Interview with Broadway Producer Ken Mahoney

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 4.45.50 PMKen Mahoney has been working in the financial realm for 25 years and has used his skills to help transform the Broadway scene.  He is a Producer on a handful of shows and albums.  His newest project is a site where Broadway audience members can connect and give their honest opinions on shows.


The Playbill Collector (TPC): What is your specific area of business?

Ken Mahoney (KM): First and foremost my everyday main focus is Mahoney Asset Management.  I’ve been at it for 25 years; helping people retire, put money away and save for their kids college.


TPC: How did you get involved in Broadway?

KM: I became friends with Frank Wildhorn.  Our sons played baseball together and he introduced me into the world of Broadway.  It’s great because everyone loves him and his work.


TPC: How did you decide what pieces of theater you wanted work on?

KM: My background is financial so I look at the shows from more of a financial standpoint.  Some of the shows I was asked to work on, the break even analysis wouldn’t be fair to investors so I chose to walk away.  My wife goes to a lot of readings.  If she loves something I will take a look at it but always from the financial side first.


TPC: What shows have you been a Producer on?

KM: The Best Man with James Earl Jones, Pippin, Porgy and Bess, Driving Miss Daisy, Macbeth with Alan Cumming and Bonnie and Clyde.  I’ve been the Executive Producer on Matilda, Nice Work if you Can Get It, The Grinch and a handful of 54 Below shows including Laura Benanti and Aaron Tveit.  Finally, I’m the Executive Producer on albums for Patti Lupone, Jekyll and Hyde, How to Succeed with Nick Jonas and Andrea McArdle.


TPC: How many shows do you invest in per season?

KM: I try to do one or two shows a year and hope to hit the bullseye.  With PIPPIN we hit the bullseye.


TPC: How did you get involved in PIPPIN?

KM: I went to Boston to see it.  The buzz was insane and the financials were reasonable.  The hardest part was trying to find something negative.  The problem with doing PIPPIN the bar is set very high to work on other projects.


TPC: You are the founder of Broadway Audience, a website for audience members to chatter about shows.  What got your the idea to start that?

KM: That was born out of speaking to audience members.  I found that there were shows where Broadway audience members loved it and theater critics hated it.  On the site we focus on peer to peer reviews.  It’s a positive tool for people to use and there is no other site that does what we do.  On the site we match criteria which has proven to be a very useful tool.


TPC: Are you working on anything this season?

KM: There are a few that we are kicking the tires on.  I try to go in with the left side of my brain and then my heart follows.  My motto is “you can’t diversity on Broadway”.  People ask me what my next show will be and I say “the next revival that Diane Paulus does.  I am confident with her work.”


For more information on Ken check out his sites below:

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