I don’t know about you, but I never thought I’d get to a place in my life where I thought Jean Valjean was hot. I was weaned, after all, on bearded Colm Wilkenson, who was and remains old enough to be my grandfather. Plus, his huggy Irish Santa Valjean just seemed really sweet and generally beyond the idea of hotness. And who could concentrate on him anyway, with Enjolras, Marius, and history’s first boyband doing jazz squares all over that dizzy barricade?
Ramin Karimloo, begs to differ with aaaaalllll that. Because he’s 35, highly tattooed, more jacked than that Equinox trainer you’re crushing on, and so intense and clear-eyed up on that stage that by the time you get to “Bring Him Home,” you’re all like… “Marius? Enjolras? Who’s Enjolras? I can’t even say that.”
Plus, in this same Broadway revival, we have Will Swenson’s Javert (hashtag #swavert), who has basically built an entire theatrical reputation around looking amazing with no clothes on. Or also, in a Henley. Or also, in a fringed loincloth/diaper.
This is not your mother’s Les Miserables. And in fact, it’s not even your beloved childhood Les Miserables, because there are no synthesizers, the barricade stopped spinning, and people wear blue sometimes. Welcome to adulthood, fangirls and boys. Join us as we re-imagine “The Confrontation” not as a battle of wills, but as the shirtless battle of Will and Ramin. Because that’s a better mental image, anyway…