|Photo by Matthew Murphy|
Karimloo (Toronto's Les Miz, The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies) makes his Broadway debut in Les Miz, which officially opened March 23 at the Imperial Theatre.
Leading man Karimloo previously admitted to Playbill magazine, "I turned [the role of Jean Valjean] down when [producer] Cameron [Mackintosh] first offered it. I didn't think I could find a way into the character of Jean Valjean. I thought maybe I could play Javert instead. And then, at the 25th Anniversary concert of Phantom, Cameron came to my dressing room and said he'd come for his pound of flesh... I owe everything to him. He's allowed me to grow as an actor, he's been my mentor, and I have the greatest respect for him."
"I told him," said producer Cameron Mackintosh, "'I want you to play it. You're not too young, you'll bring something fresh to Jean Valjean. And this is a fantastic way for you to make your Broadway debut.'"
The revival also stars Andy Mientus (Broadway debut, Spring Awakening national tour, "Smash," Off-Broadway's Carrie) as Marius, Samantha Hill (The Phantom of the Opera) as Cosette, Tony Award nominee Will Swenson (Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Little Miss Sunshine) as Javert, West End and Broadway actress Caissie Levy (Ghost, Hair, Murder Ballad) as Fantine, Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon; Fetch Clay, Make Man) as Eponine, Kyle Scatliffe (West End production of The Scottsboro Boys, Broadway debut) as Enjolras, Canadian actor Cliff Saunders (The 39 Steps, Toronto's Les Miz) as Thenardier and Tony Award nominee Keala Settle (Hands on a Hardbody) as Madame Thenardier.