THEATER REVIEW | Tough love for Kathleen Turner in “High”


I’m wearing a pink tutu right now. What, you didn’t expect a theater reviewer to be wearing a pink tutu? Well I’ll tell you what, buddy, you’ve got a lot of surprises in store for you if you think a man never sits down to write a theater review while wearing a pink tutu and petting a pygmy hippo. Now siddown and let’s get this over with.

No, shut up. I don’t wanna hear it. This is the part where I do the writing and you do the reading, comprende? All right, now we’re getting somewhere. Trust me, I don’t want to waste your time or mine—so I’ll make this quick. It’s a play. It’s called High. New script, by Matthew Lombardo. The production’s making the rounds, with headliner Kathleen Turner as the big draw. It’s at the Pantages through April 22.

What’s it about? Read the title, moron—and look at the back of your program, with its guide to “How Science Has Revolutionized the Understanding of Drug Addiction.” Young addict (Evan Jonigkeit), maybe trying to get clean. Conflicted priest (Tim Altmeyer). Tough-talking nun (Turner). Is the nun a recovering addict herself? Does the Popemobile have a parking angel? It’s some heavy shit, that’s all I gotta say.

What? What? You think there’s something I’m not telling you? You think there’s something I’m maybe hiding from you? Okay, I’ll tell you, if you promise to keep reading all the way to the end. Deal? Fine. It’s not a bad show. There! I said it. It ain’t bad! Turner, she’s a pro. Jonigkeit, lots of energy. Altmeyer…meh. Point is, the damn thing does what it needs to do. Rob Ruggiero directed, keeps things tight.

So it’s not the most original piece of thee-ay-terr you’ve ever seen. And what? And what? Ya get what ya paid for, don’t ya? You get to see Turner, you get your message, you even get a few laughs. So what if the other shoe drops in the middle of Act One, and then the shoes just keep on dropping? So what? Jesus Christ, not every play has to be goddamn Godot.

Listen, lemme tell you a story. Yeah, yeah, shaddup. I kept my end of the bargain, now you keep yours. Okay, so there’s this girl—let’s call her Lucy. She’s got this guy, let’s say his name is Chuck. Lucy keeps holding a football for Chuck to kick, and then when he gets there she pulls it away at the last second and he falls on his ass, again and again. So finally, Chuck says to Lucy, hey! Why you gotta keep pullin’ that damn ball away for every time? And she says, hey, Chuck: why do you keep runnin’ after it?

Why’d I gotta write the review this way? I didn’t. But hey, Katie: why’d ya hafta do a show like this?

Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities—shaddup! you write us a check and we’ll write what the hell you want at the end of every goddamn article—is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Collaborative. Capiche?