A fond farewell to a member of our family.

One of the reasons that I love the theater is that no matter where you do it, in high school, your community, or on Broadway, it’s a tight-knit family.

Yesterday, we lost a member of that family.

Broadway Producer Randall Wreghitt, who was responsible for shows like Beauty Queen of Leenane, Little Women, and many more, passed away at the early age of 55 yesterday morning.

I worked with Randall just once, during the early stages of development of Little Women.  But I saw him at industry events all the time, and he was always there to greet you with one of the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen.  And he put that smile to good use, getting support for some truly adventurous theater, and getting a lot of friends in the process.

He was even smiling the last time I saw him, when he told me he was still recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning.  He didn’t want to dwell on that, though, and went on to talk about the shows he had on his roster for the coming season.

Randall, our family will not be the same without you.  But we’ll try to do you proud.

Please take a moment today to make sure your Carbon Monoxide detector is working.  If you don’t have one, get one now.   It’s one of those, “It can never happen to me” type things, and then it happens to a member of your family.

 

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Comments
  • Anonymous says:

    I was a waiter/bartender at Angus. I served a lot of big producers, and Randall was my favorite. Like you said, he always greeted everyone with a huge smile. People naturally gravitated toward him. And he treated me the same as he treated whatever star he was courting for his next show. I was thrilled, and still am, that he got to see me perform on stage recently, though neither of us knew the other would be there. That was shortly after the carbon monoxide incident. As usual, he put all the focus on me, and though I could tell his system was racked, he made barely a mention of it. I’m so frustrated for Randall’s sake that he spent so much time keeping himself physically healthy and then this happened, completely out of his control, but I can see him throwing up his hands in the air and saying something like, “That’s life.” He nearly lost his life in a car accident when he was sixteen and spent the rest of it getting the most out of every day. He’s a real example.

  • Bob Ost says:

    Thanks for this lovely tribute to one of my dearest friends. Like so many others, I am in shock, stunned, heartbroken. And having a hard time doing the work he supported so completely. I hear his “And on we go…” but cannot seem to move through this as gracefully as he would want me to.

  • Ed from Connecticut says:

    Great post, Ken. I only met him a few times but I did get to talk with him and hear him speak on a couple of occasions and I always found him passionate, in great spirits, informative and very kind.
    He really will be missed.

  • Kris says:

    This is so sad. Randall was a gorgeous man, and just the kind of working producer that Broadway doesn’t have enough of anymore.

  • Ann LaGravenese says:

    I’ve know Randall for a very long time, invested in Lieutenant of Innishmore, happily as we were in perfect agreement on that show and really truly hoped he was going to pull through this last rough patch. All of his friends were frankly shocked when he passed, as even when he was fighting this poisoning, he was still more full of life than the rest of us. I will miss his smile and hearty laughter and his always optimistic outlook on all things creative. He was a wonderful friend to this business and we will miss him. Goodbye old friend. Thank you Ken for posting such a lovely piece.

  • John says:

    Randall was in the process of producing my musical AESOP & COMPANY. You could not have asked for a more enthusiastic, generous, committed, kind, understanding and “can-do” attitude man steering the ship of your show. He saw our reading last August and called to option it the next morning. Produced a fully staged workshop in December. By last February he had placed AESOP in a regional theater. Amazing. The creative team at AESOP will never forget this champion of our work. He was just the best. But, as Randall, would say: “On we go!” and we know Randall will be with us, guiding us, cheering us on and putting in a good word with all the Greek Gods. Peace, man. We’ll miss you.

  • This is my first year as an adjunct member of the Broadway League. I went to Washington,DC for their Bi-Annual Conference in January. A newly-aspiring Broadway producer, I was “shakin’ in my boots” to be among such distinguished producers and often felt out of place–until I bumped into Randall. He flashed me big a smile and called me by name. He said he was so happy to see me there and that it was good for me to be a part of the Broadway League, that I would learn a lot. He was so warm welcoming to me. I relaxed a bit, knowing I had a friend in the Broadway producing community… I don’t think people realize how much a smile or act of kindness can mean to a newbie, especially in these types of situations. But it seems to me that Randall knew. I am so appreciative and I will pay it forward. Yvette Heyliger

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