Broadway’s Orfeh and Andy Karl Separating After 23 Years of Marriage

Orfeh and Andy Karl are separated.

The longtime couple and theater veterans — known for roles onstage together in the musical adaptations of Saturday Night Fever, Legally Blonde and Pretty Woman — updated fans about the status of their two-decade marriage in a shared statement posted to Karl’s Instagram on Tuesday, May 14.

“After 23 years of a wonderful loving relationship, both onstage and off, we have made the decision to separate,” read the statement, which came in the caption of a photo of the actors posing apart.

The estranged pair, who are typically based out of New York, have been living long distance over the past year as Karl reprised his Tony-nominated role in Groundhog Day: The Musical. The revival premiered at the Old Vic in London, where it ran from May 2023 to August 2023. In January 2024, it transferred to the Princess Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, where it wrapped up its run on April 20.

“Keeping a marriage strong can be challenging, especially when working on opposite sides of the world, but we remain committed to building a strong future, whether together or apart,” Orfeh and Karl continued in their statement. “We ask for respect and privacy at this time.”

Orfeh and Andy Karl pose at the opening night of ‘Kinky Boots’ at Stage 42 on August 25, 2022 in New York City.

Bruce Glikas/Getty

Orfeh, 53, and Karl, 49, first met in 2001 when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Fever. They were married six months later, eloping in South Beach in January 2001.

“I knew instantly,” Orfeh recalled to Playbill in a joint interview with Karl published in May 2015. “I was like, ‘Love at first sight really exists?’ I thought that was a total cheesehead concept, but the minute I laid eyes on him, everything else faded from view… I said to a couple of my girlfriends in the show: ‘Don’t let me screw this up. I have to be with this guy.'”

It was equally that way for Karl, though he held his cards closer to his chest.

“We were both very interested in each other, but I played it way cool. So cool that she didn’t even notice,” he told the outlet. “I had just come into the show and she was this phenomenon that I’d never seen before. I can’t compare my wife to anyone else, because she’s so unique. I didn’t think I had a chance, but I tried to strike up conversations. I think when it came down to it we were both obviously looking for the same thing. You can’t stop that when it’s in the air, so I feel like it happened mutually.”

Orfeh and Andy Karl reprise their ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’ roles at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Spring Gala in May 2007.

Jemal Countess/WireImage

While married, the two built big careers for themselves on the boards — Karl nabbing roles in Wicked, Jersey Boys, The Wedding Singer and 9 to 5, as well as in the revivals of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Into the Woods and On the Twentieth Century — the latter of which earned him his second Tony Award nomination. He was also nominated for his lead role in the musical, Rocky.

Meanwhile, Orfeh — a New York native who first found fame as part of the ’90s R&B pop duo Or-N-More — earned a Tony nomination for playing Paulette in 2007’s Legally Blonde: The Musical (the role Jennifer Coolidge immortalized on film). Karl played opposite her, as Kyle, the UPS delivery man.

She was last on Broadway as Kit De Luca in 2018’s Pretty Woman: The Musical. Though not initially intended to, Karl led the production as Edward after Steve Kazee had to drop out unexpectedly.

Those roles aside, Orfeh and Karl often performed together in concerts and were a staple at red carpet openings and various events to support the Broadway community.

Orfeh and Andy Karl attend the ‘Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields’ premiere at Alice Tully Hall on March 29, 2023 in New York City.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Asked by Playbill in 2015 about the secret to making a long marriage work, Karl said it was “easier than [one] might think.”

“She’s my champion,” he said. “I’m the guy that sits back and thinks about things, but she’s the go-getter. The two of us work off each other in that way. I’ve learned so much from her and am still learning.”

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“We genuinely like each other — above and beyond being in love,” said Orfeh. “We’re very lucky that we’re as different as we are, but at the same time we have the same goals, we have the same love, we have the same appreciation for things. I think that ultimately is the reason it’s worked as long as it has.”

“This sounds so esoteric and cheesy — I think we are truly each other’s soulmates,” she added. “I think he and I were meant to be together.”

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