Broadway Review Roundup: HIGH!

Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: Played by Kathleen Turner, Sister Jamison is a recovering alcoholic who curses like a sailor and bows to no one - sometimes not even God. Her full portrait slowly comes into focus as the action unfolds in director Rob Ruggiero's bare-bones staging.

Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: Indeed, "High" has twists and revelations, but no suspense. Nobody will bat an eye upon learning about Sister Jamie's stormy past, or the reasons Father Michael is so invested in Cody's well-being. And when someone eventually makes a direct appeal to God, you think, "What took so long?" Indeed, everything's foreshadowed with clumsy insistence. While the play clearly hits close to home for Lombardo -- who's been candid about his own faith and past drug problem -- its purple prose and potboiler flourishes could easily have come from a 1960s "social issues" flick.

Matt Windman, amNY: It's too bad Kathleen Turner never got a chance to play Sister Aloysius in "Doubt." It might have spared her the embarrassment of now playing a nun in Matthew Lombardo's disappointing psychological melodrama "High"...Jonigkeit overplays his role physically - especially the twitching and shaking - to the point of absolute ridiculousness. Meanwhile, Kunken, whose character is ill-defined, seems lost amid all the sparring.

Michael Musto, The Village Voice: The result comes off overwrought and far from a miracle. It doesn't help that this is the cheapest looking set in Broadway history (including the two folding chairs of A Steady Rain) and that the kid is made to strip and mock-hump Turner in a bit that redefines gratuitous for all time...Alas, for the most part, High gave me a crisis of my own. It made me lose faith in Broadway.

Linda Winer, Newsday: 'We all suffer from some form of addiction," says Father Michael to Sister Jamison, urging her to continue the counseling of a 19-year-old suicidal gay hustler and meth-head named Cody. Sister Jamison, played by Kathleen Turner, doesn't appear to nod off at the banality of that proclamation or the many other snoozers in Matthew Lombardo's simplistic sin-and-redemption psychodrama, "High."

Robert Feldberg, But the flowering of faith isn't evident in the play. And there's certainly no sense of a miracle in the downbeat "High."

Jonathan Mandell, The Faster Times: Kathleen Turner gives us a no-nonsense performance that is the reason to see this downer of a play meant to give us the gritty truth about addiction, but that feels too much like a recipe: Start with a base of "Equus," sprinkle with a little "Agnes of God," stir in some R-rated spice and unpalatable grit, and serve in a bowl of Lifetime movie, heaped high.

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