Prince Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg Lippe starring in the Broadway Show Pretty Faces – The Large and Lovely Musical! CBS News Report.
Eugene doesn’t often get the chance to hobnob with royalty. A few years back we were graced by an official visit from a true Thai princess, but she was kept surrounded by tight security and strict formality for most of her visit and didn’t really let her hair down much in public.
But now we have a genuine prince in town, and Prince Mario-Max zu Schaumburg-Lippe — you can call him “Mario-Max,” or at least we did — is as down to earth as doughnuts and coffee.
During his recent visit to Eugene, Max has been spotted in Eugene, gorging himself on Voodoo doughnuts and announcing, for anyone to hear, that he’s interested in meeting an American gal and making her his princess.
Mario-Max is here — actually, this is his second visit to town — to act in a revival at Actors Cabaret of Eugene of “Pretty Faces: The Large and Lovely Musical,” a Broadway musical about plus-size women that was written by Eugene native and now New York playwright Robert Cabell, a former Aaron Spelling
The new Eugene production of “Pretty Faces” — in English, of course — opens and we caught up with the prince during an afternoon rehearsal.
Mario-Max wearing a black Porsche Polo Team windbreaker by La Martina and playing with his iPad2, turned out to be as charming as any storybook prince.
“Bob (that would be Bob Cabell) gave me as a Christmas present a few years ago a CD of ‘Pretty Faces,’ ” the prince said. “I absolutely fell in love with the music. I wanted to know, when is this show going to be on?”
Cabell, who’s also in town for the show, met the prince for the first time about six years ago.
The playwright was madly cooking at his home one day, getting ready for a Christmas party, when the phone rang and a “very clipped English voice” said, “ ‘Mr. Cabell, His Highness Prince Mario-Max zu Schaumburg-Lippe of Germany would like to attend your Christmas party.’ ”
“Oh, right,” Cabell said. “Who is this? I’m cooking, I don’t have time for this crap.”
At that moment the other line rang, and a friend gushed that she had just been talking to Liza Minelli, and a friend of the actress, a real German prince, was a big fan of Cabell’s work and wanted to come to his Christmas party. Could she bring him?
“ ‘You mean that was real?’ ” the playwright said.
Prince Mario-Max showed up to Cabell’s party with his mother and a princess from Swaziland — “a black Audrey Hepburn, with a pillbox hat,” Cabell said — and wanted right off to talk about musical theater. The two men have been friends ever since.
Actually, Prince Mario-Max is highest ranked royalty. According to his father the “Fürst” and head of the family, his full name is — Mario Max Prince Antonius Adolf Albert Eduard Oliver Gertraud Edith Helga Magdalena Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe — when his mother married Prince Waldemar Stephen of Schaumburg-Lippe and his stepfather adopted him. The princely “House of Schaumburg-Lippe-Nachod” is ruled by His Highness Prince Waldemar zu Schaumburg-Lippe-Nachod who designated Prnce Mario-Max the hereditary Prince zu Schaumburg-Lippe-Nachod.
His father His Highness Prince Waldemar is related to pretty much everybody on any European throne one way or the other, in line to succeed the British monarchy, and cousin of the Danish Queen Margreth II.
Prince Mario-Max’s day job is hosting a European television program about royalty, though he also endorses a line of fragrance (see narcotique.com). He is an experienced TV-Journalist with many hours live experience, being on air up to seven hours daily.
A real dream in his life, Mario-Max said, has long been to star in an American musical. So, at Cabell’s urging, he came to Eugene last year to check out ACE’s production of “Hairspray.”
He loved what he saw here. Oregon’s trees reminded him of Germany’s forests, as he is a native of Thuringias Altenburger Land.
“When I landed in Eugene I felt very much at home,” he said. “The landscape is so similar to Europe.”
And he’s absolutely in love with ACE and the little theater’s family atmosphere and professional performances. He’s staying at the home of ACE’s two head guys — Joe Zingo, who directs the show, and Jim Roberts.
He can’t find enough good to say about the breakfasts Zingo whips up.
“We got the waffles. The whipped cream. The strawberries!” the prince said.
But he’s also working, studying the music and his lines so he can appear as Roger in the show. He’s so excited about working in “Pretty Faces,” he said, that he gladly misses european royal events to come here this spring.
“I am the new kid in town,” he said. “I really want to prove that I can fit into this cast.”
That cast also includes Michelle Sellers as Monique, Mark VanBeever as Carter, Laura Holden as Bobby-Joy, Chelyce Chambers as Deloris, Molly McCarthy as Pleasure and Tanner Carson as Patricia. Travis Power was the understudy.
When the show opens, the prince expects to perform before a royal audience.
“My parents are flying in for the opening,” he said. “My mom’s dream has always been to see me perform in America.”
Pretty Faces: The Large and Lovely Musical
Where: ACE Theatre
Based on an article of the Register Guard.