Podcast Episode #13 – Broadway Producer and The Advocate for Artists, Tom Kirdahy.

What I love about Broadway is that there is no one path to becoming a Producer.  Everyone who gets their name above the title comes at it from their own unique angle.  We’ve got Press Agents that have become Producers, Booking Agents, Actors, and me, I took the General Management route.  And then there are the Marketers from other Industries, the Television Executives, and more.

But IMHO, no one’s path is more unique and more interesting than my guest on today’s podcast, Tom Kirdahy.  Tom started his career as a lawyer.  But he wasn’t your typical lawyer.  He was a fierce advocate for those living with HIV/AIDS in the late 80s, putting his Broadway dreams on hold so he could help fight for the rights of those who were too ill to fight for themselves.  The Normal Heart?  Yeah, Tom lived it.

And now, while still super active in that space (news flash – the AIDS crisis ain’t over), Tom has been able to get back to his first love, and has been the Lead Producer on three shows in the last twelve months:  Mothers and Sons, and this season’s It’s Only A Play and The Visit.

I’ll let Tom describe his path in his own words, as well as . . .

  • Why being a Producer means taking advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself.
  • How to work with stars and how not to work with stars.
  • Whether or not he goes into the chat rooms during previews for a new show.
  • How being a lawyer helped him be a Producer.

With each podcast I do, I’ve noticed a theme always emerges . . . and Tom’s is no different.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Tom from doing this podcast, and from working with him over the past year, it’s the importance of being a fierce, claws-out advocate for the artists on your shows.

Don’t understand what I mean?  Listen in.  And pay special attention to his “closing argument” about The Visit.  It’s how all Producers need to present their shows to investors and audience members.

Click here to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.



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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.