By Kenneth Jones
17 Nov 2011
Matthew Lombardo's lurid drama — spiced with nudity, profanity and violence seen and unseen — will again be directed by Rob Ruggiero. The tour launches Dec. 6-11 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.
Rising actor Evan Jonigkeit will again play addict Cody Randall, who is mysteriously connected to Father Michael Delpapp, to be played by Broadway understudy Timothy Altmeyer. (Stephen Kunken, a Tony Award nominee for Enron, originated the role.)
The play was not embraced by critics, but two-time Golden Globe winner, Academy Award and Tony Award nominee Turner drew interest for her star power and for her voracious performance.
Lombardo's plays include Broadway's Looped and Off-Broadway's Tea at Five, plus Mother and Child and Guilty Innocence. The film rights to High have been optioned by director Mark Kohl, and the first draft of the screenplay has been turned in.
Ruggiero directed Looped and High on Broadway, plus popular regional engagements of Ella, which he co-conceived, and the recent Goodspeed Musicals revival of Show Boat, among many other works.
Turner was Tony-nominated as Martha in the 2005 revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She also appeared in Broadway's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Indiscretions and The Graduate. Her films include "Prizzi's Honor," "The War of the Roses," "Body Heat," "Peggy Sue Got Married" and "The Jewel of the Nile," among many others.
For his work as the bruised and bruising Cody, Jonigkeit was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.
Here's how High is billed: "When Sister Jamison Connelly (Turner) agrees to sponsor a 19 year-old drug user in an effort to help him combat his addiction, her own faith is ultimately tested. Struggling between the knowledge she possesses as a rehabilitation counselor and a woman of religious conviction, she begins to question her belief in miracles and whether people can find the courage to change. High explores the universal themes of truth, forgiveness, redemption and human fallibility."
The High national tour is also aiming for Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere. A London production is also being mulled.
High is produced by Ann Cady Scott & Timothy J. Hampton in association with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
The design team includes David Gallo (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes) John Lasiter (lighting) and Vincent Olivieri (sound and original music).
For tickets and information, visit www.parkerplayhouse.com or phone at (954) 462-0222.
View highlights from the Broadway production: