Orfeh (born Orfeh Alimorad) is an American singer, songwriter and Tony-nominated actress from New York City.
Orfeh, born and raised in Manhattan, began her career straight out of high school. She attended the famous LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, and got a record deal right after her graduation. Her first release was Life in the Movies, which she released as a part of the group Genevha with her musical partner Mike More in 1987. After that, they formed Or-N-More and were signed with EMI Records.
They released a self-titled album in 1991 that had mild success. They charted at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 with their single "Everyotherday". The song was a hit both stateside and abroad and garnered a gold album for the musical duo. "My recording career went wrong," she has said. "Really, really wrong. We had the business manager that stole all the money, the hit record that was about to become a mega-hit record and suddenly the rug was pulled out from under us. After being on the road for years and devoting my life to recording, I found myself at home saying, 'What do I do now?'"
Even if Or-N-More may have been no more, Orfeh's talents as a songwriter earned her a much coveted publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music and she has written and produced songs for many other artists. She also remains a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which gives her nominating and voting privileges for the Grammy Awards. More recently, Orfeh co-wrote the song "Wishing On You" which appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film Model Behavior.
Orfeh made her Broadway debut in 1998 as a swing in Footloose. After that, she appeared in the short-lived The Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm. She starred in the Original Broadway Company of the London musical of Saturday Night Fever as Annette. She appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show to promote the show and remains friends with the comedian. In addition to winning excellent reviews, Orfeh met her soon-to-be husband, Andy Karl.
Since then, she has appeared in many shows. Regionally, she has starred in Me and Mrs. Jones and Bright Lights, Big City at the Prince Theatre in Philadelphia. She played Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway show, Love, Janis. She also starred off-Broadway in critical hit The Great American Trailer Park Musical as Pippi, a stripper from the wrong side of the tracks.
She made a huge splash starring in the high-profile production of Legally Blonde when it opened on Broadway. She created the role of Paulette, a down on her luck manicurist who helps Elle on her journey, as well as winning a love of her own. Orfeh garnered Drama Desk, an Outer Critics Circle and Tony Award nominations for her performance. Her own husband, Andy Karl, starred opposite her as her UPS man, Kyle. The two got rave reviews. She stayed in the show until it closed on October 19, 2008.
She has appeared on many TV shows and in movies over the course of her career. Her TV appearances include: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Sex and the City, MTV's Made and Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central. Movies include Kiss Me Again and Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, where she sang "Come Together" with Joe Cocker.
In addition, she is a frequently used voiceover artist. She is one of the most commonly used voices on VH1 and MTV, and also can be heard on videogames Max Payne 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. She also has done voiceover work for Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations, and Wachovia bank.
Orfeh released her first solo album, What Do You Want from Me, on September 30, 2008.
She is married to actor Andy Karl, who originated the role of Luke in the off-Broadway musical Altar Boyz, and played opposite her as Paulette's UPS man, Kyle in the original cast of Legally Blonde. They eloped in early 2001, and live together in Manhattan.
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