‘S Wonderful Max von Essen

Kevin Fallon conducted a great interview with Max von Essen for The Daily Beast and I think you should read it.

Von Essen stars in the new Broadway show, An American in Paris, by all accounts a lush new show with a Gershwin score full of standards to die for. (Perhaps obviously, it’s based on the 1951 Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron picture, only with a new book by Craig Lucas.) Von Essen’s not new to the table — I still regret not being able to see him in Evita — but he’s one of those solid performers that you can always depend on. You may not instantly remember his name, but hardcore theatre-goers certainly do. Maybe that will change now.

Anyhow, from Fallon’s interview:

Interestingly enough, one of the first facts listed about von Essen on his Wikipedia page is that he is openly gay, something that he laughs about, but clearly doesn’t mind.

“If I don’t get a TV show next year because someone looks up my Wikipedia and it says ‘openly gay,’ then it’s worth the risk because I’ve had so many years being openly gay and proud of myself as a role model.”

“Especially for me on Broadway, of all places, I know people who are gay but living a bit of a lie in my own community,” he says. “And I’m thinking, ‘You’re on Broadway! You do musical theater! Of all places to hide yourself? Are you kidding? Enjoy. Be yourself.’”

Bravo, sir, bravo.

You can see von Essen in the hilarious web series Submissions Only. He has delightful comic timing — and he’s easy on the eyes. What’s not to love?

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Max von Essen, far left, played Cameron Dante, the boyfriend of Steven Bienskie’s Stephen Ferrell (third from left, in tie) in the delightful comedy about the other side of theatre, Submissions Only. Also pictured are Anne L. Nathan, creators Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead, Colin Hanlon, Wade McCollum and Lindsay Nicole Chambers.|Image: Curtis Brown/Broadway World

 

‘Submissions Only’ Returns March 3

BWW TV: SUBMISSIONS ONLY to Return to BroadwayWorld.com for Season 3 on March 3, Check out the New Trailer!|Broadway World

Okay, you know I have a handful of series that I am rabid about, but I think Submissions Only is special. I don’t know how well it plays for those who have never been in “the business,” but I’ve tested it with some “civilians” and I find that, as the old line goes, “funny is funny.”

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Subsmissions Only creators Kate Wetherhead and Andrew Keenan-Bolger.|Image: BroadwayWorld

But for anyone who has ever acted, directed, written, produced or watched theatre: this is so hilarious you might not realize that parts of it weren’t actually drawn from your own real life.

The last time I felt this strongly about a series that got the theatre business dead right, it was Slings and Arrows. (I swear that show contained actual tape recorded scenes of my life!!)

Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead are the responsible parties here. I am not-so-secretly in love with both of them! Watch and love!

Submissions Only

For the record, I LOVE Submissions Only. Start with season one and work your way up to season three, coming soon!

“Submissions Only” – How’d I Miss This Great Web Series Until Now??

I am completely late to the table on this one, but if you are at all interested in backstage shenanigans, watch Submissions Only, the Web series created by Kate Wetherhead and Andrew Keenan-Bolger.

“Backstage shenanigans” really doesn’t do this series justice in the slightest. It’s ostensibly about a struggling casting agent and his friend, a struggling actress, but it’s a warm, witty, often laugh-out-loud funny look at the relationships — and indignities — that occur backstage and in the wings.

For any of us who are, or have been, “in the business,” you know every one of these people. The last show like this, for me, was the Canadian series Slings & Arrows. For those amongst us who have not spent any time backstage, watch it for the cameos and great writing. There’s hardly a Broadway name that doesn’t get a couple of minutes of face time. I mean, they got Chita Rivera, Harvey Fierstein and Beth Leavel, for God’s sakes!

Wetherhead and Keenan-Bolger are no slouches as Broadway names either. You may have seen her in Legally Blonde or The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee or him in Mary Poppins, Seussical or until recently as Crutchie in Newsies. The “sizzle reel” below is linked straight to YouTube. Watch the entire series at www.submissionsonly.com. You’ll be glad you did.