Podcast Episode 87 – Richard Frankel

When I was building my business, I looked around at other Broadway production companies to get ideas for the type of company that I wanted to have . . . from the products they produced, to the structure of the company, to the people and the partners.

And I always came back to Richard Frankel.

Richard came up through the ranks of Broadway, before winning his six Tonys for shows like The ProducersHairspray, and Company.  And he sat down with me to talk to me about just how he built his company, as well as . . .

  • How he and his partners raised money for their first show in an afternoon.
  • Why he prefers to do things (GM, booking, etc.) in house.
  • How he got Mel Brooks to give him the chance to produce The Producers (and it was a lot easier than you think).
  • Why he prefers small investors to big investors.
  • The origins of the premium ticket and why it’s important to have them.

If you’re building a company . . . or you’re just interested in hearing how one of the most successful Broadway production companies survives and thrives in our ever-changing environment, listen in to Mr. Richard Frankel tell all.

Click above to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Click here to read the transcript.


  • Adryan Russ says:

    Loved this interview. Richard Frankel, along with Marc Routh, produced my off-Broadway musical INSIDE OUT, about six women in group therapy, in the mid-1990s, and they were pretty wonderful — gave us a magic carpet ride. INSIDE OUT is now being considered for Encores Off-Center. Love that Richard was a Peace Corps volunteer, because I was too. As my writing partners and I are now developing a musical based on a film, love hearing the great advice about being “emotionally engaging” and about “something people care about.” Off we go. Thanks for this.

  • Juan Carlos Recalde says:

    Great interview. I took a lot of notes. 😀

    I just wanted to tell a true story, related to “The Producers”. I was walking down the street at night in Vienna, Austria, with my buddy. And we were all hyped up (and probably drunk) and had just seen the original “Producers” movie. Then one of us loudly said: “Don’t be stupid … be a smarty!” … And a random stranger passing us by on the nightly street, remember, this is Vienna, suddenly answered: “Come and join the Nazi party.”

    True story. Thanks again Ken and Richard!

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