High, Starring Kathleen Turner, Will Play Toronto in Spring
By Kenneth Jones
Kathleen Turner will bring her performance as a salty nun in Matthew Lombardo's High to Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre May 8-13. Since its short life on Broadway in spring 2011, the staging has played intermittent regional engagements in 2012-13.
Directed by Rob Ruggiero, who also staged the Broadway production, the tour of High also features Evan Jonigkeit as Cody Randall and Timothy Altmeyer as Father Michael Delpapp.
The lurid drama — spiced with nudity, profanity and violence seen and unseen — concerns addict Cody Randall, who is mysteriously connected to Father Michael Delpapp, played by Broadway understudy Altmeyer. (Stephen Kunken, a Tony Award nominee for Enron who is now rehearsing The Columnist, originated the role.) Turner plays Cody's drug counselor, who has a complicated past.
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.
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 previously appeared in The Graduate at the Canon Theatre (recently renamed the Ed Mirvish Theatre) in Toronto.
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, rising actor 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."
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).
Tickets for Toronto's High go on sale March 26. For information, visit www.mirvish.com.
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