I seem to start every review of solo performances with "I'm not a fan of solo performances." James Lecesne, who wrote this and performs it, is a writer-performer responsible for, among other things, the film TREVOR, about a 13 year old gay boy who attempts suicide. The film inspired the Trevor Project to help troubled gay teens. This solo show is about a fourteen year old gay boy who is murdered by a fellow teen for reasons unknown. Leonard Pelkey is a flamboyantly gay kid. Even the people who love him tell him to "tone it down" so he doesn't get bullied or worse. Leonard is fabulously himself and the concept of toning down doesn't compute for him. His story is told through the police detective responsible for investigating his case and the adults who become invested in this seemingly homeless boy. It's a sad, sweet story, competently written and acted. If I seem dissatisfied, it's because the show seems a bit formulaic. I would have liked more richness, more subtlety, better writing. In other words, I would have liked it to dig deeper. It's all a bit too nice. I'd like to find out more about Leonard's killer. Perhaps he's as interesting a character as Leonard, who also needs a voice. More about these characters would have given the show some dramatic conflict. There's too much about the grown ups and not enough about the kids.
A noble effort and worth seeing.
THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY. Westside Theatre. July 19, 2015.