Lombardo's High, with Kathleen Turner and Evan Jonigkeit, Aiming for Broadway

News   Lombardo's High, with Kathleen Turner and Evan Jonigkeit, Aiming for Broadway
Matthew Lombardo's new play High, starring Kathleen Turner, is aiming for a Broadway arrival in spring 2011 with its Tony and Academy Award-nominated star in tow, according to a casting notice.

High will begin rehearsals in February 2011 towards a spring Broadway arrival. Leonard Soloway, Terry. E. Schnuck, Chase Mishkin, Ann Scott and The Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis will produce the Broadway run.

The casting notice states that both Turner (as a nun who counsels at a Christian recovery center) and newcomer Evan Jonigkeit, who plays a young addict, will repeat their roles in the Broadway production; only understudies are being sought. The role of Father Michael Delpapp, originated by Tony Award nominee Michael Berresse (The Light in the Piazza, A Chorus Line), is being recast.

Rob Ruggiero, who also staged Lombardo's Looped on Broadway, will repeat his work for the Broadway run of High. Ruggiero also staged the regional engagements of the three-actor play, which premiered at Hartford TheaterWorks in July, followed by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production earlier this fall and a final stop at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in October.

No official announcement about a Broadway mounting has been announced.

After its TheaterWorks world premiere, playwright Lombardo revisited the work. "My greatest passion is developing new work in regional theaters around the country," he said in a previous statement to Playbill.com. "We learn a little bit more about the play at each venue. With High I have been specifically concentrating on deepening the relationships between the characters and clarifying the overall story arc." Ruggiero added, "Having nearly half a year for the actors to embody and breathe these characters, gives us the opportunity to further explore who these people are in relationship to themselves and one another." Here's how the play is characterized: "When Sister Jamison Connelly (Turner) agrees to sponsor a nineteen 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 the belief in miracles and whether people can find the courage to change. High explores the universal themes of truth, forgiveness, redemption and human fallibility."

Lombardo's Tallulah Bankhead-inspired work Looped played a brief Broadway engagement last season with Valerie Harper as the iconic actress. His plays also include the Katharine Hepburn bio-play Tea at Five.

Kathleen Turner and Michael Berresse
Kathleen Turner and Michael Berresse
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