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JHETT TOLENTINO


Another Filipino-American has made history for bagging not one but two Tony trophies as one of the producers of “A Raisin in the Sun” (starring Denzel Washington, pictured below) and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” that respectively won Best Revival of a Play and Best Musical at the 68th Antoinette Perry (Tony) Awards held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 8.


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Theater producer Jhett Tolentino (of JoanJhett Productions) is over the moon as he and his producing partner Joan Raffe are currently among the toasts of the theater world, particularly The American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League.

And in honor of his latest Tonys, he even named his new puppy, a Morkie, Toni.

Last year, Tolentino bagged his first Tony for producing the comedy play “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” which won Best Play.

He and Joan also produced recording albums for various musicals.

Tolentino, who has an accounting degree from his hometown Iloilo City, Philippines, is actually the third Filipino to receive a Tony following Lea Salonga (Best Actress for the musical “Miss Saigon”) and Robert “Bobby” Lopez (Best Original Score for “Avenue Q”).

“Just got home from the Tony Awards bliss,” Tolentino wrote on his Facebook following the ceremony hosted by Hugh Jackman.

“Going through over 100 e-mails, 600 text messages and voicemails, 1,100+ Facebook notifications, likes, friend requests, tags, mentions, comments and private messages. I have never felt so loved by this community, family and friends. My eternal gratitude to the company of ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’ and ‘A Raisin in the Sun.’ Long live the theater!”

“A Raisin in the Sun” also won Best Direction of a Play for Kenny Leon, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for Sophie Okonedo.

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” was also honored with Best Book of a Musical (Robert L. Friedman), Best Direction of a Musical (Darko Tresnjak) and Best Costume Design of a Musical (Linda Cho).

A photo of Tolentino, along with his co-producers and stars of “A Raisin in the Sun,” landed on the pages of The New York Times.

“Made my The New York Times photo debut today,” Tolentino wrote in a Facebook shoutout, adding #pinoy and #pinoypride.

Tolentino and partner Raffe are also responsible for the Broadway comedy play “The Velocity of Autumn,” and the revival play “Macbeth,” as well as the Imelda Marcos-inspired Off Broadway musical “Here Lies Love.”

The JoanJhett team is set to unveil the upcoming “My Life is a Musical” (previews beginning July 29).

Aside from three Tonys, JoanJhett Productions also has several Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel and Off Broadway Alliance awards.

Last year, Tolentino and Raffe were nominated for a Grammy Best Musical Theater Album as associate producers of the cast album of “Matilda: The Musical.”