The producers of the new Broadway musical Dance of the Vampires announced the passing of Mary Rando, mother of director John Rando. Bronx-born Mary Rando, age 70, died Dec. 1 of complications from heart surgery at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Tony Award-winning director John Rando left rehearsals for the show from Nov. 1 to Nov. 11 and again from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18 to be with his mother in Texas. His absence caused the show to postpone its opening to the currently scheduled Dec. 9.
At the end of his Tony acceptance speech for Best Director (Musical) for Urinetown last June, Rando lovingly quipped, "Mom, you can take the oxygen off. It's okay now." Later that month, Rando revealed to Playbill On-Line: "My mom has had heart trouble and she is actually on oxygen. She was watching in Houston, Texas, with my sister who lives there. And my mom was really, really amazed and thrilled and couldn't talk. Right afterwards, they called me on my cell phone and mom tried to talk but she couldn't. It was very emotional."
One of the show's stars, Mandy Gonzalez, previously told Playbill On-Line about the difficulty of working without their leader. Gonzalez explained "Rando, I don't know how he did it, but he would call in and say he wanted to work on these kind of changes with the actors or with the singing. So, it was hard. It's just a really sad situation."
In a release, the entire cast and crew of Dance of the Vampires sent "their heartfelt condolences to the Rando family." Donations can be made to the Texas Heart Foundation in Rando's honor. Rando is survived by her husband of 46 years, Ignazio Rando; daughters, Julie Ritter and Joyce Faure; son, John Rando and five grandchildren among many more relatives and friends.
The revamped Broadway production, which began performances Oct. 16 following a two-day technical postponement, was originally scheduled to open Nov. 21.
Dance of the Vampires opens at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre Dec. 9. The production, revamped for The Great White Way, features a score by Jim Steinman with a book by David Ives, Steinman and Michael Kunze (who is also credited with the original German book and lyrics). Tony Award winner John Rando directs with Urinetown cohort John Carrafa choreographing.
Tickets ($30-$95) to Dance of the Vampires at the Minskoff, 200 West 45 Street, can be purchased via Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100, (800) 755-4000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit the show's website at www.danceofthevampires.com.