Randall L. Wreghitt

Producer
Randall L. Wreghitt

Male

Died: May 18, 2011
Hoboken, New Jersey

Obituary: Randall L. Wreghitt, a theatrical producer known for bringing innovative dramatic work to Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, among them several of the works of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, died in the early hours of May 18 2011 in a hospital in Hoboken, NJ. His death was first announced on his website. The cause was complications from carbon monoxide poisoning, his family said. He was 55.

Mr. Wreghitt won a Tony Award nomination for his initial Broadway effort, the transfer from the Atlantic Theatre Company to the the Walter Kerr Theatre of McDonagh's bloody, romantic, gothic and hilarious tale of a mother-daughter rivalry The Beauty Queen of Leenane. The play ran for a year and earned plaudits galore from critics, who hailed the New York arrival of the young writer. The production also established a career-long relationship between the producer and writer. Mr. Wreghitt went on to produce McDonagh's The Lonesome West and The Lieutenant of Inishmore to Broadway. Neither did as well of Beauty Queen, but each was nominated for a Tony.

Mr. Wreghitt enjoyed a high batting average with the critics. Be they new plays, revivals or musicals, his productions were generally treated with respect, and frequently applauded for their audacity. He was skilled at cherry-picking adventuresome shows from the Off-Broadway scene. Mary Zimmerman's stylish staging of Ovid myths, Metamorphoses, which received its New York debut at Second Stage, won the producer a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award for Best Play and a popular run at Circle in the Square when he and several other backers brought it to Broadway. Grey Gardens, a project that began at Playwrights Horizons which told the odd tale of a once-high-society Long Island household gone batty, ran roughly a year on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical.

Other Broadway productions included a gritty 1998 rendition of Electra starring Zoe Wanamaker; Band in Berlin, a curious documentary-like work about a singing group victimized in Nazi Germany; a 2001 revival of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler starring Kate Burton; an unsuccessful musical version of Little Women in 2005 (it has since blossomed in regional theatre); a polished British revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing which introduced Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle to the U.S. (both won Tony Awards); and a Steppenwolf Theatre Company staging of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which won a Tony for Best Revival of a Play. His final two Broadway projects, Impressionism starring Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen, and a revival of The Miracle Worker, closed quickly.

Off-Broadway productions included The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan, which featured the final stage performance of Eileen Heckert; As Bees in Honey Drown, the comedy which established Douglas Carter Beane's reputation as a comic playwright; a hit revival of Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band; The Food Chain, playwright Nicky Silver's most noted commercial success to date; Mark St. Germain's Camping With Henry and Tom. He was the associate producer of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Three Tall Women.

On London's West End, he produced Lonergan's The Lobby Hero and Crowley's The Boys in the Band.

Mr. Wreghitt, a journalism major at Iowa State University, began his career in marketing. He was senior marketing representative at Walt Disney World from 1987 to 1990. He left that position to become Director of Marketing for the Big Apple Circus. The Iowa native was so proud of his homestate that he named his first production company Iowa Boy Productions.

In 1996, he won the Robert Whitehead Award for “outstanding achievement in commercial theatrical producing." At the time of his death, he was busy shepherding several projects, including Talley's Folly, Aesop & Company, The Great Game and the musical Pure Country.

He is survived by his mother Leona Wreghitt and sister Sherri Wreghitt.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be sent to the Randall L. Wreghitt Memorial Fund c/o Ward Van Slyke Funeral home, 101 4th Street, Clear Lake IA, 50428. The funeral will be held in Iowa, Mr. Wreghitt’s native state. A memorial service is being planned in the theatre district for a future date. For more information on donations and services, go to www.randallwreghitt.com.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - The Miracle Worker The Miracle Worker
Mar. 3, 2010 - Apr. 4, 2010
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Impressionism Impressionism
Mar. 24, 2009 - May 10, 2009
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Grey Gardens Grey Gardens
Nov. 2, 2006 - Jul. 29, 2007
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Lieutenant of Inishmore The Lieutenant of Inishmore
May 3, 2006 - Sep. 3, 2006
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
    Originally Produced by Special Arrangement with
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Little Women Little Women
Jan. 23, 2005 - May 22, 2005
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Golda's Balcony Golda's Balcony
Oct. 15, 2003 - Jan. 2, 2005
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Metamorphoses Metamorphoses
Mar. 4, 2002 - Feb. 16, 2003
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Hedda Gabler Hedda Gabler
Oct. 4, 2001 - Jan. 13, 2002
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Apr. 8, 2001 - Jul. 29, 2001
Produced in Association with
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Real Thing The Real Thing
Apr. 17, 2000 - Aug. 13, 2000
Associate Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Lonesome West The Lonesome West
Apr. 27, 1999 - Jun. 13, 1999
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Band in Berlin Band in Berlin
Mar. 7, 1999 - Mar. 21, 1999
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Electra Electra
Dec. 3, 1998 - Mar. 21, 1999
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Beauty Queen of Leenane The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Apr. 23, 1998 - Mar. 14, 1999
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
 

Inside the Playbill (16)

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Awards


Robert Whitehead Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1996 Robert Whitehead Award Winner
 
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