Tony nominee and Broadway’s Anastasia star, Max von Essen returns to Long Island to perform at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center with singer-pianist and regular of the New York City Cabaret scene, Billy Stritch on Sunday, July 22 at 8 p.m.
von Essen, who is a Long Island native and son of highly regarded FDNY Commissioner, Thomas von Essen, has many notable accolades – including a Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination and an Outer Critics Circle nominated performance from the Broadway production, An American in Paris. He now stars in the Broadway production of Anastasia.
He previously appeared in the revival of Evita as Agustin Magaldi, the first revival of Les Miserables as Enjolras, Dance of the Vampires as Alfred, the closing company of the original Les Miserables, and the first revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. Other Off-Broadway credits include The Mint Theater’s production of Yours Unfaithfully, Maury Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday at the Roundabout Theatre Company, The Transport Group’s revival of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again (Drama League nomination), Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall, and Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre. He led the first national tour of Xanadu, appeared in the national tour of Chicago, played Tony in West Side Story throughout Europe and performed as a backup singer for the legendary Liza Minnelli.
He also has numerous TV and film appearances – including Law & Order: SVU, Elementary, Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Royal Pains, Gossip Girl, The Beautiful Life, The Intern, Sex and the City 2, and Seven Lovers and the short film Blonde. He was also a regular on the hit web series, Submissions.
“Everything started for me from music as a kid. It is my first love,” von Essen noted in an interview with Playbill. “From playing piano to singing, no matter what I do, I can’t help but start things from how they sound musically. [Singing the music] is a huge challenge but when you’re feeling good, you feel like you’re flying. Even when if it’s a little bit more of a struggle, [singing the score] is a thrill. I am really lucky.”
Stritch began his career in Houston, Texas, where he formed a vocal trio, Montgomery, Plant and Stritch, who performed all over New York and Europe until 1990. From then, for the next 25 years, he collaborated with the legendary Liza Minnelli. Most recently he toured with Tony Bennett as his pianist and musical director as well as performing solo shows across the country. When he is not on the road, he holds a residency at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party open mic night every Monday at New York’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club. He is also the composer of the Grammy award winning song Does He Love You, recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis.
In an evening sure to be remembered, the two world class performers come together to perform the best of Broadway and the American Songbook at the iconic Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.
Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 76 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. For tickets, visit whbpac.org or call the Box Office at 631-288-1500.