John Rando

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John Rando is an American stage director who won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Urinetown the Musical in 2002. He received his 2nd nomination in the same category in 2015 for the 2014 Broadway revival of On the Town.

Early life[edit]

Rando grew up in Houston, Texas and attended the University of Texas in Austin, studying theatre. He received a Fulbright Program fellowship and studied theatre in Germany and Italy and then studied directing at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, graduating in 1988. He next worked as an assistant director at the Old Globe Theatre (San Diego).[1]


Rando has directed Off-Broadway, on Broadway and in regional theatre. His first Off-Broadway play was Fortune's Fools, by Frederick Stroppel, at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 1995.[2] He directed the musical The Toxic Avenger, which opened Off-Broadway in 2009, after it premiered at the George Street Playhouse (New Brunswick, New Jersey).[3]

Rando has directed several plays by David Ives Off-Broadway, including: a revival of Ancient History in May 1996 at Primary Stages,[4] as part of a double bill with his play English Made Simple,[5] Mere Mortals at Primary Stages in 1997,[6] and Polish Joke at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2003.[7] In February 2013 he directed a revival of Ives' All in the Timing at Primary Stages,[8] and received a 2013 Obie Award for Direction. He also directed Ives' play Lives of the Saints in a Philadelphia Theatre Company production in 1999 [9] and Berkshire Theatre Festival. Rando directed a revival of Ives' Lives of the Saints at Primary Stages in 2015.

On Broadway he made his debut in 1994 as the Assistant Director for the Arthur Miller play Broken Glass.[10] He next directed on Broadway in 2000, with the play The Dinner Party by Neil Simon.[11] Rando directed the musical Urinetown, which opened in 2001 and closed in 2004,[12] and won the 2002 Tony Award for Direction of a Musical.[13]

He is directing a new musical The Honeymooners, based on the television comedy The Honeymooners, which was created and starred Jackie Gleason. The musical has music by Stephen Weiner, lyrics by Peter Mills and the book by Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss. The musical premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Milburn, New Jersey on September 28, 2017, and stars Michael McGrath as Ralph Kramden, Michael Mastro as Ed Norton, Leslie Kritzer as Alice Kramden, and Laura Bell Bundy as Trixie Norton.[14]

Rando directed several staged concerts of musicals for New York City Center's Encores!: Strike Up the Band (1998),[15]Do Re Mi (1999)[16] The Pajama Game (2002),[17] On the Town (2008),[18] Damn Yankees (2008),[19] Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (2012),[20] It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman (2013),[21] Little Me (2014)[22] and The New Yorkers (2017). [23]

Stage productions (select)[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Title Award Category Result
2002 Urinetown the Musical Tony Award Best Direction of a Musical Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Direction of a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Director of a Musical Won
2015 On the Town Tony Award Best Direction of a Musical Nominated


  1. ^ Breslauer, Jan. "Theater. Funny How Things Happen" Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1999
  2. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review. The Love That Leads To a Ball And Chain" The New York Times, May 27, 1995
  3. ^ "Goodbye, Goo! Off-Broadway's 'Toxic Avenger' Will Close Jan. 3, 2010" Archived 2014-02-03 at the Wayback Machine, November 10, 2009
  4. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review. A Simply Charming Couple Headed for a Dead End" "The New York Times", May 22, 1996
  5. ^ Listing English Made Simple Archived 2014-02-23 at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed February 8, 2014
  6. ^ Lefkowitz, David. "Mortality To Strike Ives' Mere Mortals', Jan. 4" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, December 16, 1997
  7. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review. 'Polish Joke'", accessed February 5, 2014
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Primary Stages Revival of David Ives' Short Play Collection, 'All in the Timing', Opens Feb. 12" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, February 12, 2013
  9. ^ Ridley, Clifford A. "Ives' 'Lives Of The Saints' Soars - And Dips", January 29, 1999
  10. ^ " Broken Glass, 1994", accessed February 5, 2014
  11. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review. A Fine Meal: Please Pass The Vitriol" The New York Times, October 20, 2000
  12. ^ Simonson, Robert. " 'Urinetown' Packs Up, Lockstock and Barrel, at Final Broadway Performance" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, January 19, 2004
  13. ^ Staff. 2002 "TONY AWARD: Direction of a Musical, John Rando, 'Urinetown'" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, June 2, 2002
  14. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Watch Footage of Leslie Kritzer, Laura Bell Bundy, and More in 'The Honeymooners' " Playbill, October 3, 2017
  15. ^ Ku, Andrew and Lefkowitz, David. "NY 'Encores!' '98 Series Starts With Kuhn in 'Strike Up the Band' Feb. 12-15" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, February 12, 1998
  16. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review. A Singing Nathan Lane Adds Ham to the Fizz" The New York Times, May 8, 1999
  17. ^ Finkle, David. "Review. 'The Pajama Game' ", May 3, 2002
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew. "A Helluva Town: Encores! Launches New Season with 'On the Town'" Archived 2013-12-21 at the Wayback Machine, November 19, 2008
  19. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review. 'Damn Yankees'" The New York Times, July 11, 2008
  20. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott. "Review. 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'", May 9, 2012
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew. " 'You've Got Possibilities': Encores! 'It's a Bird…It's a Plane…It's Superman' Begins Limited Run March 20" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, March 20, 2013
  22. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Christian Borle Stars in Encores! 'Little Me', Beginning Feb. 5" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, February 5, 2014
  23. ^ "Take a Sneak Peek at 'The New Yorkers' Revival" Playbill, March 15, 2017
  24. ^ The Royal Family of Broadway, retrieved June 4, 2018
  25. ^ "Back to the Future the Musical | The Official Website | Cast & Creative". Back to the Future the Musical | The Official Website. Retrieved 2021-09-16.


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