Two veteran New York theatrical general managers, Robert Ahrens and Chris Aniello, have teamed up to form a new theatrical general management office, Live Wire Theatrical Management (LiveWireTheatrical.com) to help producers run their shows.
With joint experience managing Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, Ahrens and Aniello say they will focus on “economic budgeting” with the goal to “keep upfront production and weekly running costs as low as possible while maintaining a robust marketing campaign and the show's artistic integrity. We believe that a production’s financial success and cultural longevity can be greatly enhanced by an experienced, energetic and thoughtful approach to general management.”
Ahrens and Aniello began their partnership as general managers on the recent Broadway musical Disaster! which starred the Tony Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated cast of Roger Bart, Kerry Butler, Kevin Chamberlin, Adam Pascal, Faith Prince, Rachel York, Seth Rudetsky and Jennifer Simard (the last of whom earned a 2016 Tony Award nomination for her role as Sister Mary Downy).
Here are their credits in more detail:
Ahrens began his career in theatre as the company manager of Full Gallop at the Westside Theatre, working for David Stone and Nancy Nagel Gibbs. He subsequently company-managed John Logan's Never the Sinner Off-Broadway, and then general managed Full Gallop at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles. Ahrens developed the musical Xanadu, with a book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Christopher Ashley. Ahrens produced the show on Broadway where it won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical. The show was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Musical. Ahrens produced the Xanadu national tour and sit-down productions in Chicago and in Japan and also licensed first-class productions in Germany, Brazil, South Korea and Australia, including the stock and amateur rights to M.T.I.
Ahrens co-produced the Broadway revival of Evita starring Ricky Martin. The show was nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and five Drama Desk Awards. Ahrens executive produced the UK version of Finding Neverland for Harvey Weinstein at the Leicester Curve Theatre in 2012. The musical was directed by Rob Ashford with a book by Allan Knee, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie.
Ahrens has presented several concerts on Broadway, including Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony in 2011, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in 2012, and The Temptations and The Four Tops in 2014. He also general managed the benefit concert of Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine in 2015 for the Broadway League Foundation. Ahrens general manages the annual Stars in the Alley concert each spring for the Broadway League. He teaches a graduate level course on commercial theatre at the Tisch School for the Arts at NYU.
Aniello is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He began his career as a general management assistant at Roundabout Theatre Company and subsequently as the office manager for Roy Gabay Theatrical Production and Management. H
is first management position was the Off-Broadway play Beebo Brinker Chronicles at 37 Arts. He also managed several readings, festival shows and workshops of various theatrical productions throughout his early career. Among these was the first workshop, Off-Broadway production and Broadway production of the Tony-nominated musical Fela!, with producer Steve Hendel and director/choreographer Bill T. Jones. This groundbreaking production, starring Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngaujah and Tony Award winner Lillias White, won the 2009 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and would go on to earn 11 Tony Award nominations and win three Tony Awards in the 2010 season.
Aniello’s other Broadway management credits include the Tony-nominated production of Rock of Ages at the Helen Hayes Theatre, Honeymoon in Vegas at the Nederlander Theatre and Amazing Grace at the Nederlander Theatre.
For more information, visit www.LiveWireTheatrical.com.