Queens resident and Indiana native Max Sangerman made his Broadway debut in the Fall of 2022, in the original cast of A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, as a member of the show’s vibrant supporting company of singers and dancers called The Noise. And since Nick Fradiani assumed the titular role earlier this month (after the departure of Will Swenson, who originated it), Sangerman is now the understudy for the lead and has already taken the stage as Neil Diamond Then, bringing his Warholian “fifteen minutes of fame” to new heights and increasing lengths.
A musical theater graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, the multi-talented quadruple-threat actor, singer, musician, and dancer has extensive credits beyond Broadway, having appeared Off-Broadway in such acclaimed shows as Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Blue Man Group, in regional productions of Footloose (DC’s Kennedy Center), Airness (at the historic Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY), BEAU (Adirondack Theatre Festival), The 12 (Denver Center), Rocky Horror and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Bucks County Playhouse), on such popular concert stages as 54 Below and Rockers on Broadway at the Curtain Up festival in Times Square, and on screen in the film version of BEAU and Lights on the Radio Tower. He was also seen recently in this year’s Jane Elissa Extravaganza, an annual fundraising event for leukemia and cancer research, where he and A Beautiful Noise castmate Fradiani performed a terrific set of solos and duets, accompanying themselves on guitar.
Max was kind enough to make time in his busy eight-show-a-week Broadway schedule and calendar of special events to answer some quick questions about his career, his background, and his personal tastes.
- What are you most thankful for this year?
Max: This year I’m most thankful for family. My immediate family and my chosen family here in NYC. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.
- What three emotions did you feel when you first stepped onto the Broadway stage?
It was a combo of comfort, joy, and adrenaline-fueled anxiety.
- What’s the most fabulous thing about performing live?
The most fabulous thing about performing live is the connection and dynamic relationship with the audience. It’s always real and vibrant and one of a kind. Every audience is different – sometimes you’ll have friends or family there to connect with but most of the time it’s a group of total strangers who immediately become a part of the family through the story and the music.
- What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve ever gotten from an audience member?
My Mom and Dad seeing A Beautiful Noise in Boston was very memorable. Another one that comes to mind is when I was at Bucks County Playhouse playing Brad in Rocky Horror and someone threw a loaf of bread at me.
- Which is your favorite song in A Beautiful Noise that you always look forward to performing?
- What do you find most relatable about Neil Diamond?
The simplicity of his music and the beautiful complexity of his lyrics. And his hair.
- Is there a dream role or show you’d like to play in the future?
I’ve always wanted to play Moritz in Spring Awakening.
- Who’s been the biggest inspiration in your career?
Someone I’ve always looked up to and have been inspired by is Sonny Paladino [who served as music supervisor, arranger, and orchestrator for both A Beautiful Noise and Smokey Joe’s Cafe]. He’s an insane musician, one of the most generous humans I’ve ever met, and has this innate ability to cultivate a wonderful group of people around him. Awesome dude.
- What’s your first creative memory?
Playing my Dad’s guitar. He would record my sister and me writing songs and performing in our living room.
- What three things do you always have in your dressing room?
The smelly goods (deodorant and cologne), my small floor mattress for naps between shows, and snacks.
- What do you do for fun when you have some time off?
Hike at Harriman State Park, golf, take a cold plunge in my backyard.
- What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Beep boop bap.
- What do you love most about the holiday season?
Togetherness. The energy and love that everyone is sharing.
- What’s your favorite comfort food or beverage?
Turkey sandwich on multigrain bread. And ginger ale.
- What’s the biggest benefit of being famous?
I’m not famous. [But he is modest!]
Thanks, Max, for sharing a fast and lively fifteen minutes with us and for letting our readers get to know you a little better. May your career on Broadway and beyond continue to flourish and your fame keep growing!