Panama City native makes history, wins Tony Award for Best Play

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A local man was the toast of Broadway during the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday night.

44-year old Matthew Lopez’s “The Inheritance” won the Tony Award for Best Play.

Lopez was born and raised in Panama City. He was very involved in local theater before heading to Broadway.

“The Inheritance” is a two-part, six-hour epic that looks at the gay community living through the AIDS epidemic in the early 21st century. It premiered in London in 2018.

Some critics have called it “the most important play written this century.”

Gulf Coast State College theatre professor Jason Hedden is a friend of Lopez’s, and he said this win is historic.

“This is significant for a lot of reasons… It’s a ‘local boy done good’ story, but Matt’s also the first writer of Latin descent to earn the Tony Award in this category, which is a huge deal,” Hedden said. “Not to mention the play and what it addresses.”

Besides Best Play, “The Inheritance” won three more Tony Awards last night, for Best Actor, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role, and Best Director.

Lopez is currently writing the script for the remake of the movie “The Bodyguard.”

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