Max Sangerman ’13 first hit the stage as a kid growing up in Gary, Indiana, in shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar and A Christmas Carol. Both his parents and his sister also were involved in community theatre.
“From a very young age, I was surrounded by musical theatre people, and so that’s kind of of where it all began for me, and where I fell in love with it,” Sangerman said.
From now through August 7, Sangerman will be surrounded by musical theatre people just steps from where he honed his skills as an actor and singer. He’s performing in the ensemble of A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical at the Emerson Colonial Theatre.
Sangerman said he feels lucky to return full circle to the place where he grew so much as a performer.
“It’s absolutely wild,” he said. “You know, it’s kind of almost too kismet to think that this is where I invested so much time and really grew as a person. And then to come back and to be able to perform in one of the most beautiful theaters in in the country, it’s so cool.”
Attending Emerson to major in Musical Theatre, for Sangerman, was a no-brainer.
“The classes that I loved the most were classes that just really got to the lifeblood of what current musical theatre is and … instead of just being a singer who’s trying to act like, actually honing your skills. [Emerson] really opened up my whole world,” he said.
Sangerman said he’s been able to get out of his comfort zone and experience new things while back in town. Last month, he and other cast members joined Neil Diamond at Fenway Park to belt out Red Sox Nation’s national anthem, “Sweet Caroline.”
He also got to work alongside choreographer Steven Hoggett, whom he appreciates for his ability to bring people together through movement.
“The show itself is so much fun and very difficult at the same time. I wouldn’t consider myself … a dancer, … I’m much more of, like, a ‘mover and a shaker,’” Sangerman said. “[Steven Hoggett’s] style of bringing ensembles together, bringing strangers together and getting them in the same room and having them be best friends within … two days is amazing.”
Prior to his work in A Beautiful Noise, Sangerman has performed in an Off-Broadway revival of Smokey Joe’s Café, as well as in bands DVA, Hidden Cities, and Rockers on Broadway.
Looking back on the evolution of A Beautiful Noise, Sangerman said he is proud of the work he has done because of how much individual contribution has gone into each part of the show.
“I was involved in very early readings and just stuck with it the whole time, so I got to see, like, different renditions of it and be a part of [the show] and have my own personal style kind of embedded in what the show is now,” he explained.
“Every single individual has made their mark on it in one way or another, whether it be a movement, whether it be a piece of choreography or just a vocal line. It relies so heavily on the people that are a part of it to tell this crazy story.”
Forming close connections with the people around him is something Sangerman said he works hard to achieve in everything he does. “I think the secret sauce of having any sort of career and forming relationships is kindness, goofiness, and generosity. Because … at the end of the day it’s about who you know, and it’s about the friendships and the relationships that that you form over the years.”
A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical runs through August 7. For tickets, visit the Emerson Colonial Theatre.