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David Stone: a rock of the industry

Stone's Tony Award-winning co-producer LaChanze and the original Tony-winning star of his musical "Wicked," Idina Menzel, pay him tribute.

(L-R) David Stone with LaChanze at the 2023 Tony Awards (Credit: Courtesy of LaChanze) and Stone with Idina Menzel (Credit: Bruce Glikas)

Broadway Briefing has named David Stone the 2023 Broadway Showperson of the Year. Broadway Showperson of the Year is awarded to “the person or persons who most influenced Broadway this year.”

2023 is the year that David Stone won Tony Awards for his productions of both Topdog/Underdog, named Best Revival of a Play, and Kimberly Akimbo, taking home the trophy for Best Musical. It is also the year that his musical Wicked celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Gershwin Theatre, and became the fourth longest-running Broadway show in history.

Any of these individual accomplishments would be notable, but the combination begins to exemplify the breadth of Stone’s work within the industry. And while those accomplishments are public-facing, Stone is also a passionate industry leader behind the scenes. In 2023, Stone was among the Broadway League’s COVID Service Award honorees. He sits on the boards of the Broadway League and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, as well as the advisory boards of V-Day and Second Stage Theater. Stone is also known as a mentor to many Broadway industry members and students, and is officially a mentor of the Prince Fellowship.

For some additional highlights, Kimberly Akimbo launched the Great Adventure Grants in May, which offered three individual high schools to help fund their musical theater productions in the upcoming school year. And the Broadway Green Alliance, which he helped facilitate and inspire, is currently celebrating its 15th Anniversary.

For his continued leadership in theater, represented in the forms of new musicals, revivals and long-running shows on Broadway, and for his outsized impact on the industry, David Stone is Broadway Briefing’s 2023 Broadway Showperson of the Year.

LaChanze and Idina Menzel in conversation on their colleague and friend, David Stone

David Stone is the lead producer of “Kimberly Akimbo” (which won the 2023 Tony Award for Best Musical), and “Topdog/Underdog” (which won the 2023 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play) as well as “Wicked” (which just celebrated its 20th Anniversary on Broadway).  

Idina Menzel has worked with David Stone on “The Vagina Monologues,” “Wicked” and “If/Then.” LaChanze has worked with David Stone on “The Vagina Monologues” and “If/Then” and has co-produced “Topdog/Underdog” and “Kimberly Akimbo.”

LaChanze: I am so glad that David is getting his flowers. The list of shows he has brought into the world is really incredible. “Kimberly Akimbo.” The revival of “Topdog/Underdog.” “If/Then.” “The Vagina Monologues.” The revival of “Man of La Mancha” starring [Brian] Stokes [Mitchell]…

Idina Menzel: “Next to Normal.” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” “War Paint.” “The Boys in the Band.” “Three Days of Rain.” The revival of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” And our beloved “Wicked.”

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