Ramin Karimloo to Join 'Anastasia' Broadway Cast

Ramin Karimloo - Getty - H 2016
Getty Images

Ramin Karimloo - Getty - H 2016

The Tony-nominated 'Les Miserables' star will play the antagonist in the new musical by the 'Ragtime' team, inspired by the 1997 Fox animated feature.

The Broadway production of Anastasia has found its villain.

Ramin Karimloo, the veteran London musical theater star who earned a Tony nomination for his 2014 Broadway debut as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, has joined the cast as Gleb. The newly created character is a former Russian revolutionary initially attracted to the heroine Anya, but he later becomes determined to stop the orphaned amnesiac from returning home when it appears that she might be the youngest daughter of Russia's last Tsar, Nicholas II.

Spanning the twilight of the Russian Empire through the glamor of 1920s Paris, the project reunites librettist Terrence McNally, composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens, the team behind the Tony-winning musical Ragtime. The show also incorporates a number of songs by Ahrens and Flaherty from the 1997 Fox animated feature that inspired it, including the Oscar-nominated "Journey to the Past."

Karimloo joins previously announced leads Christy Altomare as the title character and Derek Klena as her love interest Dmitry. Also reprising their roles from the show's successful tryout run in May at Hartford Stage in Connecticut are John Bolton and Caroline O'Connor.

Darko Tresnjak, a 2014 Tony winner for A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, directs the production, which starts previews March 23 at the Broadhurst Theatre, with official opening set for April 24. Lead producers on the show are Stage Entertainment USA, Bill Taylor and Tom Kirdahy Productions.

Affection for the screen version of Anastasia appears to be driving considerable digital interest in the Broadway show; a 30-second teaser posted Monday afternoon drew more than six million views in its first 48 hours. Additional casting is to be announced.