Feb. 9 | 5 Things to Know If You Want to Have “It”


You may have heard women and girls like Kendall Jenner, Blake Lively, or Jennifer Lawrence described as “It” girls, but did you know the original “It” girl, Clara Bow, starred in the movie that started it all? We can’t wait to screen the 1927 silent romantic comedy “It” this Saturday. Read on to learn five things you’ll need to know before you go!

1. “It” began its life as a novel written by British author Elinor Glyn, who explained, “To have ‘It,’ the fortunate possessor must have that strange magnetism that attracts both sexes…In the animal world, ‘It’ demonstrates in tigers and cats – both animals being fascinating and mysterious, and quite unbiddable. ‘It’ is self-confidence and indifference as to whether you are pleasing or not.” Elinor Glyn makes a cameo appearance as herself in the film.

2. Clara Bow appeared in six films in 1927 for Paramount, the year she made “It.” One of those films was “Wings,” a World One epic rewritten to include her since she was Paramount’s biggest star. “Wings” would go on to win the first ever Academy Award for Best Picture.

3. Clara Bow would appear in another adaptation of an Elinor Glyn book in 1928. That film, called “Red Hair,” is considered lost, which means no known prints of the film exist. However, we do know that “Red Hair” was screened here at the Tivoli – it appears prominently in a 1928 program in our collection, which you can see in one of the memorabilia cases in the inner lobby.

4. Victor Fleming, director of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Gone With the Wind,” and other cinema classics, dated Clara Bow during the 1920s. He used this experience to create one of his best comedies – a 1933 film called “Bombshell” starring Jean Harlow (arguably the “It Girl” of the 1930s) as a beleaguered actress named Lola Burns based on Bow. In “Bombshell,” Lola Burns is known to fans as the “If Girl.”

5. Clara Bow retired from acting in 1933. Although she had made very successful talking films that received critical acclaim beginning in 1929, she was very insecure about her Brooklyn-accented voice and suffered nervous attacks and breakdowns, becoming known as “Crisis-A-Day-Clara.” She later married Rex Bell (a future lieutenant governor of Nevada) and died of a heart attack in 1965 at the age of 60.

If you’re looking for further historical context before you see “It” on the big screen this weekend, you can read up on the history of our mighty Wurlitzer organ, which will accompany the film. See you at the theater!


 

Jan. 24 | 5 Years of the Frederick Speaker Series


The Frederick Speaker Series is turning 5! With the 2017 lineup kicking off in just a few short days, we’re taking a moment to look back on four seasons of illuminating insights, spirited conversations, and stimulating ideas.

Untitled design (2)The Frederick Speaker Series launched in 2013 with Cal Ripken Jr., a favorite of many O’s fans in our community and beyond. The baseball legend spoke about his work in youth baseball, the night he broke Lou Gehrig’s major league record, and the 1983 World Series (hint: the Orioles won!). Over the past four years, the series has brought 17 prominent individuals to Frederick – including a 2-for-1 last season with long-time friends and actors Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler, who engaged in poignant and hilarious conversation in both English and ASL that made for quite the memorable night!

Untitled design (3)From sports icons (like Ripken and former Ravens head coach Bryan Billick) to scientific minds (like pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku), the series aims to engage audiences via a diverse, timely range of topics and ideas. NBC journalist Tom Brokaw mused on the past, present, and future, weaving current events with personal anecdotes and his hopes for the millennial generation. “Star Trek” alum George Takei advocated for LGBTQ equality and delved into his time spent as a child in Japanese internment camps. No matter the topic, we hope you agree that Frederick Speaker Series events continue to bring new viewpoints and conversations to the Frederick community.

So, what’s next for the celebrated series? The fifth season kicks off this Thursday with NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who’s since launched a career off the court as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador, author, and activist. Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart, real-life “Concussion” doctor Bennet Omalu, and Bill Nye the Science Guy make up the rest of the dynamic 2017 lineup.

Untitled design (4)Meet-and-greets remain a beloved facet of the Frederick Speaker Series experience, with 100% of the profits benefitting children’s programming at Frederick County Public Libraries. If you’re a fan, there’s nothing quite like snapping a picture with your favorite speaker…  all for a good cause! Just remember, these exclusive tickets sell quickly, so grab yours before they’re gone.

Perhaps Takei himself summed it up most succinctly, in a Frederick News-Post interview prior to his speaking engagement: “Our society… seems to divide when we have so much that is common ground. Life can be so much more engaging if you see that common ground.” And there’s no doubt that the Frederick Speaker Series and its sponsors are proud to foster conversation and common ground, right in your backyard. Over 14,000 patrons have attended a Frederick Speaker Series event… now all we need is you!


 

Jan. 19 | 4 Backstage Necessities


Ever wonder what it takes to make a theater like the Weinberg Center for the Arts tick? Well, wonder no more – here are four little backstage necessities that help make the shows on our stage run seamlessly.

1. Lightbulbs – They’re everywhere! The Weinberg Center for the Arts had a number of chandeliers, wall sconces, overhead lights, a marquee and more. If you’re a Producer’s Circle member, your membership just about covers the cost of all the lightbulbs needed for a full year.

2. Handheld microphones – Many Weinberg artists depend on handheld mics (often supported by stands) to project their voices to our 1,200 seat house. If you’re a Marquee Club member or a Director’s Guild member, your membership covers the cost of one typical handheld microphone.

3. Lighting gels – Our technical staff uses sheets of colored polyester or polycarbonate to adjust the colors of stage lights and create various textures and moods for our stage lighting. Gels can fade (or even melt!) very quickly, so they have to be changed quite often. If you are a Corporate Leadership Club member, one year of your membership will almost cover gels for the Weinberg for a season.

4. Gaffer’s tape – It’s like duct tape, but better! Gaffer’s tape doesn’t leave any residue when removed or do any damage to the surface it is applied to. Our stage technicians use gaffer’s tape to tape down cables, attach microphone packs, as a temporary fix for broken equipment, and endless other tasks. If you’re a Tivoli Society member, one year of your membership will cover enough gaffer’s tape to get us through a whole season.

It’s true that you can make a difference, big or small, when you become a Weinberg Center member. See you at the theater!


 

Jan. 10 | 90 Years of Memories


Missed our 90th anniversary celebration? We’re dedicating this week’s post to a blast from past! Check out a part of our collection of never-ending memories at our theater with these neat finds:

Parade 9-3-45

During one of the many Frederick parades, you can see the Tivoli theater standing tall and proudly advertising the wildly sought-after air conditioning.

Weinberg Auditorium3

Look familiar? From light fixtures to exit signs, most of our theater today is still in its pristine original condition.

Historic Interior Lobby Space Weinberg Center--Converted

The comedy/tragedy masks have always been a staple to our iconic Frederick theater.

Weinberg Auditorium

If you look closely, you can see where the Tivoli stage accommodated live performances with its orchestra pit.


Can’t get enough of our landmark theater’s history? Check out this video recap our friends at Digital Bard created… or, visit us for an upcoming performance or two and see our beautiful building for yourself. See you at the theater!

 

Jan. 3 | Top 5 Things Happening this Month


With the weather stuck in chilling temperatures, our list of things to do indoors this month couldn’t come any sooner! Check out our top five picks for January:

1 | 1964: The Tribute is back by popular demand

All you need is love… and the best Beatles tribute on Earth! 1964: The Tribute kicks off the month of January as a perennial favorite on the Weinberg stage. January 13 at 8:00pm

2 | Kathleen Madigan will make you LOL

In the mood to laugh? Award-winning funnywoman Kathleen Madigan returns to Frederick mid-month as a part of her Bothering Jesus national tour. January 14 at 8:00pm

3 | Kareem kicks off the fifth annual Frederick Speaker Series

Basketball legend AND inspirational speaker? We’re already excited to see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on our stage.  Recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his activism, Abdul-Jabbar is sure to make us think when he takes the stage as part of the Frederick Speaker Series. January 26 at 7:30pm

4 | Spend a Saturday afternoon with favorite cartoons

The marathon of cartoon classics commences! Animations from the infamously known Tex Avery (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, etc.) will be shown back to back in this year’s Cartoon Fest—and tickets are only $5-$7. January 7 at 2:00pm

5 | Family Series continues with Seussical

Have you ever imagined what would happen if Dr. Seuss’ best stories collided? Seussical is the perfect chance to see this impressive feat in musical form. Both educational and enjoyable, this theatrical caper is one for the whole family! January 21 at 11:00am

See you at the theater!


 

Dec. 30 | Celebrating 90 Years


Ninety years… WOW! We’re still all smiles after all the nostalgic conversations had at the December 23 anniversary celebration. For those who missed the party, we reached out to our friends over at Digital Bard for an exclusive look into our building’s rich history. Check it out:

With ninety years of memories fresh on our minds, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for our timeless theater. Thank you to everyone involved in helping us continually bring world-class performing artists to the heart of downtown Frederick. See you at the theater!

 

Dec. 15 | An Interview with the Ghost of Christmas Past


With a ten day countdown until Christmas, the holiday season is in full swing! This weekend, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s Fun Company will present A Christmas Carol on our stage for a 3-day marathon of cheer. To prepare for the performance, we turned to MET cofounder Gené Fouché for insight on this beloved Christmas tradition.

12.15profile

Can you tell the readers a bit about who you are and what your role in the performance is?

I’m cofounder of the MET and associate art director, and have played the Ghost of Christmas Past for about 15 years now.

Wow, 15 years! Thanks to the MET, A Christmas Carol has been premiering at the Weinberg for over 20 years now. What’s the history of how this production came to be?

It all started with community-based shows that Julie Herber was striving for with the Fun Company. Way back when, there was a need for family theater and the community truly came together to make that happen. A Christmas Carol was one of those performances that took off and became a mainstay that we look forward to every year! And it’s great, because you find something different being a part of the performance every year.

For many people, it seems to be a tradition to come see A Christmas Carol. Why do you think the performance resonates with so many people?

The story itself. It really is a story of redemption, and the holidays are a time for that. There have been so many recurring patrons who make a point to come up to us at the end of the performance and say, “It’s not Christmas without A Christmas Carol.”

Why do you believe it’s important to show the performance at the Weinberg?

What’s different about the Weinberg is that I think there’s a focus on the entire experience more than any other place. The theater’s an icon.

What’s something about the performance that most people don’t know?

Several years ago, I participated in the Kris Kringle Parade with my husband and MET cofounder Tad. Tad and I were both dressed in character for the parade, and in order to watch over our daughter Lena, we included her with us! Although we didn’t dress her up as a particular character, as we made our way through the parade, several spectators approached Lena and asked who she was dressed up as. Before we could jump in, Lena proudly stated, “Ella Rose Crachit!”

Despite there not being a character in A Christmas Carol named Ella Rose Crachit, we were so impressed with Lena’s young imagination to create a character on the fly. The following year, we included Ella Rose as a main character in the production. She’s been a unique MET Christmas Carol character ever since!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m just so excited for the performances! You know, there have been so many productions of A Christmas Carol out there, and with many you’ll hear, “Oh man, one more year of A Christmas Carol again.” With the MET, it really is more than just a show. It’s been incredible to see how our company members who are a part of the production year after year genuinely look forward to it.


If you’re still looking to partake in this holiday-themed weekend, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Christmas Carol page for more info on the show! See you at the theater!

Images courtesy of Maryland Ensemble Theater.

Dec. 8 | The Weinberg Christmas Story

12.8headerphoto


As many Frederick theater-goers know, one of the things we look forward to most is decorating for the holidays. Walking into the warmly lit theater lobby, one of the first spectacles to be seen is the Weinberg Christmas tree, grandly adorned with decorations. Sparkling from flashy ornaments and twinkling lights, it’s impossible to avoid getting in the Christmas spirit at the sight of it! For many, it has become a part of the family tradition to take a photo together in front of the tree when seeing The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. Several years ago, this wasn’t the case! Box Office Manager Jef Cliber shared with us how it came to be:

We once had a tree that was very old. It was dusty, with entire limbs missing, and did not have very many ornaments. It was coming apart towards the end of its long tenure here. During the performances of the Nutcracker in 2004, I had the good fortune of taking the picture of a family in front of our old tree. The family consisted of a grandmother, a daughter, and a granddaughter. They explained they were three generations worth of Nutcracker ballet performers. This picture meant a lot to them and I was happy to oblige… But that tree really bothered me. All our patrons came dressed up for the holidays and everyone seemed to want a picture in our lobby to mark the occasion.

Now, once upon a time, I used to decorate for a living. 36 wreaths, 22 Christmas trees, 3 massive fiberglass and wire “modern trees”, countless table cloths and banners, a monster of Christmas tree that measured 16’ – and that’s not counting the work for the Hallmark shop or Department 56. Yes indeed, I used to start decorating for the holidays in September for a 40,000 square foot department store. And I did it for nearly 5 years. That’s enough Christmas decorations for a lifetime…for most people.

I couldn’t let that tree go. So, I petitioned the powers that be to purchase a new tree. A new tree came, and I set about to making it “come to life”. I wanted to give back to our patrons that came for the holidays. I wanted them to have a fantastic backdrop to their holiday visit to the Weinberg Center. Something about it just seemed to beg for red and gold decorations with white lights all aglow. These days, as soon as it goes up, the patrons love to get their picture in front of that tree.  It’s a perk of my job, getting to give back to our holiday visitors. Just doing my part to spread some holiday cheer!  As of last year, we have a new tree (this one grew 4’ over the last one!) and some other new decorations throughout the hall to boot!


Whether it be seeing The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, or just stopping by to pick up a gift certificate, we hope we get to share the holiday cheer with you! See you at the theater!

Dec. 1 | Top 5 Things Happening this Month


Happy holidays! As the temperature rapidly drops, it can be a challenge to fight the cold and still have fun. To lift your (holiday) spirits, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite happenings here at the Weinberg. Here’s a showcasing of December’s top five:

1 | Shadows of the 60’s keeps the holiday cheer going strong

Pay tribute to Motown’s legendary stars, including The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and more with Shadows of the 60’s legendary performance. December 3 at 8:00pm

2 | Holiday tradition weekend marathon #1: The Nutcracker

With three days dedicated to this super-sweet classic, there’s no chance of missing it! The Maryland Regional Ballet is back again with their magical holiday performance, this time featuring guest artists from the New York City Ballet. December 9 at 8:00pm, December 10 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm, December 11 at 2:00pm

3 | Holiday tradition weekend marathon #2: A Christmas Carol

Only one weekend later, another weekend of holiday traditions commences when Ebenezer Scrooge and the Christmas spirits take the stage in this fully-staged retelling by the Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s Fun Company. December 16 at 7:30pm, December 17 at 2:00pm & 7:30pm, December 18 at 2:00pm

4 | Join the celebration for our theater’s 90th anniversary

Happy ninetieth to our landmark venue! We’re throwing it way back with a special screening of the very first silent film to screen at our theater on opening night: The Strong Man. December 23 at 7:30pm

5 | Partake in the FCB matching campaign challenge… without even leaving home!

Frederick County Bank has offered us a generous challenge grant if we can raise $2,500 in donations and new memberships during the month of December! Beginning today (December 1), any theater-lover can help the jewel of Frederick by making a one-time donation, making a mid-season upgrade to an existing membership, or becoming a new member for as little as $35. December 1 through December 31

See you at the theater!

Nov. 22 | Why We’re Thankful for our Members


Heaps of mashed potatoes, endless turkey, and the whole family together… what could possibly be better than Thanksgiving? As everyone gears up for the big day of giving thanks, we wanted to join in and turn to our Weinberg family to ask why they’re most thankful for our members.

John Healey | Executive Theater Manager

9.29john- jamieturnerEvery year I’m thankful for our members because they allow me to be creative! They allow me to take chances and bring in artists that are positive for the greater Frederick community. We might lose money, but they’re important for programming. Also equally important, our members allow us to help other theater-goers who may not be able to afford attending a show or two themselves.

 

Rebecca O’Leary | Manager of Development

9.29becky-photocourtesyofFNPI am thankful for Weinberg members because our members help provide 15,000 Frederick area school children with quality arts experiences and keep the arts accessible and affordable in general. It wouldn’t be possible without them!

 

 

Jef Cliber | Box Office Manager

9.29jefportraitEvery season, you hope to have really struck a chord with your audiences. Obviously, we aim to appeal to every patron that we can, combining the type of programming offered with the specific artists themselves. Our members are a key piece to each season’s “puzzle”. They offer us critical feedback about the various performances we showcase, and that is a tremendous help. It really is. That is why I am so thankful for our members – the feedback they provide is invaluable to knowing if the Weinberg Center for the Arts is living up to our nickname as “the Jewel of Frederick”.

Ashley Birdsell Lewis | Manager of Marketing

9.29ashley-photocourtesyofFNPOur members are our biggest advocates! I am thankful for how they help spread the word about the great shows and opportunities we offer. I just love when a longtime patron introduces a friend or family member to our beloved theater and we hear “Oh, this is why you love the Weinberg so much!” I truly believe our members are among our greatest assets. We couldn’t do what we do without them!

 


A big thank you to all of our members who make it possible for us to continue offering such a diverse array of talent, year after year. From all of us here at the Weinberg, we hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Healey photo by Jamie Turner. Cliber photo by Alex Smith. O’Leary and Birdsell Lewis photos courtesy of Frederick News-Post.