Jhett Tolentino

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Jhett Tolentino
Jhett Tolentino.jpg
Jhett Tolentino at Malacañan Palace in December 2016
Background information
Birth nameJhett Dizon Tolentino
Born (1976-12-28) December 28, 1976 (age 46)
OriginIloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines
Occupation(s)Entertainment producer
Years active2011–present

Jhett Tolentino (born December 28, 1976) is a Filipino entertainment producer based in New York City, who is also known for being the second Philippine-born awardee of the Tony Award. He has won three Tony Awards since his Broadway debut in March 2013 and has received his first Grammy Award in February 2017. He was awarded by Malacañan the Pamana ng Pilipino Award for his non-profit and non-commercial work, and for becoming the first Filipino citizen to win both Tony and the Grammy award.[1][2][3][4][5]


Tolentino attended Calumpang Elementary School (which was since renamed as Esteban Juntado, Sr. Elementary School) from 1983 to 1989. He entered the Basic Education Unit of University of Iloilo as a high school freshman and took up his secondary education from 1989 to 1993. He continued attending University of Iloilo and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy degree in March 1997.

He has pursued his high school education by applying to a scholarship program being promoted by the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish. Apparently, the scholarship grant is funded by the Meguko Society, a student organization operating at the Jesuit-run Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. The Meguko Society caters to educational needs of indigenous children from India and the Philippines. Tolentino was awarded scholarship grants from high school to undergraduate by the organization.

He wanted to pursue a tourism degree but has decided to take a degree in accountancy at the University of Iloilo due to the lack of course offering in the region.

When he moved to the United States, he received his certificate in Nursing Assistance from the American Medical Career Training Center in Jamaica, New York in December 2005.[6]


Right after graduation, Tolentino worked in Iloilo City at Mercantile Credit Resource Corporation as a general bookkeeper, and was promoted as an accountant after three months, while serving as the company's corporate secretary. He worked at Mercantile Credit Resource Corporation from 1997 to 2002. He moonlighted in multinational Hong Kong-based companies from 1999 to 2001: as internal auditor for JP Capital Partners Ltd., and as sales and marketing executive for Inside Fashion.

In 2002, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for a sales and marketing job at The Good Guys, while moonlighting as a waiter for Continental Caterers and as a babysitter. Soon, he decided to move to the New York tri-state area for a mortgage and finance job in 2004, where he has learned much about the theatre industry. He has sidelined as a nursing assistant in 2006, and when the market crashed as part of the 2008 recession, he worked in the healthcare profession fulltime.

While in New York, working in finance and healthcare, he started writing reviews of theatre shows in his blog.

In February 2016, Tolentino was given recognition by the government of the Philippines through the National Commission for Culture and the Arts-Ani ng Dangal for giving international recognition to the Philippines; and was among The Outstanding Young Men and Women of the Philippines who were awarded the same year by President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañang Palace in December of the same year. In 2019 Tolentino won Best Short Documentary at the NVIFF Awards in Amsterdam.[7][8] In 2021, Blogtalk with MJ Racadio named him one of the "75 Most Influential Filipino-Americans".[9]

Personal life[edit]

According to his self-produced biographical documentary Life Is What You Make It, Tolentino is the youngest child of Gloria Dizon, a native of Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon and Arthur Tolentino, a native of Iloilo whose roots come from Bataan. Tolentino grew up in a severely impoverished area of Barangay Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City, which was a few meters across the shore of the Iloilo Strait.


Organization Position Stint
The Recording Academy (Grammy Awards) Voting Member 2016–present
The Broadway League (Tony Awards) Voting Member 2015–2017
The Order of the Knights of Rizal-New York Chapter Deputy Chapter Commander 2015–2018

Music credits[edit]

Year Album Credits Label Notes
2016 The Color Purple: New Broadway Cast Recording Producer Broadway Records 59th Annual Grammy Awards winner
2015 Side Show: Added Attractions Live at Feinstein's/54 Below
2014 Side Show: Original 2014 Broadway Cast Recording
Leslie Odom Jr. Associate Producer CD Baby Re-recorded in 2016
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder: Original Broadway Cast Recording Co-Executive Producer Sh-K-Boom Records 57th Annual Grammy Awards nominee
2013 Matilda the Musical: Original Broadway Cast Recording Associate Producer Broadway Records 56th Annual Grammy Awards nominee

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Theatre
2019 M. Butterfly Producer Philippine National Tour
2018 M. Butterfly Maybank Theatre
Children of a Lesser God Studio 54
2016 Tuck Everlasting Broadhurst Theatre
Hand to God Vaudeville Theatre
Hughie Booth Theatre
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder National Tour
2015 Sylvia Cort Theatre
Clever Little Lies Westside Theatre
Hand to God Booth Theatre
Buyer and Cellar National Tour
2014 A Raisin in the Sun Ethel Barrymore Theatre
A Delicate Balance John Golden Theatre
Side Show St. James Theatre
This is Our Youth Cort Theatre
The Velocity of Autumn Booth Theatre
Here Lies Love The Public Theatre (LuEsther Hall)
2013 Buyer and Cellar Barrow Street Theatre
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder Walter Kerr Theatre
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike John Golden Theatre
Macbeth Associate Producer Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Bedlam's Hamlet and Saint Joan Co-Producer Lynn Redgrave Theatre
2012 My Name is Asher Lev Producer Westside Theatre


Film Credits
Year Title Role
2019 Lingua Franca[10] Producer
2018 Confession[11]
2017 Life Is What You Make It Writer

Notable awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and Nominations
Year Award Production Role Results
2018 Aliw Award for Best Play M. Butterfly Producer Won
2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album The Color Purple Won
2016 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play Hand to God Nominated
2015 Tony Award for Best Play Hand to God Nominated
Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play This is Our Youth Nominated
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical Side Show Nominated
2014 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play A Raisin in the Sun Won
Tony Award for Best Musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder Won
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Won
Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Best New Broadway Musical Won
Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical Here Lies Love Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show Buyer & Cellar Won
Off Broadway Alliance Award Best Revival Bedlam's Hamlet and Saint Joan[12] Co-Producer Won
2013 Tony Award for Best Play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Producer Won
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play Won
Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Play Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Best New Broadway Play Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Best New Off-Broadway Play My Name is Asher Lev Won
Off Broadway Alliance Award Best New Play Nominated

Special citations[edit]

Special Citations
Year Title Award-giving Body Venue
2018 Pamana ng Pilipino Award Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas Malacañan Palace, Manila
2016 Ten Outstanding Young Men and Women of the Philippines Junior Chamber International-Philippines Malacañan Palace, Manila
Philippine Immersion Program Delegate Filipino Young Leaders Program Philippine Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Ani ng Dangal National Commission for Culture and the Arts SMX Aura Convention Center, Taguig
2014 The Outstanding Filipino American for Entertainment The Outstanding Filipino American-New York Carnegie Hall, New York City


  1. ^ Tribeca Film Institute. "Jhett Tolentino Profile". TFINY.org. Tribeca Film Institute.
  2. ^ Quadra-Balibay, Aurora (October 15, 2019). "Broadway's Jhett Tolentino wins 9th award for bio-docu "Life Is What You Make It"". Good News Pilipinas. GNP. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Rappler. "Pinoy producer Jhett Tolentino wins first Grammy". Rappler. Rappler Media. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  4. ^ Sorilla, Franz IV. "8 Filipino Tony and Laurence Olivier Awards Winners And Nominees". Philippine Tatler. Philippine Tatler. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  5. ^ Diaz, Rasmin. "Jon Jon Briones to headline TOFA100 online show". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  6. ^ Abunda, Boy. "Jhett recalls his humble beginnings". YouTube. ABS-CBN. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ Medium Article NVIFF Diversity
  8. ^ Encila-Celdran, Robert. "BWW Interview: Broadway Producer Jhett Tolentino Talks M. BUTTERFLY Philippine Tour, LINGUA FRANCA & HERE LIES LOVE on Broadway". Broadway World Philippines. Broadway World Philippines. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Comedian Jo Koy leads 75 Most Influential Filipino Americans list". goodnewspilipinas.com. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  10. ^ "Lingua Franca (2019) - IMDb".
  11. ^ "Confession (2018) - IMDb".
  12. ^ Bedlam Incorporated. "Bedlam". Bedlam.org. Bedlam Incorporated. Retrieved June 29, 2021.

External links[edit]

  • Jhett Tolentino at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  • The Color Purple Cast Recording wins 2017 Grammy Award [1]
  • Jhett Tolentino wins first Grammy [2]
  • Internet Broadway Database: Jhett Tolentino [3]
  • Lucile Lortel Archives: Jhett Tolentino [4]
  • Broadway World: Jhett Tolentino [5]
  • Life Is What You Make it [6]
  • Making Broadway Accessible to Pinoys [7]
  • Former OFW in HK, successful in Broadway [8]