophie Davis. Absolute Brightness is on stage Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4 at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, December 3 at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $32 and may be purchased at the Kravis Center Box Office located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, on-line at the Official Kravis Center website, or by calling the Box Office at 561-832-7469. For Group Sales, please call 561-651-4438 or 561-651-4304.

This season, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts celebrates a Quarter-Century on Stage.  And while we celebrate our silver anniversary, we renew our commitment to the community to present the gold standard of excellence in the performing arts. Today, the Kravis Center is a thriving cultural complex, serving as the gateway to downtown West Palm Beach. Thanks to so many who have and continue to support the Center, it has become one of the premier performing arts centers with a renowned national and international reputation. The Kravis Center for is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County by presenting a diverse schedule of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality; by offering comprehensive arts education programs; by providing a Palm Beach County home in which local and regional arts organizations can showcase their work; and by providing an economic catalyst and community leadership in West Palm Beach, supporting efforts to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County. The Kravis Center is located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, FL. For more information, please call 561-832-7469 or visit the official website at