Karen Olivo

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Karen Olivo
Karen Olivo.jpg
Olivo in 2009
Born (1976-08-07) August 7, 1976 (age 41)
Manhattan, New York
Alma mater University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Matt Caplan (m. 2006; div. 2012)
James Uphoff (m. 2014)[1]

Karen Olivo (born August 7, 1976) is an American stage and television actress, who is known for originating the role of Vanessa in the Tony Award–winning musical In the Heights both on and off Broadway. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Anita (2009–2010) in the revival of West Side Story. She is the first and only actor to win a Tony for a performance in West Side Story.

Olivo portrayed the role of Angelica Schuyler Church in the Chicago production of Hamilton, which has been in performances since September 2016.[2] On June 21, 2017, Olivo announced that she would be leaving the Chicago production of Hamilton after August 6, 2017.[3]

Life and career

Olivo's father is of Puerto Rican and Native American descent, and her mother is of Dominican and Chinese descent. She was born in New York City and raised in Bartow, Florida. She attended the Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in nearby Lakeland, Florida, and later the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.

Until 2012, Olivo was married to Matt Caplan, most recently of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

On March 18, 2013, Olivo announced on her website she was taking a break from acting, saying "with this knowledge I start a new chapter. I leave behind the actor and I start learning how to be me."[4][5][6]

On March 9, 2014 it was announced that Olivo would return to professional acting with New York City Center's Encores! production of the Jonathan Larson musical tick, tick... BOOM! in June 2014 Off-Broadway.[7]

On June 21, 2017 Olivo announced via Twitter that she would be leaving the Chicago production of the musical Hamilton, which she had joined on October 19, 2016, after August 6, 2017 to pursue teaching, stating that "I'm leaving the spotlight to make sure others find theirs".

Theatre

In 2009, Olivo received a Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the Broadway revival of West Side Story.[8] She was also nominated for both a Drama Desk and an Outer Critic's Circle Award for her critically acclaimed performance as Anita. She earned her second Astaire Award nomination for Best Female Dancer for her performance in West Side Story, after previously winning the same award in 2008 for her performance in In the Heights. She was contracted with West Side Story at the Palace through 2010.[9] During the May 8, 2010 matinee performance of West Side Story, Olivo broke her foot.[10] Anita standby Natalie Cortez performed the role until the show's closure.[11] Olivo took part in the world premiere of By The Way, Meet Vera Stark at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, the play "draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood."[12] On July 13, 2016, it was announced that Olivo would star as Angelica Schuyler in the Chicago production of Hamilton.[13]

Television

Olivo had a recurring role in The Good Wife on CBS. She played fabulously wealthy law student Giada Cabrini, a potential love interest of firm partner Will Gardner (Josh Charles). Olivo was a series regular in the second season of NBC's Harry's Law, playing "hot shot lawyer" Cassie Reynolds hired by Kathy Bates' character.[14]

Olivo also appeared as Isabelle Perez, a woman that was unknowingly sterilized in the Law & Order episode "Birthright." She also appears in the spin-off series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Jennifer Benitez in an episode titled "Loophole". She later appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Yelina Muñoz in an episode titled “October Sunrise”.

Film

Olivo has had several roles in movies, including Adrift in Manhattan, Make Yourself at Home, The New Twenty, Shanghai Hotel, and The Orphan Killer.

Theatre credits

Year(s) Production Role Location Category
2004 Brooklyn Faith Plymouth Theatre Broadway
2005 Miracle Brothers Jeca Vineyard Theatre Off-Broadway
2007 In the Heights Vanessa 37 Arts Theatre Off-Broadway
Hair Sheila Delacorte Theater 40th Anniversary Concert
2008 In the Heights Vanessa Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway
2009–10 West Side Story Anita Palace Theatre Broadway
2011 By the Way, Meet Vera Stark Anna Mae/Afua Assata Ejobo Second Stage Theatre Off-Broadway
2012 Murder Ballad Sara City Center - Stage II Off-Broadway
2014 tick, tick... BOOM! Susan/Karessa New York City Center Off-Broadway
2016 West Side Story Anita Hollywood Bowl Concert Performance
2016–17 Hamilton Angelica Schuyler PrivateBank Theatre Chicago
2018 Moulin Rouge! The Musical Satine Emerson Colonial Theatre Boston/Pre-Broadway
TBA Fun Home Alison Bechdel Forward Theater Regional

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Ensemble Performance In the Heights Won
2008 Fred and Adele Astaire Award Best Female Dancer Won
2009 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical West Side Story Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Fred and Adele Astaire Award Best Female Dancer Nominated

References

  1. ^ Worland, Gayle (14 Nov 2014). "A change for Karen Olivo: Madison's one and only resident Tony winner sings her story". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Leads Announced for Chicago Hamilton" Playbill.com (July 13, 2016)
  3. ^ "I will miss you, Chicago." https://twitter.com/Karenolivo
  4. ^ Karen Olivo Reveals Acting Departure, New Life Path
  5. ^ The Broadway Star Who Got Away
  6. ^ Tony Winner Karen Olivo Is "Starting Over," Explains Actress in Lengthy Blog
  7. ^ "Breaking News: Lin-Manuel Miranda & Karen Olivo to Star in tick, tick...BOOM! for Encores! Faust and Pump Boys Announced" Broadway World.com (March 9, 2014)
  8. ^ Article on Olivo's Tony Award win
  9. ^ BroadwayWorld website
  10. ^ Broken Foot Sidelines Tony Winner Karen Olivo from West Side Story | Broadway Buzz | Broadway.com
  11. ^ Broadway Revival of West Side Story to Close in January; Olivo Will Not Return
  12. ^ Stephanie J. Block, Karen Olivo and More Headline Off-Broadway’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark | Broadway Buzz | Broadway.com
  13. ^ Chicago's 'Hamilton' and other cast members announced - Chicago Tribune
  14. ^ Karen Olivo Joins Harry's Law - Today's News: Our Take | TVGuide.com

External links

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