Randy Johnson Biography
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Randy Johnson, a graduate of the USC School of Theatre in Los Angeles. For over 3 decades he has produced, directed or written some of the most groundbreaking and landmark events on the world stage.
Most recently, he conceived, wrote and directed ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN premiering in May 2011 at Portland Center Stage, with subsequent productions in 2012 at THE CLEVELAND PLAYHOUSE and ARENA STAGE in Washington DC. The production was presented in association with The Estate of Janis Joplin.
Theatre credits include the West Coast Premier of Larry Kramer¯s THE NORMAL HEART starring Richard Dreyfus and Kathy Bates, He was the original producer of ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE which he produced from inception to the now historic 2 year run in Nashville which re opened the Ryman Auditorium - the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, multiple national tours, over 500 regional theatre productions, and the off Broadway production at the Variety Arts Theatre, starring Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale. Randy executive produced the MCA Cast Album, the first and only Original Nashville Cast Album. Under his aegis APC for 5 years straight was one of the most produced plays in America, according to Theatre World Magazine and Variety. He wrote and directed THE WILDEST ¯ THE MUSIC OF LOUIS PRIMA AND KEELY SMITH that tours and is presented internationally to this day. Samuel French Inc, the largest publishers of plays and musicals in the world, subsequently published the show and represents the musical exclusively. Randy wrote, directed and choreographed CONWAY TWITTY ¯ THE MAN THE MUSIC AND THE LEGEND that successfully toured arenas and theatres across the US from 2007-2010. For one season a modified version of the show was the opening act for Country Music Legend George Jones ¯ breaking attendance records across the country.
Randy co- conceived and directed the now historic ELVIS THE CONCERT, which reunited Elvis¯ original band, singers and musical director in a virtual interactive concert featuring Elvis.. The show was an immediate hit with sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall and arenas worldwide. The 25th Anniversary show, which also featured appearances by Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley, was released on DVD and appears on PBS annually. This show is in the Guinness Book of World Records as ¯The most successful rock tour performed by an artist deceased¯. The production is in it 15th year of international touring.
Randy staged and directed Pope Benedict¯s most recent appearance in New York. The event attended by over 100,000 people, was a four-hour concert featuring top music acts from all over the world including Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson, that culminated in a Papal Mass led by the Holy Father. The entire event was broadcast worldwide to an audience of 10 million viewers.
Other directing work includes, DICK CLARK¯S AMERICAN BANDSTAND CLASSICS hosted by Dick Clark (via video) , Michael Bolton¯s world tour BOLTON SWINGS SINATRA. Audrey Hepburn in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK for UNICEF, Katharine Hepburn in a PBS documentary on the life of Jimmy Stewart. For Sony Music and PBS he directed CARLY SIMON ¯ A MOONLIGHT SERENADE ABOARD THE QUEEN MARY. He also directed Carly Simon's return to the concert stage at The Apollo Theatre in December 2007.
At the Savoy Theatre in London, England he directed and staged ¯ SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME starring Lorna Luft, a musical video interactive tribute to Lorna¯s mother Judy Garland., He Conceived and directed the main stage productions aboard 2 ships on Celebrity Cruises for 2 years and for Disney's "Belle" of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Paige O' Hara he directed and choreographed her nightclub act which toured the world for several years. He staged and directed Tammy Wynette¯s final tour that featured her international multi platinum sensation JUSTIFIED AND ANCIENT.
He was asked by Governor Howard Dean to serve as his Director of National Events for his Presidential Campaign in 2004. For Governor Dean, he produced and directed events across the nation featuring appearances by; Sean Penn, Bonnie Raitt, Sandra Bernhard, Judy Gold, Andrea Martin, David Crosby, Phoebe Snow, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to name a few.
He Co-produced with Bernie Taupin and Directed for five consecutive years the now historic "COMMITMENT TO LIFE" at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. These evenings featured performances by Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Bette Midler, Sarah Brightman, Liza Minnelli, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Joel, Julie Andrews, Patti LaBelle, Natalie Cole, Garth Brooks, Joni Mitchell, George Michael. The events raised over 35 million dollars for Aids Project Los Angeles.
Randy directed the Olympic Scale grand opening of Universal Studios ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE, for executive producer Steven Spielberg; Other notable events include; President Ronald Reagan¯s 80th birthday celebration at the Beverly Wilshire which was highlighted with appearances and tributes by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, James Stewart, Francois Mitterand, Merv Griffin, Liza Minnelli, and President George Bush; Directing the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations ; Directing Tennessee¯s Bi-centennial celebration, hosted by Vice President Al Gore; The Californian Governors Awards For The Arts at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for 3 years; and Directing HORIZONS ¯ the grand opening of General Motors Place in Vancouver Canada, a 22,000-seat arena, which featured performances by David Foster, Sara McLaughlin, Shania Twain and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
His autobiography ¯Adventures in the Hotel Crazy¯ will be published in the fall of 2013.
He is a recipient of ¯¯THE CRYSTAL APPLE AWARD¯ for his work with Aids Project Los Angeles, and received the "VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR" for his work with LA SHANTI, as well as being awarded 2 ISES Awards for Best Director and Best International spectacular for the production HORIZONS which opened General Motors Place in Vancouver, Canada.
Randy is a proud member of the SDC - The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and The Dramatists Guild .