In partnership with producing partner Fran Kirmser and the NFL, Tony Ponturo was proud to bring Lombardi, an New American Play to Broadway garnering a Best Play Nomination by Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards and it's featured actress Judith Light as Marie Lombardi garnering a Tony Nomination. Continuing his partnership with Fran Kirmser, they have formed Kirmser Ponturo Group LLC. The company conceives and developes new artistic work and provides marketing and consulting efforts in the arts, sports, and entertainment area.
Kirmser Ponturo Group also brought the theatrical production titled Magic Bird to Broadway in the spring 2012. In association with the NBA, it told the story of the amazing friendship and competitive efforts of Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird. The third in the sports series was "Bronx Bombers". Utilizing the trademarks of the New York Yankees and MLB, Bronx Bombers told the history of the Yankees and 27 World Championships from Ruth to Jeter through the eyes of Yogi and Carmen Berra. Ponturo has been a leader in the business of sports and entertainment for more than 30 years, first in the advertising world. Then at Anheuser-Busch. Ponturo was regularly ranked as one of the most influential people in sports. As well as sports, Ponturo pioneered Anheuser-Busch efforts in the Academy Awards, Grammy's and the Tony Awards. Also, bringing sponsorship to the Broadway League for the first time as well. Ponturo is a Producer of the 2010 Tony Award Winning Musical Memphis still running on Broadway. Ponturo has served on the Board of Directors of both the American Ballet Theater and New York City Center. Ponturo is a Trustee Emeritus of the American Film Institute. Recently, Ponturo was asked to serve on the NFL 2014 Super Bowl Committee. Ponturo is an advisor to TBT, The Basketball Tournament. And was named to the Advisory Committee of the School of Arts and Sciences at Villanova University .
Ponturo will join Fran Kirmser as Executive Producers of the feature film Lombardi, based on the Broadway play and produced by Legendary Films.
As a consultant and producer for artists and non profit arts organizations for over 15 years Fran has facilitated the work of hundreds of artists to stage. A fixture in the arts she began her professional career at the age of 14 as a dancer. In the 90's she co-founded, Manhattan Theatre Source, a theater and arts service organization in Greenwich Village. In 2002 she launched The Biography Project, a series of plays that tell the stories of artists in an effort to recognize their voices, better archive their work and explore their influence on culture. In addition to extensive work Off-Broadway, on Broadway Kirmser produced the award-winning Radio Golf, the last play and final chapter in August Wilson's epic ten-play cycle by one of our nation's greatest playwrights. Kirmser produced the 2009 Tony Award-Winner for Best Musical Revival, Hair. Continuing her passion for bringing unique voices and important themes to the stage, and in response to the 2008 financial crash, Kirmser conceived a sports series for stage to explore leadership, competition, team, drive and resilience. Developing first Lombardi a new play based on the life of the Iconic Leader and renowned Football Coach Vince Lombardi, and producing together with Tony Ponturo and in association with the NFL, Lombardi opened in 2010 and was the longest running play of the 2010-2011 Season. Through the formed Kirmser/Ponturo Group LLC, the team Ponturo and Kirmser then produced, Magic/Bird (2012) telling the story of the rivalry and friendship between Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird and most recently the third work in the sports series, and Bronx Bombers (2014) about the New York Yankees. In 2013 the group also launched The Kirmser Ponturo Theater Fund which strives to support multiple productions across seasons as a limited partner producer: Glengarry Glenn Ross, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Tony Award 2013), and as represented in Annie. Kirmser continues extensive work in content and institutional development with artists, including great female artists Ellis Wood, Lisa Giobbi, Lori Belilove and Francesca Harper. She has served on funding panels in the fine and performing arts such as New York Foundation for the Arts and has taught at Universities across the country, Commercial Theater Institute as well as at The Field where she sits on the Advisory Board.
Kirmser and Ponturo will serve as Executive Producers of the feature film Lombardi, based on the Broadway play and produced by Legendary Pictures.
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