Andy Karl was born on August 28, 1973 in Baltimore, Maryland, and is known for his Tony-nominated performances in Rocky, On the Twentieth Century, and Groundhog Day. He is also known for his television role as Mike Dodds on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, appearing in episodes from 2015 to 2016.
Mr. Karl attended Towson High School, appearing in such high school productions as Oklahoma! and Li'l Abner, before moving on to Towson University to study voice and music. After deciding on a career as a professional actor, he moved to New York in 1994. His first notable stage credit would come in March 1998, as he was cast as Rum Tum Tugger in the national tour of Cats, which was followed by an understudy role in Second Stage Theater's 2000 New York premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night. Later on that year, he would make his Broadway debut, assuming the role of Joey in Saturday Night Fever and going on to appear in the 2001 national tour. Regional productions of Me and Mrs. Jones, Romeo and Bernadette, and Grease (starring as Danny Zuko), would follow and in November 2004, he embarked on the national tour of Disney's On the Record.
Returning to New York City in March 2005, Karl would star as Luke in the Off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz at New World Stages and followed this up in the title role of Adam Patterson in the Off-Broadway musical Slut from September 2005. He returned to Broadway in August 2006, joining the company of The Wedding Singer, and following a pre-Broadway tryout in San Francisco in early 2007, he became an original cast member of the Broadway premiere of Legally Blonde. His next musical project was 9 to 5, appearing as Joe in both the fall 2008 Los Angeles tryout and spring 2009 Broadway premiere, before assuming the role of Fiyero in the Broadway production of Wicked from February 2010 to January 2011. He went on to star as Tommy DeVito in Broadway's Jersey Boys from October 2011 and exited the production to star in the dual roles of Neville Landless / Mr. Victor Grinstead in the 2012 Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, earning him his first Drama Desk Award nomination in 2013. He returned to Jersey Boys in February 2013 and remained with the production for the remainder of the year.
Karl's first leading role came in February 2014, when he starred as Rocky Balboa in the Broadway premiere of Rocky, which led to his first Tony Award nomination. He was then cast as Bruce Granit opposite Kristin Chenoweth in the 2015 Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century, earning a second Tony Award nomination, and went on to make his West End debut in July 2016, originating the role of Phil Connors in the musical adaptation of Groundhog Day in London. He eventually won the Olivier Award at the 2017 ceremony in the category of Best Actor in a Musical. Soon after, the production had transferred to Broadway, officially opening on April 17, 2017 and resulting in Karl's third Tony Award nomination and his first Drama Desk Award win.
He returned to Broadway on July 20, 2018 to star as Edward Lewis, a role made famous on screen by Richard Gere, in Pretty Woman: The Musical at the Nederlander Theatre. He played his final performance on July 21, 2019.