The role of jaded weatherman Phil Connors, originated by Bill Murray in the 1993 Harold Ramis film comedy, earlier earned Karl a Laurence Olivier Award for the musical’s London premiere run.
As Phil, Karl is “self-important, a little goofy, irrepressibly on the make, and, most important, available for rehabilitation…Karl is a deeply appealing guy,” I wrote in my review of the show.
That appeal practically blossomed into a cult following after Karl injured himself during a critics’ preview and went on to finish the show and return for opening night. A trouper, he’s carried the show since then, and not for the first time: He also played the title role in Rocky: The Musical, earning another Tony nomination and soldiering on during the abbreviated run in the face of indifferent reviews for the show, if not for him.
Karl had a better experience in a featured role as Kristin Chenoweth’s boy toy in a revival of On the 20th Century, a critics’ darling that also earned him a Tony nomination. A hunky all-American type with great vocal chops, Karl made his Broadway debut in 1999’s Saturday Night Fever and has had choice roles in Wicked, Jersey Boys, 9 to 5 and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, among other shows.
Karl is also well-known to television audiences from his role as Lt. Mike Dodds during the 2015-16 season of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU.
Look for ICM to urge him further into work in film and television.
Karl is managed by Larry Taube at Principal Entertainment.