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Karl was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Loveland, Ohio, a small town just Northeast of Cincinnati. The middle child of very proud parents, his father was a pitcher for the World-Series Champion Detroit Tigers (1968) and his mother was a national champion synchronized swimmer. Needless to say, pressure to achieve greatness was inherent!
His love of performing started at a young age, when his grandmother hand sewed him a custom replica Michael Jackson costume, with which he would give daily performances of "Beat It" and "Thriller."
His training in gymnastics and diving started at the age of 3, which led him to compete for the University of Tennessee's powerhouse diving program. While in Knoxville, he began his dance training under the tutelage of Shelley Martin at Knox Dance Worx. Dance, gymnastics and diving were soon to become an integral part of his career.
Karl (on the left) at gymnastics with his older brother and younger sister
Karl "Michael Jackson" Warden giving a sold-out kitchen performance
Karl, hanging out in the pool, awaiting his competitive diving debut
University of Tennessee Diving Team
Karl with his dance teacher extraordinaire, Shelley Martin.
Karl's Dad, Jon Warden of the Detroit Tigers
2003-2004 International Tour
With just two suitcases and a dream, he packed up his life and moved to New York City! Not long after arriving, Karl auditioned and booked the National Tour of Chicago The Musical. Upon completing his contract, touring life called him back, when he secured the role Plato/Macavity in the international sensation, CATS. No stranger to the road, he soon after accepted an offer for his third national tour with his dream show, Fosse.
Karl as Plato/Macavity in CATS
Karl & Ruthie Henshall on the Fosse Int'l Tour
Karl dancing on the tour of Chicago
Karl's Tumbling Reel featuring Seven Brides for Seven Brothers amongst others.
After years of touring, Karl auditioned for the famed Goodspeed Opera House in their upcoming revised version of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, choreogaphed by Patti Colombo. Continuing on with Seven Brides, Karl has performed this show in 3 different productions, each a different role and also as associate choreographer to Patti Colombo since 2008 and is currently the associate director/choreographer for the UK touring company.
Karl & Ruthie Henshall on the Fosse Int'l Tour
Karl as Brother Daniel in Seattle's 5th Avenue Production of Seven Brides
The Seven Brothers from 5th Avenue
Karl going on for "Mr. Peterson" in How To Succeed In Business Broadway Revival
Karl's "Grand Old Ivy" Costume in the How To Succeed Broadway Revival
Karl's Broadway debut came in 2011, in the Tony Award winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Starring as Hanna from Hamburg, Karl got to dance, sing and act alongside Broadway legend and book writer, Harvey Fierstein. Soon after, Karl got another contract in the 2012 Broadway revival of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, directed and choreographed by the famed Rob Ashford. Dancing next to Karl were Hollywood stars, Nick Jonas, Michael Urie and Beau Bridges just to name a few!
Karl and Veanne Cox in La Cage Aux Folles at the Longacre Theatre
Karl starring as "Hanna" in Broadway's La Cage Aux Folles
The City of Angels soon called and Karl decided it was time to become bicoastal. He was cast as a dancer in the film adaptation of Mel Brooks' Broadway version of The Producers, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winning Susan Stroman. Continuing his love for the show, he was also cast in the famed Hollywood Bowl's production featuring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dane Cook and Rebecca Romijn. The following year he returned to the Hollywood Bowl stage, performing in the star-studded revival of Chicago The Musical, directed by Brooke Shields. This time sharing the stage with Stephen Moyer, Ashlee Simpson and Samantha Barks.
Rehearsing "All That Jazz" at the Hollywood Bowl with Samantha Barks as Velma Kelly
Karl and the Ladies from The Producers at the Hollywood Bowl
Backstage at the Bowl with director Brooke Shields
Sharing the stage with Jesse Tyler Ferguson in The Producers
Fox's latest reality series,
Stars in Danger: The High Dive
In 2012, Karl was selected to be a guest diving coach for Fox's newest reality series, Stars In Danger: The High Dive. Working with celebrities such as NFL star Terrell Owens and soap opera favorite Antonio Sabato Jr. For the 2013 holiday season, Karl will be dancing and singing alongside Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra MacDonald and Laura Benanti in the live recording of The Sound Of Music on NBC. Once again working with acclaimed director/choreographer Rob Ashford, the entire filming will take place live on a soundstage in NYC and broadcast on December 5 at 8pm. Stay tuned for more!
The Sound of Music Live, starring Carrie Underwood
Karl as a Diving Coach on Stars in Danger: The High Dive
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Karol Warden (blonde) with her synchronized swimming team