Sag Harbor, NY - July 19, 2016 - Bay Street Theater is pleased to send out the attached opening night photos for The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. The production will run now through July 24.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is written and performed by James Lecesne, music by Duncan Sheik, directed by Tony Speciale, and is produced by special arrangement with Darren Bagert and Daryl Roth. One of the greatest storytellers of his generation, James Lecesne (the writer of the Academy Award-Winning film Trevor), 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. A luminous force of nature whose magic is only truly felt once he is missing, Leonard becomes the unexpected inspiration for a town as they question how they live, who they love and what they leave behind.
Pictured: Lance Gotko and Jane Holden: Photo By: Michael Heller.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey comes to Bay Street Theater following hit runs in New York and Los Angeles. The New York Times raved, "Bravo! A tale that shimmers with needling suspense. James Lecesne's multihued performance glows with such humanity (and robust humor) that you may find yourself choking back a tear or two. James Lecesne is a dazzling beacon of theatrical talent." The Los Angeles Times wrote, "'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."
Pictured: Tracy Mitchell, Edie Windsor, and Carol Shapiro. Photo By: Michael Heller.
"I am thrilled that Bay Street will bring James Lecesne to the East End this summer," says Artistic Director Scott Schwartz, "When I saw this remarkable production in its off-Broadway run, I knew immediately it would be a perfect complement to our Mainstage Season. The play is a riveting detective story, both funny and moving. It is a deeply theatrical experience anchored by James' brilliant, not-to-be-missed performance. It has been a dream of mine since becoming Artistic Director at Bay Street to offer a fourth theatrical production for our audience in the summer. I'm so happy we have the opportunity to do so with the addition of Absolute Brightness to our 25th Anniversary Season."
There will a special benefit on Saturday, July 23 and partial proceeds will benefit Live Out Loud! Live Out Loud 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.
JAMES LECESNE (Playwright/ Performer) wrote the screenplay for 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 has created several solo shows including Word of Mouth, which was presented by Mike Nichols and Elaine May and directed by Eve Ensler (NY Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award) and the acclaimed One Man Band. NY Theater credits include Gore Vidal's The Best Man, The Boys in The Band and Cloud 9. Television credits: Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of The City (Emmy nomination), Will & Grace, Sex & The City, and Vicious. He has written three novels, including Absolute Brightness, and he was the executive producer of the documentary film, After The Storm, which follows the lives of twelve young people living in post Katrina New Orleans. James was awarded the 2015 United Solo Award for his work in The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey.
TONY SPECIALE (Director) is the new Artistic Director of Abingdon Theatre Company in New York City. He is also the founder of Plastic Theatre-conceiving, co-authoring and directing the world premiere of Unnatural Acts (Classic Stage Company; Drama Desk Award nominee, GLAAD Media Award nominee). NYC: The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Dixon Place/Westside Theatre); 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 Remembering Mr. Maugham (Clurman Theatre). Regional: Barry Manilow's Harmony (Alliance Theatre/ CTG's Ahmanson Theatre) and Romeo and Juliet (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Tony served four seasons as Associate Artistic Director at Classic Stage Company, studied musical theatre at The Boston Conservatory and holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University. He is also the proud recipient of a Princess Grace Theatre Honorarium and a Suzi Bass Award. tonyspeciale.com
DUNCAN SHEIK (Original Music). Selected theatre credits: Spring Awakening (2007; eight Tony Awards and Grammy Award), American Psycho (2016 Broadway debut), Because of Winn Dixie (Delaware Theatre Company, 2015), Whisper House (Old Globe Theatre, 2011), Alice by Heart (National Theatre London, 2012). Works currently in development include Noir, Nero, The Nightingale. Recorded works: Legerdemain (fall 2015), Covers 80s (2011), Whisper House (2009), White Limousine (2006), Daylight (2002), Phantom Moon (2001), Humming (1998), Duncan Sheik (Grammy nomination, 1996).
DARREN BAGERT (Producer) is a multiple-award-winning producer including the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics' Circle, Drama League, Obie and Lucille Lortel. Current Broadway productions include the Tony Award-winning show An American in Paris, The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo, and Danielle Brooks, and Eugene O'Neill's HUGHIE starring Forest Whitaker and Frank Wood, directed by Michael Grandage. Recent Broadway productions include: Side Show directed by Bill Condon, Of Mice and Men (Tony Award nominee), The Glass Menagerie (Tony Award nominee), Gore Vidal's The Best Man (Tony Award nominations both productions, 2012 & 2000), Company (Tony Award winner), Sweeney Todd (Tony Award nominee), Frozen (Tony Award nominee), Long Day's Journey Into Night (Tony Award winner) among others. His Off-Broadway credits include such long-running plays as Buyer & Cellar and My Name Is Asher Lev. Darren hopes everyone embraces the ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS found in everyone around us. Dedicated to Martin Massman.
DARYL ROTH (Producer) holds the singular distinction of producing seven Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: Anna in the Tropics; August: Osage County (2008 Tony); Clybourne Park (2012 Tony); How I Learned to Drive; Proof (2001 Tony); Edward Albee's Three Tall Women; and Wit. The proud recipient of eight Tony Awards and London's Olivier Award, her over 90 award winning productions include: Kinky Boots (2013 Tony, 2016 Olivier); Absolute Brightness; Buyer & Cellar; Caroline, or Change; Curtains; A Delicate Balance; The Goat or Who is Sylvia (2002 Tony); It Shoulda Been You; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; The Normal Heart (2011 Tony); Sylvia; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; A View from the Bridge; War Horse (2011 Tony); Wiesenthal; The Year of Magical Thinking; and You Can't Take It With You. Spring 2016: The Crucible and Shuffle Along. www.DarylRothProductions.com.
For more information or to purchase tickets, log on to www.baystreet.org or call the Box Office at 631-725-9500, open 11am to Showtime daily. The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is sponsored in part by Landscape Details.
Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. We serve as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.