Have you ever noticed how Boulder City seems to be a vortex of unusual and interesting talent? We were the home of drumming legend Sandy Nelson (who used to hang out at Jack’s Place with John Bonham from Led Zeppelin, among others…). Boulder City has been home to dancers, singers, artists, the famous author Terry Goodkind, Olympians, State Champions, and of course the notable Desi Arnaz Jr., son of Desi and Lucille Ball.
We also have the Winners of the Great American Light Fight (2016) and maybe – we’ll find out tomorrow – even the Ugliest House in America (2023).
Never fear, Boulder City’s talent vortex has one more hidden gem shoved up its sleeve. Did you know we have a THREE-Time Tony Award Winning Producer in our midst? We’re pleased to introduce you to Kathleen K. Johnson!
We sat down with her a few weeks ago to hear about a show she is producing in Las Vegas called Breathe The Sky, and details on that upcoming performance are below. But beyond that we wanted to meet her and learn more about her amazing career.
Born in Los Angeles, Kathleen spent a very brief time as an actress (long enough to know it wasn’t for her…) when in 1974 she was approached to put on a play called Are You Now or Have You Ever Been in a tiny theater in Hollywood. With only 50 seats in the venue every night became a completely sold-out show, and the production was a massive hit!
So much so that it moved first to a larger theater in LA (read more HERE) and then toured nationally. It was her first experience as a producer and won several awards, launching Kathleen into the industry.
She decided to wanted to try her hand as a Casting Director. She pitched a few folks at 20th Century Fox, and they hired her for a one-day trial. She was so good at it, she stayed for three more years.
By the 80s, she was feeling like she wanted to step away, and decided to put herself through law school. Kathleen got her law degree in the early 90s, and then to help the family business in the gas and oil business in Texas, she moved there. For 25 years she worked as a lawyer for her family in that industry. But in 2007, she pivoted again…
Kathleen says she was reading a New York Times article talking about how a group was trying to do a revival for the musical, Hair, but they were struggling for funds. She immediately contacted the organizers and asked what their need was. They told her and when she agreed they asked when she could start on the production! She headed to New York with her treasure trove of funds and the rest as they say, is history.
By 2009 she had Producer credits for no less than four shows: Blithe Spirit, Hair (revival), Superior Donuts, and Race. Right at the beginning of her new career, she wins her first of three Tony Awards. A list of those are:
- 2009: Best Revival of a Musical – Hair
- 2013: Best Revival of a Play – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf
- 2014: Best Musical – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
During her time, she has produced 20 shows and worked with great actors such as Al Pacino, Nathan Lane, Patrick Stewart, Danny Aiello, and many more. She also has credit as the Director and Playwright for one of her favorite recent productions, Fiercely Independent. Her most recent production this year is, Pictures From Home with Nathan Lane.
Through this all, while she certainly spent a lot of time in New York, she made Boulder City her home along with her long-time partner Michael Guccione. They love the peace and the desert warmth and like all of us, care greatly for our little town.
Her latest project is a musical performance she is producing that will be live at Myrons at The Smith Center in Las Vegas on September 11th and 12th. This production is her first one in Vegas, and she hopes there will be more. It features Bucky Heard, the New Righteous Brother, plus some of the best young talent in Las Vegas. She plans this to be a wonderful evening fill with great music and talented singers You can visit the site HERE at BreatheTheSky.com for tickets. We’re honored to get to know Kathleen and are so lucky to have her with us in BC!