Broadway producer Margo Lion, who had a hand in bring the Tony Award-winning musicals “Jelly’s Last Jam” and “Hairspray” to the stage and also helped on Tony Kushner’s two-part classic “Angels in America,” has died at age 75.
Her son, Matthew Nemeth, told The Associated Press that she died at a Manhattan hospital days after suffering a brain aneurysm.
A Baltimore native, Lion was an independent producer who, on occasions, offered personal possessions as support in her ambition to stage a show. Her humble beginnings was defined at the Music-Theater Group as an apprentice at in the 1970s, before starting looking into the life of jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton few years later- the basis for 1992 “Jelly’s Last Jam”. Ten years later, her “Hairspray,” became a big hit, the Tony-winning smash that was adapted from the John Waters comedy. Lyon watched the film in 1998 and immediately strike her that it was Broadway-material as it was set in Baltimore.
“I wanted to do something joyful, something celebratory, like the shows I remembered when I was a kid,” Lion told The New York Times in 2002. ”Halfway through (the video), I literally said: ‘Yes, this is it. I found it.’”
Lion was among the producers of “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” and “Angels in America: Perestroika” and brought in George C. Wolfe to direct, his first Broadway show. Her other credits include August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” and “Elaine Stritch at Liberty.” In 2009, Barack Obama appointed her to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Her legacy and achievement will often be remembered, for her works be magical and long-lasting as “Hairspray”.