If You Give a Mouse a Cookie continues its grand parade through the Eastern US and Midwest, and recently played the beautiful, historic Weinberg Center in Frederick, Maryland. (Check out Mouse/Cookie‘s first stop here.) Elegantly preserved and maintained, Frederick is a plumb of a town, all brick townhouses and human-sized scale, and its local chez du theatre, The Weinberg Center, matches this aesthetic perfectly.
The Weinberg’s façade is classic and inviting, and welcomes patrons into a passageway that opens up into a spacious lobby and house. It’s the kind of “bottleneck” construction many New York theater builders used on expensive 42nd Street, where a small marquis and entryway would lead to a theater actually situated on 41st or 43rd Street. (The American Airlines and New Amsterdam Theaters are good examples of this.)
Inside, 1,500 seats are split between a vast orchestra and a smaller mezzanine; simple yet pretty murals line the walls. Playing the space, you’re struck by the “shoebox” nature of its architecture: it’s much longer than it is wide.
The stage door is appropriately Rent-tastic, and makes for appropriately ego-inflating coming and going.
When the building first opened in 1926 (it was then called the Tivoli Theater), the Frederick Daily News announced, “Frederick may indeed feel proud of her handsome new theatre… The erection of such a beautiful amusement house is in itself a tribute to the community. It demonstrates in a most outstanding way the faith that a great theatrical organization has in the future of our city.” (Source.)
That faith, it seems, has been borne out.
(This writeup, by the way, does not represent the opinions of TheatreWorksUSA, the producer of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.)
All photos by theater-words.