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It’s not every day that a stage actor that gets compared with an Oscar-nominated actor in the same role (Hugh Jackman), but Ontario-raised Ramin Karimloo has set the stage, so to speak as Jean Valjean. It’s actually not even a role he ever aspired to play (fancied himself more a Javert), but when Cameron MacKintosh ask him to play it in his new production of Les Miserable at the Queen’s Theatre in London in 2011, Karimloo said OK... Little did he know he would end up back in Toronto, playing the role on Mirvish's stage.
Ramin grew up in Peterborough and Richmond Hill, Ontario, and during a dreaded high school trip to see The Phantom Ramin saw Colm Wilkinson, and even had the chance to meet him. Years later, Ramin went on to play that role in the sequel, Love Never Dies, and the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall that was streamed live to cinemas around the world.
After an extended performance of Jean Valjean in Toronto, Ramin will take the role to Broadway in 2014.