NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – When North Salem’s Ken Mahoney is not at his desk running Mahoney Asset Management, or at his computer writing books like “Can I Retire?” and “Investing from Within,” he spends a little time producing Broadway shows and he has a bunch of Tonys to prove it.
Mahoney’s most recent success was the revival of “Pippin,” which garnered four Tonys, including Best Revival of a Musical, at last week’s awards ceremony. He was also a producer of last year’s “Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess,” another Tony winner.
The Mahoney family moved to North Salem “because we were always up here, but we lived down-county,” Mahoney explained. “We came to pick apples, to pick pumpkins; we came for our Christmas tree, we came to the Hammond Museum. We finally said, Why don’t we just live there? It’s been 14 years, but it feels like we’ve lived here forever.”
Mahoney’s theater avocation began when he took his son to play in a local Little League game and ran into a guy wearing a Mets hat. As an ardent Yankees fan, Mahoney decided to shoot the breeze and maybe make a convert. The Yankee fan turned out to be fellow North Salem resident Frank Wildhorn, composer of Broadway’s “Jekyll & Hyde” and “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” among others.
“My wife and I always loved Broadway shows,” said Mahoney, “so I was really interested and I got involved.” That was six or seven years and multiple Tonys ago.
Now Mahoney’s interest in theater has an added feature. He has just launched a new website, www.broadwayaudience.com. “The critics have a huge say in what succeeds or fails on Broadway,” Mahoney said. “But the critics are really writing for people who see 50 shows a year."
BroadwayAudience.com is a forum for peer-to-peer theatre reviews geared to the specific demographics of each user like a match-making site. These days, people pay so much money for a Broadway ticket, they should have more information about what they’re going to see, he said. "There’ve been shows that the critics panned that were really good and succeeded only through word-of-mouth, like ‘Wicked’ and ‘Mama Mia.’"
Once people start consulting BroadwayAudience.com, he said, they can exchange ideas and opinions with people of similar taste, and decide for themselves whether to spend hundreds of dollars on a Broadway show.
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