|Written by||Matthew Lombardo|
|Characters||Sister Jamison Connelly|
Father Michael Delpapp
|Date premiered||March 25, 2011|
|Subject||Religion, Homosexuality, Drug use|
High is a play written by Matthew Lombardo. The story revolves around a nun, Sister Jamison Connelly, who deals with her sordid past and the people around her with her acerbic wit and wisdom. When Sister Jamison agrees to sponsor a gay 19-year-old drug user and hustler in an effort to help him combat his addiction, her own faith is ultimately tested. HIGH explores the universal themes of truth, forgiveness, redemption and human fallibility.
High had its world premiere in the summer of 2010 at Hartford's TheaterWorks, where director Rob Ruggiero had been a longtime associate artistic director, as well as author Matthew Lombardo, who was born in Hartford and raised in Wethersfield. The show, which had commercial attachments and Broadway ambitions, then traveled to Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park, followed by a run at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis. Kathleen Turner and Evan Jonigkeit played Sister Jamison and Cody Randall, while Michael Berresse portrayed Father Michael Delpapp. Reviews were mostly positive in the out-of-town tryouts.
High opened in previews on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on March 25, 2011, with an official opening night on April 19, 2011. Turner and Jonigkeit remained in their respective roles, and Stephen Kunken replaced Berresse in the role of Father Michael Delpapp. Despite some critical praise, mainly for Jonigkeit and Turner's performances, it was otherwise critically savaged and, coupled with low advance sales, closed on April 24, 2011, after 28 previews and 8 regular performances (making it the shortest-running production of the 2010-2011 Broadway season).
Sister Jamison Connelly is an acerbic and profanity-inclined nun and drug counselor with a checkered past of her own. She herself is a former drug user and alcoholic (who often was promiscuous with other men, a habit that resulted tragically in her sister's death). Her employer, Father Michael Delpapp, brings her to the attention of Cody Randall, a gay 19 year old drug user and hustler, in the hopes he can be reformed. In doing so, Sister Jamison is left to prevent Cody from self-destructing with his crystal meth addiction, while confronting her own past. Through various plot twists, it is learned that Father Michael is related to Cody (as an uncle) and that he has been financially enabling him for years, which culminated in a cover-up involving Cody murdering his 14-year-old lover. Though at first resistant, Cody eventually begins to take to Sister Jamison's unconventional approach to religion, but relapses back into drugs and a life of crime, and Sister Jamison, unknowing of how to act, leaves Cody to die in a back alley after praying with him.
Original Broadway cast
- Kathleen Turner as Sister Jamison Connelly
- Stephen Kunken as Father Michael Delpapp
- Evan Jonigkeit as Cody Randall
Awards and nominations
- 2011 Drama League Award
- Distinguished Performance Award - Kathleen Turner (nominated)
- Best Supporting Actor in a Play - Evan Jonigkeit (nominated)
- Outstanding Debut - Evan Jonigkeit (won)
- 2011 Kevin Kline Awards
- Best Supporting Actor in a Play - Evan Jonigkeit (won)
- 2011 IRNE Awards
- Best Supporting Actor in a Touring Play - Evan Jonigkeit (nominated)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2011-06-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)