Karen Ziemba

Birth Place: St. Joseph, MI, USA

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Karen Ziemba BIO

Ziemba was born in St. Joseph, Michigan, the daughter of Barbara Marie (Heidt) and Oscar Hugo Ziemba, an investment broker. Her grandmother, Winifred Heidt, was an opera singer. Ziemba attended the University of Akron (Ohio), where she studied dance. In 1977 she danced with the Ohio Ballet.

Her Broadway debut was in A Chorus Line as Diana Morales. Later, she played the lead of Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street. While appearing in 42nd Street, she was featured in the October 1984 issue of Playboy in the article "Babes of Broadway", in which she posed partially nude. Ziemba's other Broadway roles include Polly Baker in Crazy for You in 1992 (replacement), Roxie Hart in Chicago (1998), and Belle Hagner in Teddy & Alice (1987).

Ziemba appeared Off-Broadway in the Kander and Ebb revue And The World Goes 'Round (1991) and won the Drama Desk Award. She received a Drama Desk Award nomination (Best Actress in a Musical) for I Do! I Do! (1996). The next year, she was nominated for the 1997 Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Actress in a Musical) and a 1997 Tony Award (Actress in a Musical) for her role in Steel Pier (1997).

In 2000, Ziemba won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Susan Stroman's Contact. She played the role of "the timid, abused mafioso's wife." The CurtainUp reviewer wrote of the savvy casting "...especially Karen Ziemba, who is finally in a show that makes full use of her dual talents as an actress and dancer...Ziemba (in Did You Move?), brings an amazing female Walter Mitty vulnerability to a frustrated wife having dinner with a husband..."

She appeared in Much Ado About Nothing as Beatrice at the Hartford Stage (Connecticut) and then the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, DC) in November 2002 through January 5, 2003. In 2004 she received another Tony Award nomination (Best Featured Actress in a Musical) for Never Gonna Dance. In 2007, she portrayed the heartwarming lyricist Georgia Hendricks in Curtains, earning her fourth Tony Award nomination.

She performed with the New York City Opera in 110 in the Shade as Lizzie in 1992. The AP News reviewer wrote: "Ziemba's voice is clear and sweet, exactly what's needed for a song like Is It Really Me?." She performed the role of Cleo in the City Opera's production of The Most Happy Fella in 1991. The New York Times reviewer wrote: "...her voice had swagger, grainy brashness and brassy energy, undistracted by higher ambitions."

She has appeared in several New York City Center Encores! staged musicals, including The Pajama Game in 2002 (Babe Williams), Bye Bye Birdie in 2004 and On Your Toes in 2013 (Lil Dolan).

She starred in the staged reading of Vincent Crapelli's Otherwise, with Beth Leavel and Laura Bonarrigo-Koffman.

Ziemba appeared as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! at the Drury Lane Theatre, Oak Brook, Illinois, in 2013.

She returned to Broadway in March 2014, in the new musical adaptation of Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway as the character "Eden Brent", directed by Susan Stroman.

In 2015 and 2017 Karen returned to Off-Broadway to play the role of "Mom/Eileen" in Kid Victory.

On television, she has appeared on Law & Order and on film in The Producers and the ill-fated, never released remake of The Devil and Daniel Webster.

In 2020, Ziemba appeared as Barbara Joblove in the musical podcast, Propaganda!

Karen Ziemba Photos

Karen Ziemba STAGE CREDITS

[Regional (US)]
West Coast Premiere at 5th Avenue Theatre, 2019
Martine Van Goethem

[US Tour]
US Tour, 2018
Martha Watson

[Off-Broadway]
Off-Broadway Revival, 2018
Hesione Hushabye

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2017
Performer

[Off-Broadway]
Off-Broadway Revival at Cherry Lane Theatre, 2017
Performer

[Off-Broadway]
Vineyard Original Off-Broadway Production, 2017
Performer

[Off-Broadway]
Encores! Concert Revival, 2016
Performer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2014
Eden Brent

[Off-Broadway]
Flea Theater Production, 2012
Performer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2007
Georgia Hendricks

[Los Angeles]
World Premiere, 2006
Georgia Hendricks

[Broadway]
Benefit Concert, 2005
Performer

MC

[New York]
Workshop, 2005
Performers

[Milburn, NJ (Regional)]
Paper Mill Production, 2004
Miss Adelaide

[Off-Broadway]
Encores! Concert, 2004
Rosie Alvarez

[Off-Broadway]
Musicals in Mufti Concert, 2004
Performer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2003
Mabel Pritt

[Williamstown, MA (Regional)]
Williamstown Theatre Festival Production, 2003
Lucy Brown

[Off-Broadway]
Encores! Concert, 2002
Babe Williams

[Broadway]
Broadway Transfer, 2000
Wife

Wife [Part II]

[Off-Broadway]
1999
A Wife

[Off-Broadway]
Original Off-Broadway Production, 1999
Wife

[Williamstown, MA (Regional)]
World Premiere, 1999
Penelope Fitzwater

[Off-Broadway]
Encores! Concert, 1999
Specialty Trio

[US Tour]
2nd National Tour, 1997
Roxie Hart

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1997
Rita Racine

Couple #39

[Broadway]
Angela Lansbury Tribute Benefit, 1996
Mame

[Broadway]
Broadway Revival, 1996
Roxie Hart [Replacement]

[Off-Broadway]
Off-Broadway Revival, 1996
Agnes

Agnes

[Off-Broadway]
Encores! Concert, 1994
Beulah

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1992
Polly Baker [Replacement]

[Off-Broadway]
Original Off-Broadway Production, 1991
Performer

Performer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1987
Belle Hagner

Alice Roosevelt (Understudy)

[Off-Off-Broadway]
Off-Off-Broadway Concert, 1986
Performer

[Broadway]
Closed on the road, 1985
Susie Ward

[Off-Off-Broadway]
Equity Library Theatre Revival, 1981
Performer

[Regional (US)]
Goodspeed Revival, 1981
Performer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1980
Peggy Sawyer [Replacement]

[Broadway]
Broadway Transfer, 1975
Bebe Benzenheimer [Replacement]

Hilary [Replacement]

Cassie Ferguson (Understudy) [Replacement]

Diana Morales (Understudy) [Replacement]

Bebe Benzenheimer (Understudy) [Replacement]

Maggie Winslow (Understudy) [Replacement]

[Pittsburgh, PA (Regional)]
Regional Revival, 1986
Performer

[New York]
Workshop, 1983
Performer


Karen Ziemba Videos

Karen Ziemba News


South Coast Repertory Presents PRELUDE TO A KISS, THE MUSICAL World Premiere

Experience the world premiere of PRELUDE TO A KISS, THE MUSICAL at South Coast Repertory. This modern fable, with lyrics by Sean Hartley and Daniel Messé, explores love's peaks and valleys.

Photos: Inside Opening Night of A SIGN OF THE TIMES

Check out photos from inside opening night of the new musical A Sign of the Times, running off-Broadway at New World Stages.

Video: The Best of Broadway at the Kennedy Center Honors

The 46th Annual Kennedy Center Honors are coming up and we are celebrating the special occasion with some of our favorite videos of past Broadway performances. Check out the full list!

Photos: Go Inside Opening Night of La Femme Theatre's THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA

La Femme Theatre Productions just celebrated opening night of Tennessee Williams's timeless masterpiece, The Night of the Iguana. Check out photos from the big night!

Photos/Video: Tony-Winner Susan Stroman Receives 2023 Louis Auchincloss Prize

Museum of the City of New York has presented with the 2023 Louis Auchincloss Prize to award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman. See photos from inside the event including a special video message from Stro's The Producers collaborator, Mel Brooks.

Singer-Songwriter Christine Lavin Completes Unique Project 34 Years After Beginning

Christine Lavin industriously releases her decades-long SEASONS PROJECT

Reviews: Catching Up on Shows Is a Whirlwind .... at Urban Stages & 54 Below

Dear Santa: Thanks for the gifts called music in NYC, letting us 'wrap' our ears around a touch of Oklahoma-bred sense and sensibility, lots of holiday cheer, and musical theatre projects that have a connection to a famous hotel ....all part of a week in the winter wonderland of Manhattan's live presentations.

Photos: The Gasp Collection

After four years at Broadway World Cabaret, quite a collection of photos has been amassed. These are the gasp-worthy pics.

Cabaret Photographers: Bobby Patrick

Broadway World Cabaret gets photographic content from some of the best shutterbugs in the business. Here's a look at some of the captures they've shared with us.

Susan Stroman to Receive 2023 Louis Auchincloss Prize From Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York to present the 2023 Louis Auchincloss Prize to award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman.

Photos: Go Inside the SHELDON HARNICK MEMORIAL CELEBRATION

An array of Broadway luminaries, including Danny Burstein, Robert Cuccioli, Jason Danieley, Harvey Fierstein, Rob Fisher, Jessica Hecht, Judy Kuhn, Nancy Opel, and more gathered on Thursday, Nov. 9th at the Music Box Theater to pay tribute to the iconic lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Check out photos here!

Video: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, SHE LOVES ME Lyricist Sheldon Harnick Celebrated At Star-Studded Memorial

An array of Broadway luminaries, including Danny Burstein, Robert Cuccioli, Jason Danieley, Harvey Fierstein, Rob Fisher, Jessica Hecht, Judy Kuhn, Nancy Opel, David Rockwell, Alan Schmuckler, Elena Shaddow, Alexandra Silber, Emily Skinner, Deborah Grace Winer, Sherman Yellen, and Karen Ziemba gathered at the Music Box Theater this week to pay tribute to the iconic lyricist Sheldon Harnick. See video highlights from the star-studded memorial!

Tim Daly, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Lea Delaria, and More Will Lead THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA Off-Broadway

​​​​​​​La Femme Theatre Productions will illuminate the Off-Broadway stage this season with an evocative 21 st century production of Tennessee Williams's timeless masterpiece, The Night of the Iguana.

Harvey Fierstein, Danny Burstein, Judy Kuhn & More Will Pay Tribute to Lyricist Sheldon Harnick at Memorial Ceremony

Harvey Fierstein, Danny Burstein, Judy Kuhn, and other Broadway luminaries will take part in a special tribute to the legendary Sheldon Harnick.

Tim Daly, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Lea DeLaria & More to Star in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA at La Femme Theatre Productions

La Femme Theatre Productions has revealed the full cast of Tennessee Williams's 'The Night of the Iguana' directed by Emily Mann.

Photos: Inside the Gingold Theatrical Group 2023 Golden Shamrock Gala

Gingold Theatrical Group's 2023 Golden Shamrock Gala was held on Sunday October 29 at 6pm at Robert Restaurant. The evening honored humanitarian activists Dr. Wilma Bulkin Siegel, M.D.; Dr. Brian R. Saltzman, M.D.; and Ethan E. Litwin, all tireless supporters of human rights and the arts in New York, with the Golden Shamrock Award.

Photos: Go Inside Opening Night of ARMS AND THE MAN at Gingold Theatrical Group

See photos from opening night of Gingold Theatrical Group's Arms and the Man at Theatre Row.

Gingold Theatrical Group to Host 2023 Golden Shamrock Gala Honoring Dr. Wilma Bulkin Siegel, Dr. Brian R. Saltzman, and Ethan E. Litwin

Get all the details about the upcoming Gingold Theatrical Group 2023 Golden Shamrock Gala, where Dr. Wilma Bulkin Siegel, Dr. Brian R. Saltzman, and Ethan E. Litwin will be honored. Mark your calendars for October 29, 2023, and join us at Robert Restaurant for an unforgettable evening of celebration.

Photos: ARMS AND THE MAN Cast and Creative Meets The Press

Gingold Theatrical Group will present a new production of Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw. Check out photos of the cast and creative team meeting the press here!

Harold Arlen Will Be Celebrated at Jazz at Lincoln Center in October

Celebrate the music of Harold Arlen at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Songbook Sundays on October 1. Featuring performances by Karen Ziemba, Allison Blackwell, Georgia Heers, and Ted Rosenthal. Learn more about the event here!

Karen Ziemba FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Karen Ziemba has appeared on Broadway in 14 shows.

Karen Ziemba has not appeared in the West End.

Karen Ziemba has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. She was nominated for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical at The Lortels for "Kid Victory," as well as at the Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards for "Curtains." Ziemba also received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical at the Tony Awards for "Curtains" and "Never Gonna Dance." She was nominated for Outstanding Featured Actress - Musical at the Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards for "Contact," and also received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for "Contact." Additionally, Ziemba was nominated for Outstanding Actress - Musical at the Drama Desk Awards for "Steel Pier," and won the Best Actress - Musical award at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for the same show. She also received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for "Steel Pier." Ziemba's other nominations include Outstanding Actress - Musical at the Drama Desk Awards for "I Do! I Do!" and Outstanding Featured Actress - Musical at the Drama Desk Awards for "The World Goes Round."

Karen Ziemba has won several awards throughout her career. She has received the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical award from the Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performances in "Curtains" and "Never Gonna Dance." Ziemba has also been recognized with the Outstanding Featured Actress - Musical award from the Drama Desk Awards for her role in "Contact" and the Outer Critics Circle Awards for the same production. Additionally, she won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical at the Tony Awards for her performance in "Contact" and received the Outstanding Featured Actress - Musical award from the Drama Desk Awards for her work in "The World Goes Round."

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