Michael Oberlander

From his IMDb bio: A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, Oberlander is an acclaimed New York stage actor who recently relocated to Los Angeles. Well established in New York’s independent film world, he is one of the first actors ever to be cast in a major motion picture via public poll when he received over two million votes to star opposite Joseph Bolognia and Tom Bosley in Returning Mickey Stern (2002).

From an article that originally appeared in Playbill: “Get me to the Stage on Time

Getting to the show on time isn’t always a laugh. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, every theater in Manhattan was dark, of course. But New York actor Michael Oberlander had to go to Philadelphia where he was starring in a world premiere musical, Camila, at the Walnut Street Theatre. Oberlander was at his home on the Upper West Side where he had a great view of the World Trade Center. “I actually saw the second building go down. It was horrible. All the bridges and tunnels were closed, but I knew they needed me in Philly and I never missed a performance in my career. So around 1 PM I got a cab and went on a spooky ride through Upper Midtown trying to find a rental car, hoping a bridge or tunnel would re-open. I never saw the streets so deserted and surreal. Finally I found a dealer on West 77th Street and was offered a car for $198, take it or leave it. I took it, because the Walnut was having its final preview before the press opening and my understudy wasn’t ready.”

There are no union rules that specify when a cover must be ready, and many theaters don’t require one to be in place until the end of previews. So there was no cover for his role and Oberlander felt he had to get to Philly. “And I agreed with the producer that we should show America that terrorists couldn’t stop us. As I crossed the GW Bridge I turned and looked back; there was the beautiful skyline at sunset and no towers. It was mind-boggling.”

As he drove south on the New Jersey Turnpike, Oberlander passed convoys of army and reserve trucks and ambulances headed in the other direction. He listened to the news on his car radio and kept in touch with the Walnut’s stage manager via cell phone. He got to the theater in Philadelphia at 8:46. “They started the show and gave another actor my lines and my songs, which he was able to do, in his own costume because mine wouldn’t fit him. I came in to the house, put on part of my costume and went on in the next scene. Nobody missed a beat.”

NFT Credits

Credit Type Production Season
Actor Defending the Light 1999-00 Season