Max McGrath originally from Manchester now living in Nashua, New Hampshire auditioned for Les Misérables because he felt “not only was It a huge opportunity to perform something politically and socially relevant, It's an invitation for each of the performers- no matter the role- to take a very personal journey. Each character has a terrible and tragic burden that they must overcome, and how they do that is now up to us!”
This is Max’s debut with the Actorsingers he has appeared in the past with the Majestic Theater's production of Children of Eden as "The Father". Why does Max do theatre? “Joy is the only word to use. There is nothing like it in the world and it can't be described. That feeling when the curtain falls and raises again... nothing can take you higher.”
How did Max react when he found out he was cast as Valjean? “It was a surreal moment. I was absolutely hysterical. I kept thinking, oh my god how am I going to memorize all this music; I have to stand and deliver a performance of one of the most recognizable roles in Musical Theater and I've never even been arrested! Valjean was in prison for 19 years! “
How is Max connecting with his character? “Jean Valjean is a very complex character he spends many years as a poor young man with good intentions, and makes that one mistake (stealing bread) that gets you caught. So in the fine form of the day, the petty thief is cast down with murderers and rapists and even other men like himself. He sees himself as the victim of this brutal and cold system of justice. This ultimately leads to him stealing from the Bishop of Digne who had given him food and a place to sleep when no one else would. It's that feeling of being one against the world, where everyone is out to be on top; you do what you have to do to get ahead and damn those who's feet you tread on. Wouldn't they have done the same to you? But then the tables are turned and Valjean is at the mercy of the bishop who instead saves him from prison and tells him to be a better man. I'm sure for a moment Valjean contemplates something terrible before deciding to break his parole and run. I connect with that moment; the choice to live another day; to do the best you can and keep fighting just one day more.”
Max finds the most challenging part of Valjean is “definitely the age difference, throughout the course of the show he gets to be about 50 and I'm 24. That in itself is a challenge; coming up with all of that life experience to play off of. “
Max’s earliest theater memory is of seeing Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley in Boston with his Dad. To this day it remains one of the coolest childhood memories he has, and one of the reasons he began singing and performing.
When Max is not rehearsing with the Actorsingers, he is a Shift Lead at Starbucks, he pours coffee, counts money and talk about the weather with his customers, in his free time he enjoys reading, writing and spending time with his family and friends.