Current Obsession: the five things that Broadway-bound singer Ramin Karimloo is loving right now
In just four months, Ramin Karimloo has gone from a Toronto unknown to a local star: his electric performance as Les Misérables’ redemptive Jean Valjean puts Hugh Jackman to shame. At 35, the Richmond Hill–raised singer and actor is one of the youngest Valjeans in history; he’s also the dreamiest (he could have hidden that stolen bread in one of his dimples). Next month, he makes his Broadway debut as the runaway convict. Before he goes, we asked him for his favourite culture picks.
AIN’T NO GRAVE
“I listen to this to amp up for a performance as Valjean. It reflects the character’s emotional state in that opening scene; there are even chains in the background. I can hear Valjean repeating those words: ‘Ain’t no grave can hold my body down.’”
SONS OF ANARCHY
“One of my favourite shows. Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax, is beautiful to watch. Even as a straight man I’m like, ‘He’s so good-looking.’”
“Colm really goes somewhere when he sings this. Once he visited me after a show and started strumming it on my guitar. An Irishman and a guitar is like a moth to a light bulb.”
“I first read this book of poetry about 10 years ago, and I’ve recently picked it up again. I’m excited to see how the poems speak to me now.”
JOEL AND ETHAN COEN’S
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
“I’m in a band that plays what we call ‘broadgrass’—Broadway songs with banjos and fiddles. We love doing ‘Down to the River to Pray’ from O Brother. It resonates with people even if they’re not religious.”