John Rando Backs Out of Broadway-Bound KING KONG Musical
KING KONG, which ran in Australia last year has long been rumored for a trip overseas to Broadway. As previously reported, following a successful run in Melbourne, the producers of KING KONG were planning to bring the mega-musical to Broadway in December 2014. Due to the "huge scale of the production" and to allow the creative team necessary time to implement changes, the producers decided "to not rush in before the end of the year." As BroadwayWorld reported last month, the show was eyeing John Rando to direct the Broadway version, but now according to the New York Times, Rando was unable to commit to the project.
He told NYT: "The 'Kong' team is extremely enthusiastic about the further development of the show, and it required a tremendous amount of directorial time, my time, and that just wouldn't work given my other projects. They wanted me to start on 'Kong' yesterday, basically, and I couldn't do that. It breaks my heart."
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Rando is currently represented on Broadway with On the Town. Other Broadway credits include: A Christmas Story, The Wedding Singer, Urinetown (2002 Tony and OCC Award, Directing), A Thousand Clowns, The Dinner Party. City Center Encores!: Little Me, Superman, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Damn Yankees, On The Town, Face The Music, Of Thee I Sing, Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, Strike Up The Band. Off-Broadway:All In The Timing, Primary Stages (2012 Obie Award, Directing); The Heir Apparent, Classic Stage Company; The Toxic Avenger. Productions at Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Acting Company, among others. Regional credits include: American Conservatory Theater, Alley Theater, Geffen Playhouse, Old Globe Theater, and On The Town at Barrington Stage Company. Drama League Directing Fellow. UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award.
KING KONG picked up five 2013 Helpmann Awards (the Australian equivalent of the Tonys) for Best Costume Design - Roger Kirk (He is also a former Tony Winner 1996 for King and I, 2001 nominee for 42nd Street); Best Scenic Design - Peter England; Best Lighting Design - Peter Mumford; Best Sound Design - Peter Hylenski (He was nominated for a Tony last year); and Outstanding Theatrical Achievement - The Design, Creation & Operation of King Kong.
One of the world's great modern myths about an enormous creature and his battle for survival in New York City, KING KONG has gone back to the source--the novella of the original film by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace--in this first adaptation as a large-scale musical. Featuring a cast of 49 actors, singers, dancers, circus performers, and puppeteers; a crew of 76; and arguably the most technologically advanced puppet in the world--a one-tonne, six-metre giant silverback--KING KONG will be an epic and dazzling original theatrical experience.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos