Theatre Information

Richmond Triangle Players High

By • Mar 1st, 2014 • Category: Reviews, Virginia
Richmond Triangle Players: (Info) (Web)
Richmond Triangle Players Theatre, Richmond, VA
Through March 15th
1:40 with intermission
$30 (Plus Fees)
Reviewed February 28th, 2014

Richmond Triangle Players High marks the regional debut of a Tony nominated play. An entry in the Acts of Faith festival, it explores religion, recovery and redemption through the lives of its trio of characters.

The play is anchored by two of the Richmond area’s consistently strong performers. Melissa Johnston Price is very “Kathleen Turner-esque” as Sister Jamison Connelly (a role Turner played on Broadway) a tough, street smart nun with a traumatic past who is now a substance abuse counselor at a Catholic Church run program. Her throaty controlled persona explodes in the more emotional moments. Jonathan Hardison is dark and stoic as her boss Father Michael, who has a few secrets in his own past.

It is Kyle Cornell, however, who delivers the most intense and troubling performance as a young drug addict. He walks a well-balanced line in portraying an endangered teen who is both a hardened criminal and drug user; and a hurt and angry child.

The play explores religious themes such as, can a person be saved if they don’t want salvation; and can others will healing and miracles for someone else? It also quotes the adage “love the sinner but hate the sin.” In this case I loved the performances but let’s say disliked the play itself.

Every time Matthew Lombardo’s script picks up steam, it gets dragged back down again with lengthy expository dialogue from Sister Jamison that could have more effectively been revealed in conversations with one of the other characters. Director George Boyd effectively uses his actors and set in the scenes where two or more of the actors are on stage, but further allows the pacing of the show to become stagnant during those sit-down monologues — carried only by Johnston Price’s strong emotions and acerbic comedic timing.

T. Ross Aitken’s set design is simple but effective, with just a few chairs and tables, 2 doors and three windows that are well used with projections by lighting designer Michael Jarett as screens that display changes in scene and time of day.

For the second time this month, I do not want to issue a spoiler, but the intermission contains some “interesting” business.

This play contains strong language and pretty graphic nudity and violence, so parents might want to only consider it for more “mature” teens — but the material and performances are sure to spark some very interesting dialogue with those teens. Suffice it to say, my son loved it (especially the song choices)!

Photo Gallery

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Photos provided by Richmond Triangle Players

The Cast

  • Sister Jamison Connelly: Melissa Johnston Price
  • Father Michael Delpapp: Jonathan Hardison
  • Cody Randall: Kyle Cornell

The Crew

  • Director: George Boyd
  • Stage Manager: Dexter M. Ramey
  • Production Stage Manager: Linda Nguyen
  • Set Designer: T. Ross Aitken
  • Lighting Design: Michael Jarett
  • Costume Design: Alex Valentin

Disclaimer: Richmond Triangle Players provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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