Ramin Karimloo at Times Square
Type: Music & Concerts
Showtime @ 8:00PM
Doors Open @ 6:00PM
Tickets $25.00 in advance, $30.00 day of show
For someone who has starred in the West End as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and as the iconic Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, including the 25th anniversary spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall and at The Royal Variety Show, as well as creating the role of the Phantom in Love Never Dies, Ramin Karimloo doesn't look like your average Olivier-nominated musical theater superstar, what with with his arm full of tattoos. But if he doesn't look like a musical theater star, then that's just as it should be. Such stars don't usually have their own bluegrass bands, idolize actors like Daniel Day Lewis and Robert De Niro, write their own songs, or play the guitar.
Karimloo's story is worthy of the more outlandish plot lines of some of his back catalog of hit shows. His parents fled Iran to escape the madness at the outbreak of revolution, landing first in Italy and then in Canada, where Karimloo grew up. As a boy, he made a rather reckless bet with his best friend that he would one day play the Phantom, and be the youngest ever man to do so. After a stint singing on cruise ships, he arrived in London and quickly earned a reputation for hard work on everything, from Shakespeare to a touring production of Sunset Boulevard and, of course, his role as the youngest Phantom ever. But just because he has achieved and even exceeded his goals doesn't mean Karimloo doesn't have bigger goals to replace them - which is where his debut album comes in.
"I have a huge love for country and bluegrass, I love rock 'n' roll, and I love what I'm doing, so it was how to balance all that," he says of what was going on his head when a major label approached him about making an album. "I didn't want to be just a theater star putting out an album." Of course, with influences as diverse as The Tragically Hip, Johnny Cash, and Mumford and Sons, a straightforward album of covers was never really in the cards. Ramin, Karimloo's self-titled debut album, is a diary entry from one of the world's greatest vocal talents that includes not only his own compositions, but also covers of Bryan Adams and Muse songs and his own take on the mighty "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera. The album hit U.S. stores on June 5th.