The type of blogs I hate to write.

You probably think that the subject of this blog is about our declining attendance rate.

But it’s not.

In fact, it’s the kind of blog that reminds you that declining or rising attendance rates aren’t important either way.

I’d bet that you didn’t know Randall E. Klein.  He wasn’t as famous as Marvin Hamlisch, or Steve Jobs or some of the other folks that I’ve written blog-obituaries about.  And you won’t see a story about his untimely passing on any of the Broadway sites.

Which is why I felt I had to say something here.

Randall was a costume designer.  I met him way back when he was the associate on the National Tour of Cinderella that I General Managed.  And because I thought he was smart, talented, and one of the nicest guys I had worked with in that world, I hired him to design my very first show, The Awesome 80s Prom.  He went on to work as the Costume Supervisor at that little ol’ shop called The Metropolitan Opera.

And just recently, Randall passed away at an age that’s waaaaay to young for anyone in this world to say goodbye.

Randall made every project he did look better.  And he didn’t even need one single costume.  He just had to be around.

Farewell, my friend.  Even though blogs like this sometimes make me want to stop blogging altogether, it’s people like Randall, who loved what they did so much, and always did it with a smile on their face no matter how much money they were making, that makes me want to blog even more.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Cat says:

    Condolences to you, Ken, for losing a friend. And condolences to our theatre community for the loss of someone who made such an impact.


  • Christine Garfinkel says:

    My deepest sympathy to you Ken on the passing of your friend. May he rest in peace and may his costume creations be his legacy.

  • Jeff Fickes says:

    Thanks for letting us all know about Randall’s passing. I was a student at Syracuse University when Randal worked there and I have very fond memories (and some good backstage lessons) of him and that time.

  • Kathy Hochberg says:

    This is the type of blog I hate to read… It makes me sad to hear you have lost a friend. The good ones are so hard to live without.

  • Douglas Millar says:

    Ken; I can understand how difficult it can be to blog about the loss of a friend. If there is anything positive about your blog it is that those of us who didn’t know Randall now know the type of person he was. What makes this important is that we need to remember these people over the years. It helps to know that they are/were out there when things are rocky. I am more optimistic about the world when I hear about people like Randall, so I feel that your blog was important.

  • Marcia Ames says:

    Hi Ken,
    Thank you for such an eloquent blog about Randall. It warmed my broken heart to read it, and I am thankful he had great friends like you, who love him as much as I do. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

  • Paula says:

    I thank you for telling us about Randall. Sometimes we hear so little about the people
    “behind the scenes”, whether in theater or in
    other professions. Each person in life “plays a
    part”. I am sorry for your loss and the theater’s
    loss. Thank you, Randall, for bringing joy into
    people’s lives.

  • Bobby Everett says:

    Thank you Ken for sharing about Randall. One thing about Theatre, movies, award shows (especially now days)that I do not care for is the way they skip over such wonderful people like Randall so quickly. Even now at the Award shows all you hear is a mention of who won what and if your lucky you might see a pic of the person. Yet to me these are the unsung heroes in our busy. Without the backstage crew and designers a show could never happen. I know the public usually only gives the fame to the stars of the show. But in every show I work on I make sure the backstage crew/designers take their bow. As a director, I try to help people understand this is a team event and not just the stars of the show. That is one of the many things I truly look up to you for, you are not just there for the stars but you believe and recognize the unsung heroes. I for one, think it is wonderful that you showed your high respect for Randall by writing about him in your blog today. Thank you for sharing how Randall touched your life. May his memory forever shine in the theatrical lights. To Randall!

  • Linda Fisher says:

    Thank you so much for this. Randall had so many friends in so many different places, but I know you were an important friend to him, so, again, I thank you.

  • Michele says:

    Thank you so much for remembering and celebrating Randall with your kind words. I was a student in the Syracuse University Drama Department when Randall worked at Syracuse Stage. He was hilarious and kept me in stitches…literally…during my mandatory costume shop practicum. He fixed things I had completely botched and yes, he made everything he touched more beautiful. He will be missed but remembered fondly by so many.
    Michele Samal- Class of ’89.

  • Michael Zecker says:

    I worked with Randall for the last four years in the Metropolitan Opera costume department, and I can tell you that we all feel the same way as you do about him. We all miss him terribly. And on a personal level, he and I were just starting to become better friends in the past few months. I wish I had more time to get to know him better.

  • Karen Glass says:

    I did know Randall, and it was a privilege. As I have read the many remembrances of the many people whose lives glanced off of his, it seems he touched all of them the same way he did mine. And that fact just makes his gift all the more special. His sharing,teaching, mentoring were not accidents or coincidence, his giving ways were intentional, repeated over and over again a way of life. A beautiful way of life.

    • Holly says:

      Ken I am glad I somehow stumbled upon your blog on Randall.
      I too knew Randall. He and I and a circle of friends spent our Jr. and Sr. high school years together. None of us knew it then but those were the good old days when we had no idea for certain where we would end up in life. We parted ways as happens when we strike out to follow our dreams and at 52 years young it is hard to believe he could be gone. Thank you for honoring him and his accomplishments, it is good to know he lived his dream. Randy may you dazzle them in the Heavens as only you can do!

  • Ginger Winstead Carmichael says:

    Thank you for this, I knew Randall in Syracuse, he was my boss at Syracuse Stage, my neighbor for 3 years and my friend. He was a wonderful person, awesome spirit and gone way too soon for those he left behind. My condolences to you and all of us whose lives were touched by his.

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