Margo Lion Dies: Producer For ‘Hairspray’ And ‘Angels In America’ Was 75

Margo Lion AP Images

Margo Lion, the producer behind the Tony-winning musical adaption of Hairspray, died January 24 at age 75. She had a brain aneurysm, according to her son.

Lion was an independent producer with eclectic tastes, backing everything from revivals to new musicals, many of them award-winners.

“When Hairspray happened—it was just a miracle,” she told Playbill. “The first reading of Hairspray was at New York Theatre Workshop. And I thought it would take the kind of journey of Rent, because it was John Waters and I wanted to retain his voice. But when I heard that first reading, I said, ‘This is not for New York Theatre Workshop.'”

The show won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and ran for 2,642 performances.

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Lion was born October 13, 1944 in Baltimore. She worked for Robert F. Kennedy, but gave up politics after his assassination.  She instead immersed herself in the theater, becoming a producing director of Music-Theater Group.

Her producing credentials include Jelly’s Last Jam, Angels in America, Elaine Stritch at LIberty, Caroline, Or Change, Radio Gold and Seven Guitars.

She is survived by her son and two grandchildren.

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