Posts Tagged ‘Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS’

Today (December 1) is World AIDS Day. I’d like to take a moment to remember all those who have been affected by HIV/AIDS and remember those we’ve lost, especially my fourth grade teacher Mr. Thomas Driscoll.

During this holiday season and all year round, help those with HIV/AIDS and in finding a cure by supporting your favorite HIV/AIDS charity. Mine is Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which helps bring resources to those with and affected by HIV/AIDS across the United States.

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Max von Essen is one of those performers who has it all…the voice, the talent, and most of all the personality. When Max von Essen sings, you never want it to end and when he’s on stage, he’s the focal point of the action. Starting his career off with a boom, he was a back-up singer on tour with the one and only Liza Minnelli and his star has continued to shine brightly. On Broadway, Max has starred in both the original and revival of “Les Miserables,” “Dance of The Vampires” starring Michael Crawford, and the 2000 revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He also starred in “Jerry Springer: The Opera” at Carnegie Hall, “Finian’s Rainbow” at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and “The Fantasticks” at the Sullivan Street Playhouse. Max has been in regional productions of “The Baker’s Wife” at the Paper Mill Playhouse and “Mame” at The Kennedy Center. Other theatre credits includes productions of “Girl Crazy,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Dorian,” “Pirates of Penzance,” “My Fair Lady,” “Hair,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” When Max is not performing in a show, he’s dedicating his time to many charities close to his heart including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Matthew Shephard Foundation. Currently, Max is skating around the country in the national tour of “Xanadu” as Sonny Malone, so be sure to check him out when he rolls into your town. For more on Max, be sure to check out his website http://www.maxvonessen.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? All my teachers (and old movie musicals!!!)

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Haha, my range? Well, I’m a baritone so I have like a low G and then I can sing up to an A above middle C. But I have an odd falsetto and have played “Mary Sunshine” in “Chicago” and “Tremont” in “Jerry Springer The Opera,” so I’ve had to go up another octave and sing high A’s and B’s in the soprano range.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Oh god, there are so many! I’d love to work on broadway with Brian D’Arcy James in something and in a movie someday with Meryl Streep. I mean, could you imagine?

4. What’s the best advice someone ever gave you? “Follow your bliss.” An older friend told me that when I was a teenager, and it guides me constantly.

5. What is your proudest moment? That is such a difficult question. My proudest moment is simply every time I feel like I’m living my life as a decent human being. That may seem cliché but it’s true. It’s not about booking the next big job or anything for me, but at this point in my life, I just strive to be a good friend, son, brother and uncle.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Eight shows a week. Other than that, I hardly work out. I hate it!!!!

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs. Although now that I mostly wear skinny jeans, I usually wear briefs. 🙂

8. Favorite skin care product? Haha, good old Cetaphil cleanser, Kiehl’s Eye Alert, and Mac Studio Fix! Must haves!

9. Favorite website? None that I can tell you about. Well, other than Facebook and Twitter. (I’m slightly obsessed).

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? SUPERMAN all the way!!!!


11. Books or Magazines? I love magazines. But I really should read books more. Grrrrr.

12. Favorite TV Show Theme Song? Easy…The Nanny!!!!! Love it!

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On Sunday, February 28, I got to see “The Tonics” perform at Joe’s Pub. After being apart for 15 years they have reunited to bestow their beautiful harmonies upon us once more. “The Tonics” consist of fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Cortes Alexander, Michael Patrick Coughlin, Gene Reed, and newest member Kathie Talbot). Watching “The Tonics,” for me, was like watching an old-fashion quartet with a very modern sound as they performed a mixture of original songs & covers with “The Tonics” touch added to them. Separately each member is an accomplished musician, but together they really rock! I hope a continued resurrection is in store. Their chemistry is so strong, it makes me I feel like I was watching my friends perform. If you’re looking to be taken back to a time when life seemed simpler & less complex, then come on down to Joe’s Pub next Monday, March 8 at 7pm to catch “The Tonics” one more time before they head back to LA! Oh yeah, it’s a benefit performance for BCEFA (Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS) so come support a worthy cause & enjoy some good music with friends.

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Ann Harada in “Christmas Eve with Christmas Eve” on Monday, December 14. Watch Ann bring “Christmas Eve” (the role she originated in the Tony Award Winning Broadway Show “Avenue Q“) back for one night only in a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Showtime is 7pm at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space @ WNYC, 44 Charlton Street at Varick.

Special guests include: fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Andy Karl along with John Tartaglia (“Avenue Q” original “Rod/Princeton”), Raul Esparza, Christopher Sieber, and Norm Lewis.

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Remembering those affected with and by HIV/AIDS, especially my fourth grade teacher Thomas Driscoll. Will always remember the voices you used when reading to us, especially Roald Dahl.

During this holiday season and all year round, help those with HIV/AIDS and in finding a cure by supporting your favorite HIV/AIDS charity. Mine is Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which helps bring resources to those with and affected by HIV/AIDS across the United States.

Read Full Post »