Kathleen Turner: Sit on back and you’ll hear a tale…
I have been obsessed with Kathleen Turner ever since her famous utterance of “pussywillow” in the famous John Waters flick Serial Mom. Now that she’s starring on Broadway in High (written by Matthew Lombardo, directed by Rob Ruggiero), I knew I had to see the foul-mouthed dame in person. High is a new play about drugs, faith, and the enabling of an addiction. What does it mean to “help” someone through an addiction? Is it helpful or hurtful to let someone make their own mistakes?
Kathleen Turner and Evan Jonigkeit: You’ve got a little something…
Playwright Matthew Lombardo explores the dark world of drug addiction through the lens of Kathleen Turner as nun/addiction counselor; she is charged with helping Cody (Evan Jonigkeit) become sober. Throughout the play, secrets are revealed: Cody’s relationship to the church, his unfortunate upbringing and addict mother, and his doomed relationship with a younger boyfriend are all revealed through his therapy.
Is that rubbing alcoh-Owwwwwww!
We are certainly taken for a ride with this show – Turner has been very open about being a recovering alcoholic herself, and keeping this in mind while watching this is truly a chilling experience. Jonigkeit, playing the irascible addict, gives a performance that I can only describe as “creepy”. If you are close enough to see his eyes twitching wildly while he is “high”, it’s quite disturbing. (Oh, and don’t miss the giant disclaimer on the show’s website: ADULT CONTENT AND FULL MALE NUDITY. That’ll get your attention!)
Give me a chance to come through! (Oh, please.)
Don’t go to High to see something light and funny – see it to experience the torment of a life governed by addiction. One of a substantial number of plays this season about drug addiction, including The Motherf**ker With The Hat, High leaves you… well, sober.
High is playing at the Booth Theatre on 222 West 45th St in New York City.