Age and Hometown: 41; Stockholm, Sweden
Current Role: Bringing the Music of the Night to the Majestic Theatre as Broadway’s newest masked man in The Phantom of the Opera.
My Favorite Things: Born and raised in “the cleanest city on earth,” Joback raves that Stockholm is “romantic, cultural” and “open-minded.” Early on, he fell in love with movie musicals—Singin’ in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz and especially Cabaret—and decided to pursue theater. “I was 10 when I did my first show, as one those annoying kids in The Sound of Music who sing and dance all the time,” he says with a laugh. Roles in West Side Story, Grease and Fame followed, and Joback drew the attention of London-based producer Cameron Mackintosh after his 1996 star turn in Kristina, a musical by ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson.
Theater Nerds Anonymous: Mackintosh handpicked the then-25-year-old Joback to star in Miss Saigon in the West End at the same time the handsome young star was launching a multiplatinum career as a pop singer. Still, Joback couldn’t deny his passion for theater. “In Sweden, liking musicals is a guilty pleasure,” he explains. So the actor created an “I Love Musicals” concert tour, where fans could geek out over show tunes together. “The concert started off like an AA meeting,” he says jokingly. “I had eight thousand people in the audience scream out their names and say, ‘I love musicals!’” Joback hopes to introduce Broadway stars like Norm Lewis to Swedish audiences in future versions of the show.
Angel of Music: After a six-month stint playing the Phantom in the West End, Joback is making his Broadway debut as the mysterious masked music teacher—and he couldn’t be more thrilled. “It’s everything I dreamed of as a child,” he says. “I have so much respect for all of the talented actors here on Broadway.” He’s also excited about exploring New York with his husband, personal trainer Oscar Joback. “I love nature, so I’m going to spend lots of time in Central Park running and enjoying the trees and birds and flowers.” He’s already enjoying the enthusiasm of Broadway theatergoers, adding with a smile, “American audiences love cheering. If they like something, they really like it—and hopefully they like me!”