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BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

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Orfeh & Andy Karl are at 54 Below Sep. 15 & 16 in LEGALLY BOUND

BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

Andy Karl has an amazing story about how he met Orfeh. He would often walk by the Minskoff Theatre, which at the time was the home of the Broadway musical Saturday Night Fever. The doors of the theatre were decorated with photos of the stars of the show. One of those stars was Orfeh, who he thought was completely gorgeous. He loved the show and said to himself "I want to be in this show...and that girl is going to be mine." Six months later, Andy Karl was in that show and he did meet that girl. Orfeh describes it as proof that love at first sight really does exist. Six months after that fateful meeting Andy Karl and Orfeh became husband and wife. It's the kind of romantic story that Broadway musicals are made of.

20 years later, Orfeh and Andy Karl are still making beautiful music together. But no need to take my word for it. You can check it out for yourself this week when they return to Feinstein's 54 Below with their show LEGALLY BOUND. It is an encore presentation of the show they did in 2017 that's been rethought for the post-lockdown world. The title is, of course, a play on words referring to Legally Blonde, one of several Broadway shows Andy and Orfeh have co-starred in.BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

I caught up with Orfeh and Andy Karl to talk about their show and their life together. The three of us were so busy that we couldn't schedule a time for all of us to talk at the same time. This interview was conducted digitally. I emailed my questions to Andy and Orfeh, and they emailed their answers back. We all agreed we're pretty grateful to have the luxury of such busy schedules after so many months of lockdown. Their answers are reprinted here just as they wrote them, emojis and all. They answered as a couple, so I'm not sure exactly who said what. I like to imagine them answering in tandem.

Good afternoon. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about your upcoming show and your amazing careers. How are you doing?

Couldn't be better. Happy to have things to look forward to, like this upcoming concert, and getting another chance to entertain the crowds.

LEGALLY BOUND is an encore performance of your 54 Below show. For those who didn't get to see it before, what can they expect? And are there any new surprises this time around? Has the pandemic made you think about these songs in a new way?

For the newcomers to Legally Bound, expect to have fun. That's how we roll. We have a band and singers that rock the house with songs we want guests to enjoy. Pop, rock, r&b and a few selections from Broadway shows we've starred in. As for those that have been with us before, thanks for coming back, we'll have some new tunes and some songs we kept because they express the best of us. The pandemic never stopped us from loving what we do, it only made us more grateful to have the opportunity.BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

You just celebrated your 20th wedding anniversary in January. That is a very long time in "show business years." What advice would you give newlyweds about creating a successful marriage?

I think, when it comes down to it, we trust each other's 'take' on life. We don't sweat the same little things so we catch each other when we need a little balance and perspective. We're separately strong, but we're mighty together. We're also big fans of each other, we love seeing the other shine. The respect, as well as the chemistry, is real :)

What does a typical night look like in the Karl house?

70% dog love and maintenance, 10% random music interludes, 10% philosophical discussion about life, 5% what are we having for dinner?, 3% I'm in the office, can you get it?, 2% we have to go to Italy, Stanley Tucci's show is amazing. 200% love.

Both of you are such soulful singers. Which artists really influenced you when you were growing up? How have you influenced each other over the years, musically speaking?

Orfeh: I was always most attracted to soul, r&b, and pop: Chaka Khan, The O'Jays, Bowie, Prince, The Bee Gees. But then, many years ago, I was lucky enough to play Janis Joplin off-Broadway in Love, Janis. That's when I found a major affinity for singing rock and roll.

Andy: I grew up listening to Van Halen, The Who, Men At Work.
Then I sang Teddy Pendergrass songs in the show Me and Mr.s Jones in Philadelphia and I found my appreciation for soul and R&B.

-The great thing about being actors who sing is that we get to try so many styles of music. We've performed original songs by Bryan Adams, Dolly Parton, The Bee Gees, Sondheim, and tons of composers and artists with different sounds and styles, so it broadens our music vocabulary.

BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

After missing two years, we're finally back in the middle of a Tony Awards season right now. You've both had the experience of being nominated for a Tony. Did you have a strategy for surviving that crazy month between the nomination and the awards ceremony? Walk me through your experience on the night of the Tonys.

As we mentioned before, it's always fun to watch the other shine.

Orfeh: Andy's got 3 times to my one and frankly, it's WAY less pressure and more fun to be the "proud spouse" ....as far as the "workload"...award season is RELENTLESS...you're not just doing your 8 shows a week, you're doing EVERYTHING ELSE TOO in order to "promote the nomination" for the show, etc...there's a LOT to do so pacing yourself and prioritizing is crucial... that becomes your total focus...no extra dinner parties or nights out, or "hangs after the show" during that time!

Andy: It really depends on the amount of workload you are doing in your 8 shows a week. For Rocky and Groundhog day, I was friggin' exhausted from the sheer amount of effort I was putting out each night. I was just trying to stay awake and hydrated during the Tony season.BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

Orfeh, you're known for your sense of style and for your devotion to glamour. Do you have any predictions about the next big fashion trend?

HAAAA... thank you...fashion has been a very large (and fun) part of my life since my music biz days...

What I see happening right before my eyes (which, if you ask anyone who knows me, I did in fact, "predict") is a full-out return to 90's fashion...look around you, it is HERE!

Andy, you've done several movie-to-musical adaptations. Do you feel an extra responsibility to fans of those films? Is it easier or more difficult putting a new spin on a classic film character?

I absolutely feel a responsibility to bring just as much, if not more, to a beloved movie role as the original. There's an inherent skepticism whenever there's a stage version of a classic film, and certainly on the person(s) recreating the iconic moments. But that kind of excites me. It makes me go deeper into what made those moments so special and then I find a way to internalize how they affect me, and the character, personally. Then I just play them like they're my own. The audience will believe if you believe.BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

The pandemic has made everyone ask some serious questions about how they make the world a better place. If you could do one thing to improve the world, what would it be?

1. Make everyone live in the shoes of another for a day or two.
2. We put a little music and love and laughter in the world with our show. I think that's justifiably important. To quote a song we sing, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now! We're on the move!"

Thank you both so much for taking the time to talk to me. I, unfortunately, missed your show last time, so I'm looking forward to seeing it this time.

You'd better be there.

BWW Interview: Orfeh & Andy Karl of LEGALLY BOUND at 54 Below Talk about Music, Fashion, and Love

ORFEH & Andy Karl: LEGALLY BOUND performs at Feinstein's 54 Below September 15 & 16 at 7 PM. For tickets and information go to 54below.com. For more about Andy Karl visit andykarl.com or follow him @Andy_Karl on Twitter or @andy_karl on Instagram. For more about Orfeh visit Orfeh.com or follow her @official_orfeh on Twitter or @orfeh on Instagram.


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