The 2001 musical with a soaring, intensely poetic score delivers both a rare emotional punch and a winning sense of forgiveness, redemption and love. It is uncannily timely.
American Blues Theater
“The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” is a wildly creative story about a familiar message brought to life by Chicago actor Joe Foust’s effortless storytelling skills, comic sensibility and emotional range.
With echoes of “Oklahoma” in its evocation of the hardscrabble lives of exceptionally strong women, Pearl Cleage’s story revolves around the different choices made by four women, including the elderly but unbending matriarchal figure who experienced the abominations of slavery, yet survived to tell the story.