Margo Lion

Margo Lion is a producer for plays and musicals both on Broadway and off-Broadway. She is known for her role in producing the stage and screen hit Hairspray. Combined, the works Lion produced have won 20 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.


Margo Lion is from Baltimore, Maryland and is of German-Jewish heritage. She started her producing career with Lyn Austin at The Music-Theater Group/Lenox Arts Center. Her first commercial production was How I Got That Story in 1982. Later off-Broadway productions included the 1987 version of Martha Clarke's The Garden of Earthly Delights, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and The Cryptogram.

Her first Broadway production was I Hate Hamlet in 1991.

In 1987 Lion commissioned George Wolfe, Susan Birkenhead and Luther Henderson to write a show about Jelly Roll Morton. That musical became the 1992 Broadway show, Jelly's Last Jam, starring Gregory Hines.[1]

In 1993-94 Lion produced Angels in America: Millennium Approaches[2] and Perestroika followed by the 1995 production of Seven Guitars. Angels in America: Millennium Approaches won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In 1997, Lion produced Triumph of Love, based on a 1732 comedy by Pierre de Marivaux.[3] Shortly after its run, while watching John Waters' 1988 film, Hairspray she had the idea to adapt the film into a musical.[4] She recruited Marc Shaiman, a Hollywood film composer, for the musical's score. Four years later, in August 2002, the musical Hairspray premiered on Broadway and became an immediate commercial and critical hit.

Following Hairspray, Lion produced the Broadway productions Caroline, or Change (2004), The Wedding Singer (2006), and Radio Golf (2007) as well as Harlem Song at The Apollo. Lion also garnered a Tony Award for Elaine Stritch at Liberty.[2]

She is currently the producer of the musical adaptation of Catch Me If You Can which played at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre in July 2009,[5] as well as musical adaptations of Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding, and Like Water for Chocolate.

Lion is an adjunct professor at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University. She also served as Co-Chair to President Barack Obama's Arts Policy Committee during the 2008 Presidential Election and was appointed in 2009 as Co-Chair of President's Committee on the Humanities and the Arts.[6]


  1. Rousuck, J. Wynn (June 15, 2003). "Cinderella of Baltimore". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  2. Posner, Michael (April 26, 2004). "Lion makes a killing". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  3. Dominus, Susan. "Hairspray It On". New York Magazine. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  4. Rousuck, J. Wynn (May 8, 2002). "'Hairspray' gets ready for Broadway". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  5. Berson, Misha.'Hairspray' collaborators back in town with "Catch Me If You Can", July 17, 2009
  6. BWW News Desk."Obama Appointments George Stevens Jr., Margo Lion, Mary Schmidt Campbell to Arts and Humanities Committee",, September 17, 2009

Further reading

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