#TBT Chart the Rise of Groundhog Day Headliner Andy Karl to Broadway Stardom
August 24th, 2017
by Josh Ferri
Three-time Tony nominee and Olivier Award winner Andy Karl is giving the performance of his acclaimed career as jaded weatherman Phil Connors in the musical adaptation of Groundhog Day. For his performance, Andy won the 2017 Drama Desk and OCC Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. It’s a performance that should be studied and must be seen. (Keep in mind, you only have until September 17 to see him live at the August Wilson Theatre!)
Today we #TBT with Andy Karl as we follow his career path from Rum Tum Tugger to Phil Connors.
In 1998, after understudying in the Tommy tour, Andy landed the leading role of Rum Tum Tugger in the Cats tour.
In 2000, he made his off-Broadway debut understudying in Second Stage’s New York premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night. (ANDY, please do Sondheim again!!).
Later that year, he made his Broadway debut as Joey in Saturday Night Fever, where he met his wife, Orfeh. (Now take a moment and listen to Orfeh wail in Saturday Night Fever.)
Andy went on to star in two big Paper Mill productions, Romeo and Bernadette and Grease (Danny Zuko).
Then came a credit fans still LOVE. In 2004 & 2005, Andy starred as wannabe rapper Luke in the hilarious off-Broadway musical Altar Boyz.
Later in 2005, he starred (nearly naked) as Adam Patterson in the off-Broadway comedy Slut.
Andy returned to Broadway in 2006 stepping in as Drunk Dave & Bad Haircut Guy in the musical adaptation of The Wedding Singer.
Then came the role (and shorts) that has everyone notice Andy Karl. He starred opposite Orfeh in Jerry Mitchell’s hit musical adaptation of Legally Blonde in 2007. He was Kyle the UPS guy, delivering a package anyone with a heartbeat would sign for. (Also, 🙌 for his "What You Want" rap)
He went right from Legally Blonde into 9 to 5, where he played Allison Janney’s love interest Joe.
Next came the infamous Fiyero pants. Andy danced through life in Wicked on Broadway beginning in 2010.
After Wicked, he stepped into the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys, becoming one of the greatest Tommy DeVito’s out there.
Next came the 2012 RTC revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood where Andy and Jessie Mueller nearly stole the whole show as siblings Neville and Helena Landless. The performance earned him his first Drama Desk nom for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.
His performance as Rocky Balboa in the musical Rocky took Andy to the next level. He received his first Tony Award nomination in 2014 and became the talk of the town thanks to his epic training routine and intense final fight (which he performed live eight times a week!).
He followed up Rocky with another RTC revival. In 2015, Andy played vain Old Hollywood heartthrob Bruce Granit opposite Kristin Chenoweth in On the Twentieth Century. For this hilarious physical performance, he scored a second Tony nomination.
Then TV came calling and Andy joined Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (AKA the best Law & Order) in the co-starring role of Sergeant Mike Dodds. Throughout his season, he caught bad guys, he fought with Olivia Benson, he stripped down, and he got shot. But being shot led to Groundhog Day.
Immediately after Law & Order, Andy went to London to star in the world premiere of Groundhog Day at the Old Vic. The production won the Olivier for Best Musical and he won for Best Actor. Then it transferred to Broadway, Andy tore his ACL, racked up a ton of awards and nominations, and continues to slay audiences at the August Wilson Theatre.