Bob Bogdanoff, 54, a director in South Florida for many years, died April 17 in New York City after the onset of colon cancer, according to his colleagues at Jan McArt's Royal Palm Festival Dinner Theatre, where Mr. Bogdanoff was artistic director and the resident director for 24 years.
In his South Florida career, he received 25 Carbonell Award nominations, and won the Best Director award 10 times. In 1990, he was awarded the prestigious George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. He took home a Best Choreography Carbonell in 1982.
In his early career, he was an actor but became a director — a longtime goal — who worked consistently at many regional houses around the country. Since 1989 he was a Manhattan resident who traveled to Florida to direct Royal Palm productions. He died in New York City at Mount Sinai Hospital.
"Bob was certainly a pioneer in the theatre in South Florida," said Gary Dunning, marketing director for Royal Palm, who said Bogdanoff was among a wave of talent who helped create a wider resident theatre community in the Miami area. "He was instrumental in making resident theatre important, because of his talent. Actors came down here because they knew there was work."
Mr. Bogdanoff was born in Philadelphia and attended the University of Maryland, Catholic University, University of Utah, and the University of Iowa, earning his BA, MA, and Master of Fine Arts Degrees. His first years at college were in a "pre-dental" track in order to please his family, but his love for the arts was strong. According to his colleagues, his lifelong passion for theatre began when his parents took him to a Washington D.C. production of The King and I. After college, Mr. Bogdanoff acted in a three-month stint on the daytime drama, "All My Children." From there he went on to touring theatrical productions starring Betty Grable, Ray Milland, Harvey Korman, among the many stars. As his career continued, he directed and choreographed for Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Ruth Foreman, Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, Sea Ranch Dinner Theatre, Hayloft Dinner Theatre, Kenley Players (in Ohio), Showboat Dinner Theatre, Buffalo Studio Arena, Albuquerque Civic Light Opera, The Flat Rock Playhouse (in North Carolina), Arundel Barn Theatre (in Maine), and became artistic director for The Jenny Wiley Theatre (in Kentucky). He has directed such performers as Peggy Cass, Barry Bostwick, Andy Gibb, Alan Young, Kathryn Grayson, David Cassidy, Mariette Hartley, Robby Benson and Nanette Fabray in the pre-Broadway production of The Prince of Central Park.
Mr. Bogdanoff had been a fixture of the Royal Palm Festival Dinner Theatre since 1977. He was responsible for staging 52 weeks of theatre every year, for the past 24 years. His final directorial project was for Royal Palm's current hit, Some Like It Hot.
A funeral service will be held at Danzansky & Goldberg Chapel in Rockville, MD, 11 AM April 20. The Royal Palm Festival Dinner Theatre will host a celebration of his life in the near future.
He is survived by sisters Carrie Trauth and Arlene Hart, brothers-in-law John Trauth and Dennis Hart, niece Jennifer Krautman and nephew Austin Hayes.
— By Kenneth Jones