Howard Magazine - Page 35 - Born To Perform

Howard Magazine
- Page 35
Born To Perform

After 56 shows and a near-death experience, this prolific Toby’s actor knows he’s meant to be on stage


By Mike klingaMan
Howard Magazine


Settle in at Toby’s Dinner Theatre and you can count on these staples: the spinach phunque, the sundae bar and a performance by an ageless character actor named Robert Biedermann.


A mainstay for more than three decades at the Columbia playhouse, Biedermann, 69, has done 56 shows, from “The Wizard of Oz” to “West Side Story.” He is also the emcee whose banter and wit warms up the audience between meal and musical. And every night, as folks file out of the theater-in-the-round, Biedermann lingers to size up the house.


“I want to see who leaves here feeling better than when they arrived,” he said.


He has had juicy roles and bit parts, playing both with aplomb. He was Captain Andy in “Showboat” and Captain Brackett in “South Pacific”; the loveable Kris Kringle in “Miracle On 34th Street” and the curmudgeonly Mr. Potter in “It’s A Wonderful Life.”


Of the latter two, Biedermann favors the fleshier Potter role.


“I don’t get to be mean that much in my own life,” he said. “When you roll out for your curtain call, if you don’t get booed then you haven’t done your job.”