Andy Karl
Andrew Karl Cesewski[1]

(1974-08-28) August 28, 1974 (age 49)[2]
EducationTowson High School
Alma materTowson University
  • Actor
  • singer
  • dancer
Years active1995–present
Known forGroundhog Day
Legally Blonde
Rocky the Musical
(m. 2001; sep. 2024)

Andy Karl (born August 28, 1974[2] as Andrew Karl Cesewski[1]) is an American actor and singer, best known for performing in musical theatre.

He appeared in the original productions of the musical version of Groundhog Day (for which he won the Olivier Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award), Legally Blonde, 9 to 5, Rocky the Musical and Pretty Woman: The Musical, as well as appearing in Wicked (in which he played Fiyero in 2010), The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Jersey Boys, On The Twentieth Century (for which he won the Outer Critics Circle Award), And So It Goes, and Into the Woods (in which he played both Princes and the Wolf in 2022).

Karl has won a Laurence Olivier Award and earned three Tony Award nominations for his work.

Early life

Karl was born on August 28, 1974[2] in Baltimore, Maryland, to Walter Cesewski and Susan Weisman.[1] He attended Towson High School, where he was on the football team and performed in theater. In high school, he played Jud Fry in Oklahoma! and General Bullmoose in Li'l Abner.[3] At age 16 he performed as the title role in Aladdin at the White Marsh Dinner Theatre.[citation needed] After high school, he attended Towson University, where he studied voice and music.[4] Karl originally planned on becoming a voice teacher until the director of a show he was in at college told him he had what it took to be a professional actor. Karl continued to perform in shows while in college. He changed his name to Karl to honor his late great-grandfather, Andrew Karl, a Baltimore fireman.[1] In Winter 1993–1994, he played the 9-foot dragon in the children's musical The Reluctant Dragon at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia, Maryland.[5]


1994-2006: Cats and Broadway debut

Karl moved to New York in 1994. He was an understudy in the touring cast of The Who's Tommy[1] and in 1998 played Rum Tum Tugger in the touring cast of Cats. In February 2000 Karl was an understudy in the New York premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night at the Second Stage Theatre.[6] He made his Broadway debut in 2000 as the replacement for Joey in Saturday Night Fever.[7] He continued with the production, this time in the role of Tony Manero, in its first national tour. In 2001 he performed in the musical stage production Me and Mrs. Jones at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.[8]

Karl was next seen as Dino Del Canto in the world premiere of the musical Romeo and Bernadette at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida. The show, which ran in January 2003,[9] garnered Karl a Carbonell Award for Best Actor in a musical.[10] He reprised the role at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey in February and March, 2003.[11]

Karl was also seen at the Paper Mill Playhouse in June and July of that year, when he performed as Danny Zuko in Grease. In January 2004 he performed in the musical revue Nights on Broadway II at Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[12]

In September 2004, Karl played Luke in the premiere of Altar Boyz at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. He then left the New York area to tour in the original company of Disney's On the Record. Karl returned to New York to play Luke in the Off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz, which opened on March 1, 2005 at Stage 4 of Dodger Stages (now New World Stages).[13]

On September 26, 2005, Karl performed in the Actor's Fund Concert production of On the Twentieth Century.[14] Karl's next role was the title character Adam Patterson in the Off-Broadway musical Slut at the American Theatre of Actors in Fall 2005.[15]

In January 2006 Karl was in the three-person cast of Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love, a celebration of the music of Elvis Presley, at the now-closed Au Bar. In June and July of that year, he starred as Tad in the musical Bright Lights, Big City at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.[16] He then joined the Broadway cast of The Wedding Singer at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, where he played the roles of Drunk Dave and Bad Haircut Guy until the show closed at the end of 2006.

2007-2013: Legally Blonde, Wicked and further success

Karl's next role was in Legally Blonde, where he played Kyle "the UPS guy", Dewey, and Grandmaster Chad at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, where the musical had its pre-Broadway tryout from January 23 to February 24, 2007.[17] He reprised his roles in the Broadway production, which started previews on April 3 and opened on April 29, 2007, at the Palace Theatre. He was also an understudy to Emmett and Professor Callahan. He left the show on July 20, 2008.

Karl briefly left Legally Blonde in June 2007 to work on 9 to 5 in its week-long workshop.[18] After leaving Legally Blonde, Karl continued working on the musical 9 to 5. He played Joe, the love interest of Allison Janney's character, in the pre-Broadway tryout in Los Angeles. The show played at the Ahmanson Theatre from September 3 to October 19, 2008.[19] The show opened on Broadway on April 30, 2009, at the Marquis Theatre, and closed on September 6, 2009.[20]

Karl took over the role of Fiyero from Kevin Kern in the Broadway production of Wicked on February 2, 2010[21] and played the role until January 2, 2011.[22]

He took over the role Tommy Devito in the Broadway production of Jersey Boys on October 11, 2011.[23]

Karl played Neville Landless in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood which opened on November 29, 2012, at Studio 54.[24] For this performance, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.[25]

2014-2016: Rocky, Law & Order and Tony nominations

Karl and Margo Seibert were featured as Rocky Balboa and Adrian in the new Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical Rocky the Musical, which opened on Broadway in February 2014.[26] In order to get into shape to play Rocky Balboa, Karl put on 12 pounds of muscle and worked with a trainer to get to a heavyweight fighter's weight.[27] Karl received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for this performance.[28]

Karl played the role of Bruce Granit in the 2015 Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century[29] alongside Kristin Chenoweth in the role of Lily Garland/Mildred Plotka. He received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.

In 2015, Karl joined the recurring cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as the unit's new sergeant, Mike Dodds, who is the son of Peter Gallagher's Chief William Dodds. The role reunites Karl and Gallagher after working together on On the Twentieth Century. He left his role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, when his character died.

2016-2024: Groundhog Day, Pretty Woman, and Into the Woods

On January 28, 2016, it was announced that Karl would be playing the starring role of Phil in the musical adaptation of Groundhog Day, the role played in the 1993 movie by Bill Murray.[30] The musical ran at the Old Vic Theatre London from Monday 11 July 2016 - Saturday 17 September 2016. Karl then reprised the role in the Broadway production of Groundhog Day, which opened on April 17, 2017.[31] For his performance in Groundhog Day in London, he received the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. On August 15, 2017, the producers of Groundhog Day announced it would end its Broadway run on September 17, 2017, but that a national tour and a possible return to London would follow.[32]

In May 2018, it was announced that Karl would star as Edward Lewis in the Broadway production of Pretty Woman: The Musical, following Steve Kazee's departure.[33] In February 2020, he was in an Off-Broadway 50th anniversary concert version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as Potiphar, he played opposite his wife Orfeh as Potiphar's Wife.[34]

On August 12, 2022, it was announced Karl would play the roles of the Big Bad Wolf and Cinderella's Prince from September 6-15 in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods filling in for Gavin Creel at the St. James Theatre.[35] On September 22, it was announced he would return to the production for a limited run from October 11-November 23 (a run that was later extended to December 2),[36] this time filling in for Joshua Henry as Rapunzel's Prince.[37] He reprised the role of Rapunzel's Prince during the opening weekend of the U.S. national tour's engagement in Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center this time filling in for Jason Forbach who went on for the Baker in the place of Sebastian Arcelus.[38]

From May to August 2023, he reprised the role of Phil in Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Theatre in London. From January to April 2024, he is set to star in Groundhog Day at the Princess Theatre in Australia.[39][40]

Personal life

Karl met his wife Orfeh while in the musical for Saturday Night Fever. They were married in January 2001 and reside in Manhattan. In addition to Saturday Night Fever, Karl and his wife have performed together in Me and Mrs. Jones, Nights on Broadway II, Bright Lights, Big City, Legally Blonde,[4] Pretty Woman: The Musical, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In May 2024, they announced they had separated after 23 years of marriage.[41]

Theatre credits

Year Title Role Location Notes
1995–1996 The Who's Tommy Officer #2 / Local Lad
u/s Tommy
u/s Kevin
1998 Cats The Rum Tum Tugger Fourth national tour
2000 Saturday Night Messrs Vlastnik / Washington / Thorell Second Stage Theatre Off-Broadway
Saturday Night Fever Joey Minskoff Theatre Broadway
2003 Romeo and Bernadette Dino Del Canto Paper Mill Playhouse / Coconut Grove Playhouse Tour
Grease Danny Zuko Paper Mill Playhouse Regional
2004–2005 On the Record Quartet member First national tour
2005-2006 Altar Boyz Luke New World Stages (Stage 4) Off-Broadway
2005 Slut Adam American Theater of Actors Regional
On the Twentieth Century Porter New Amsterdam Theatre Broadway Concert
2006 Bright Lights, Big City Tad Prince Music Theater Regional
The Wedding Singer David Fonda / Bad Haircut Guy / Ensemble
u/s Glen Guglia
Al Hirschfeld Theatre Broadway
2007–2008 Legally Blonde Chad / Dewey / Kyle / Ensemble
u/s Emmett
u/s Prof. Callahan
Palace Theatre
2009 9 to 5 Joe Marquis Theatre
2010–2011 Wicked Fiyero Tigelaar Gershwin Theatre
2011–2012 Jersey Boys Tommy DeVito August Wilson Theatre
2012–2013 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Neville Landless / Mr. Victor Grinstead Studio 54
2013 Jersey Boys Tommy DeVito August Wilson Theatre
2014 Rocky the Musical Rocky Balboa Winter Garden Theatre
Waitress Earl Hunterson American Repertory Theater Workshop
2015 On the Twentieth Century Bruce Granit American Airlines Theatre Broadway
2016 Groundhog Day Phil Connors The Old Vic London
2017 August Wilson Theatre Broadway
2018–2019 Pretty Woman: The Musical Edward Lewis Nederlander Theatre
2020 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Potiphar David Geffen Hall 50th Anniversary Concert
2022 Into the Woods The Wolf / Cinderella’s Prince St. James Theatre Broadway
Rapunzel's Prince Broadway
2023 Kennedy Center National tour
Groundhog Day Phil Connors The Old Vic London
2024 Princess Theatre Melbourne, Australia[42]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Legally Blonde: The Musical Dewey/Kyle/Grandmaster Chad/Ensemble TV film
2015 Forever Sean Moore Episode: "Diamonds Are Forever"
2015–16 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sgt. Mike Dodds[43] Recurring role (15 episodes)
2020 Prodigal Son Joseph Episode: "Scheherazade"
2021 No Activity Yohan (voice) Episode: "Magnolia"
2021 The Good Fight Jesse McFinley Episode: "And the Fight Had a Détente..."
2022 Blue Bloods Will Farmer Episode: "Where We Stand"
2022 Gossip Girl Guest Singer Episode: "How to Bury a Millionaire"
Year Title Role Notes
2008 New York, I Love You Zoe's Boyfriend Uncredited role
2012 Joyful Noise Caleb
2014 And So It Goes Ted
2016 Little Men Un­known Uncredited role
2020 Faraway Eyes Michael
2020 Here After Michael
2023 Atrabilious Greg Meyers

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2013 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood Nominated Audience Awards[44] Favorite Onstage Pair (with Jessie Mueller) Nominated
2014 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Rocky Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Astaire Award Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show Nominated
2015 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical On the Twentieth Century Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won
2016 Evening Standard Award Best Musical Performance Groundhog Day Nominated
2017 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Musical Won
The Stage Debut Award Best West End Debut Nominated
Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
2023 Audience Choice Awards Favorite Replacement (Male) Into the Woods Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d e Rousuck, J. Wynn (June 29, 1998). "Andy Karl's hiding under the makeup Cast: A Baltimore native plays the 'rock 'em, sock 'em' Rum Tum Tugger role in 'Cats,' tonight at the Lyric". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Longman, Will (August 18, 2016). "He's in Groundhog Day, but who the hell really is Andy Karl?". Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Broadway Star Photos - Andy Karl". BroadwaySpace. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Karl, Drennan and LoSchiavo Star In Limited Run Of 'Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love' at AU BAR". Broadway World. December 13, 2005. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  5. ^ Hirsch, Rona (December 26, 1993). "Dragon tale teaches children about stereotypes". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "Saturday Night". The Stephen Sondheim Reference Guide. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  7. ^ "Andy Karl". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  8. ^ Britt, Bruce (April 30, 2002). "Sophisticated Soul Sounds Score for Thom Bell". BMI. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  9. ^ Zink, Jack (February 2, 2003). "Review: 'Romeo & Bernadette'". Variety. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  10. ^ "Romeo and Bernadette". Official Website of Writer Mark Saltzman. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  11. ^ Weiss, Dorrie. "Romeo and Bernadette, a CurtainUp review". Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "Atlantic City Gets Broadway on the Beach". Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "About the Show". Altar Boyz. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  14. ^ "On the Twentieth Century – Broadway Musical – 2005 Revival". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  15. ^ Beckson, Eric. "Slut, a CurtainUp review". Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  16. ^ "Kushnier, Karl & Orfeh Set for Bright Lights, Big City at the Prince; Arima to Direct". May 20, 2006. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  17. ^ "Borle, Rupert, Shindle, Etc. Complete Legally Blonde Cast". November 14, 2006. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth (June 20, 2007). "A Cup of Ambition: 9 to 5 Musical Takes Next Step in NYC Reading with Neuwirth, Janney, Block". Playbill. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  19. ^ "Ahmanson Theatre" (PDF). Centre Theatre Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  20. ^ Jones, Kenneth (July 29, 2009). "Punching Out: 9 to 5 Will Close Sept. 6; Tour Will Launch in Nashville". Playbill. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew (February 2, 2010). "Andy Karl Is Wicked's New Fiyero Beginning Feb. 2". Playbill. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  22. ^ "Andy Karl". Playbill. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  23. ^ Gans, Andrew (September 14, 2011). "Andy Karl and Quinn VanAntwerp Will Be Jersey Boys On Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  24. ^ Stage Tube (30 June 2012). "TV: Roundabout Announces THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Cast with Video Promo - Block, Chase, Edelman, Rivera, Karl, Mueller, Norton & More!". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 29, 2013). "Nominations Announced for 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards; Giant and Hands on a Hardbody Lead the Pack". Playbill. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  26. ^ Hetrick, Adam (September 9, 2013). "Andy Karl and Margo Seibert Will Star in Rocky Musical on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  27. ^ Ferri, Josh (2 December 2013). "Five Burning Questions with Jersey Boys & Rocky Star Andy Karl - The Daily Scoop". Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  28. ^ "2014 Tony Award Nominations - The Complete List; A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE Leads With 10!". Broadway World. April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  29. ^ Hetrick, Adam; Gioia, Michael (October 20, 2014). "Andy Karl, Mark Linn-Baker, Michael McGrath, Mary Louise Wilson Board On the Twentieth Century Revival". Playbill. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  30. ^ "Breaking: Andy Karl to Star in Broadway-Bound GROUNDHOG DAY". Broadway World. January 28, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  31. ^ "Confirmed: Andy Karl Will Star in GROUNDHOG DAY on Broadway; Tickets Now Available!". Broadway World. October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  32. ^ Hetrick, Adam; McPhee, Ryan (September 17, 2017). "Groundhog Day Plays Final Broadway Performance September 17". Playbill. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  33. ^ "Breaking: Andy Karl Will Replace Steve Kazee as Star of PRETTY WOMAN on Broadway". Broadway World. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  34. ^ Andy Karl and Orfeh Join Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Concert
  35. ^ Hall, Margaret (12 August 2022). "Stephanie J. Block, Sebastian Arcelus, Krysta Rodriguez, Montego Glover, More to Join Broadway's Into the Woods". Playbill.
  36. ^ Karl, Andy (November 28, 2022). "Back in the Woods until Friday 12/2!". Instagram. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  37. ^ Harms, Talaura (22 September 2022). "Brian D'Arcy James and Andy Karl Will Return to Broadway's Into the Woods". Playbill.
  38. ^ Ingenthron, Blair (February 25, 2023). "Andy Karl to Rejoin INTO THE WOODS at the Kennedy Center This Weekend". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  39. ^ Groundhog Day returning to London with Andy Karl
  40. ^ Photos: First Look At Andy Karl & More In GROUNDHOG DAY Australian Premiere
  41. ^ Quinn, Dave (May 14, 2024). "Broadway's Orfeh and Andy Karl Separating After 23 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved May 15, 2024.
  42. ^ Groundhog Day Australia
  43. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (September 22, 2015). "TVLine Items: SVU Casts Benson's New No. 2, Last Ship Promotions and More". TVLine. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  44. ^ "Vote Now! Kinky Boots and Matilda Top the 2013 Audience Choice Award Nominations". April 15, 2013.