Antiguan-American producer makes Broadway history with double Tony wins

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Lamar Richardson at the 2024 Tony Awards (Social media photo)
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By Samantha Simon
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Lamar Richardson, the son of Antiguans Victor and Yvette Richardson, had an incredible night at the 77th annual Tony Awards, becoming the youngest Black producer ever to win two Tonys in the same year.

At just 31 years old, Richardson took home the awards for Best Revival of a Play for ‘Appropriate’ and Best Revival of a Musical for ‘Merrily We Roll Along’.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” Richardson said in an interview after his wins.

“I’ve had such a busy day…it’s just so overwhelming, I’m so grateful.”

He thanked God for his success, reflecting on his journey “from the heights I started at to where I am now”.

‘Appropriate’, a searing family drama by Black playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, was a major winner, also earning Tonys for Leading Actress in a Play, Lighting Design of a Play, and several nominations.

Richardson praised the way the play “tears back the layers and opens eyes” about racism and toxic behaviours.

The beloved musical ‘Merrily We Roll Along’, with a score by Stephen Sondheim, scored multiple wins as well after being “sold out” and recouping its investment.

In addition to Best Revival, it won Leading Actor and Featured Actor in a Musical, and Orchestrations.

As one of the few Black producers on Broadway, Richardson acknowledged the importance of his visibility.

“Standing along all these white creatives as a young Black person was really beautiful and made me feel I’m really making that happen,” he said.

The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards are bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievements and are one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry.

This was Richardson’s third Tony nomination, having been nominated in 2023 as a producer of the musical ‘New York, New York’.

His rapid rise as a producer of major Broadway shows at such a young age is an inspiration for aspiring Black theatre artists.

“If you put your mind to it and believe in it, it doesn’t matter how long it takes,” Richardson said.

“You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and it’ll work out for you.”

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