Oct. 6 | The Tivoli Discovery Series Story

Tonight, our Tivoli Discovery Series officially kicks off with Girls Guns and Glory. In anticipation for the show, we sat down for story time with our Executive Theater Manager John Healey to hear how the pay-what-you-want series came to be.

The pay-what-you-want Tivoli Discovery Series came to fruition due to a “failure” in programming. In November 2012, I booked a show called Acoustic Africa that I thought was important to bring to Frederick. Apparently Frederick did not agree with my thought process, as the show had only sold about 150 tickets a week before it was scheduled, and was looking like a major financial loss.

After talking over the situation with the agent, I decided to move forward with the show and open the doors as a pay-what-you-want event. Marketing sent an email blast and I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Frederick News-Post describing what the theater planned to do, hoping it would be published. The editor of FNP not only ran the letter, but turned it into a full-page ad that ran on the back cover of the paper several times leading up to the event.

772 people attended that show and were rewarded with an amazing performance. Yes, we still lost money on the show, but the public response was so positive that the pay-what-you-want concept became the foundation of the Tivoli Discovery Series, which now encourages people to take a chance on emerging artists.

Years later, the artists showcased in our Tivoli Discovery Series continue to gain attention —and for good reason! This season in particular is full of “hidden gem” artists, such as Vocal powerhouse Liz Vice and stunning classical ensemble Zorá String Quartet. Don’t miss the chance to discover your new favorite artists on the following dates:

Girls Guns and Glory | October 6 at 7:30pm
A toe-tapping, knee-slapping, rockin’ good time with an up-and-coming Americana quartet.

EVA | November 3 at 7:30pm
Powerful vocal harmonies anchored on the textured landscape of guitar, piano, and percussion.

Liz Vice | February 2 at 7:30pm
Gospel, soul, and R&B infused with a love of storytelling and a timeless sensibility.

Matt Andersen | March 2 at 7:30pm
An emerging musical powerhouse deftly explores both the personal and political through song.

The Quebe Sisters | April 6 at 7:30pm
Authentic Americana built on sibling harmony and sweet Texas fiddling.

Zorá String Quartet | May 4 at 7:30pm
“The perfect ensemble…so polished, so breathtakingly well-blended” (Calgary Herald).

See you at the theater!

Oct. 4 | Top 5 Happenings This October

Mornings are crisp, days are breezy, and “pumpkin spice” anything is available everywhere. Fall is here to stay! Looking at the lineup, there really seems to be something for everyone at the Weinberg Center this October. As promised, we’re here to keep you in-the-know on the top five happenings on our stage this month.

1 | Experience the first pay-what-you-want performance of the season with Girls Guns and Glory

Rising Americana group Girls Guns and Glory is quickly taking the music industry by storm, having already been dubbed a “don’t-miss night of alternative country” by The Washington Post. And getting to experience it all for a pay-what-you-want price? Yes, please. October 6 at 7:30pm

2 | Meet William Shatner face-to-face

In mid-October, Shatner will take the stage in his direct-from-Broadway one-man show exploring his life and career. But here’s what makes his Frederick appearance even better: after the fact, meet-and-greets are available for audience members to purchase and be able to actually meet Captain Kirk in personOctober 12 at 7:30pm

3 | Sweet Plantain infuses classical rhythms with new life

Classical and international music fans, this one’s been picked just for you. Hip hop? Jazz improv? Latin rhythms? Believe it or not, chamber ensemble Sweet Plantain’s sound embodies it all in a fusion with Western classical traditions. We’re looking forward to watching this string quartet perform live on our stage! October 14 at 8:00pm

4 | Trick-or-treating downtown

Okay, so it’s not happening on our stage… but we’re too excited not to mention it! On the Saturday before Halloween, we’ll be joining a group of 50+ downtown shops and restaurants once more in handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Dress up as something spooky, magical, or even just plain weird and join us in celebrating the festive weekend fun! October 29 at 12:00pm

5 | Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde costume contest

If you think your costume this year is competition-worthy… prove it. This year, anyone up for the challenge will be given the opportunity to compete in our costume contest! To top it off, afterwards everybody wins with a 7:00pm silent film screening of the iconic horror film Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde. And of course, the haunting tones of our mighty Wurlitzer organ will accompany the entire film. October 31 at 6:15pm

Honorable mentions go to the rest of our rockin’ October line-up:

David Sedaris, Odd Squad—LIVE!, Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk, Flying Dog Film Series Tommy Boy, Classic Albums Live: Dark Side of the Moon, and Rapunzel.

Sept. 29 | Looking Forward to Looking Back

Looking at old photos and sketches of our theater, it’s hard to believe in three short months, our timeless theater will turn 90 years old.

For those who aren’t familiar with the history of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, we want to first share that we actually weren’t always known as the Weinberg.

Our theater opened on December 23, 1926 as the Tivoli, a silent movie palace that was a popular stop for nights out on the town. After closing in 1976 due to a devastating flood, it reopened a short two years later as the Weinberg Center for the Arts. For the past 38 seasons, the Weinberg has been an integral part of our local and regional art communities as a showcase for the performing arts.

In preparation for our 90 year celebration, we asked several members of our team what they’re most excited about in celebrating the jewel of Frederick’s big nine-oh.

John Healey | Executive Theater Manager

9.29john- jamieturnerYou know, I’m really just excited by the idea of 90 years of existence. That’s 90 years of our fabulous building being home to many first dates in Frederick! This place is tied to so many fond memories and I’m excited to celebrate how cross-generational our landmark theater is in that sense.


Rebecca O’Leary | Manager of Development

9.29becky-photocourtesyofFNPFrederick in general is such a special place – people feel a real connection to this city, and I wholeheartedly believe that the Weinberg is one of the big reasons why. People who live in Frederick know the Weinberg – or the Tivoli – as the place where they had their first dance recital, or saw a professional musician for the first time. Visitors to Frederick love experiencing our historic space – actually getting to be up close and personal with one of the remaining movie palaces in the country. Watching people who have fond memories of our space light up with memories and seeing first time visitors fall in love with it are some of the things I’m most looking forward to.

Jef Cliber | Box Office Manager

9.29jefportraitI get excited for our anniversary when I begin reflecting on how far we’ve come. The Tivoli really came towards the end of the silent film era—and yet, out of sheer skepticism towards the future success of silent movies, we insisted on building a whole stage. That mentality was a huge segway into our future as a performing arts center, in ways I’m not sure we could even foresee at the time! It just goes to show you how although change is inevitable, the history of your establishment is such an important part of its future.

Ashley Birdsell | Manager of Marketing

9.29ashley-photocourtesyofFNPI can’t wait to engage with our members and audiences about their favorite Weinberg memories! It’s been fun collecting stories and artifacts as part of the #ShareYourWeinberg campaign – it’s so exciting to hear about someone’s first date at the Tivoli, or how their grandfather worked in the projection booth. From a marketing perspective, we know that audiences cherish the nostalgia they feel for the theater, and our venue’s landmark status. So, any chance to shine a light on our storied building and the memories made here is always exciting.

On December 23rd, join us when we unveil our revamped artifact exhibit and screen the same silent film that played on the Tivoli’s opening night. And don’t forget… you can be a part of the Weinberg story, too! Whether it be through sharing a story, sending over a personal photo, or offering an artifact for display, we invite you to #ShareYourWeinberg with us. We can’t wait to learn more about your history with our beloved venue!

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

Sept. 27 | Discussing the 2016-2017 Season with John Healey

Just last week, we had our first ever Facebook live interview between our marketing manager Ashley Birdsell and executive theater manager John Healey.

John has been overseeing our theater management and programming for ten years. That said, when we decided we wanted to find out what to expect in the upcoming season, we knew exactly who to turn to!

In case you missed it, here are a few highlights from last Thursday’s live interview. The full interview is still up on our Facebook for your viewing pleasure. Thanks, John!

What do you do and how do you book the shows for this season?

I just put names in a giant hat and then I pull them out! (laughs) No, what I try to do is select a season that is going to be diversified, is going to bring things to the Frederick area that I think the greater community will appreciate… and things that I’ve talked with other presenters in the area and across the United States [who say], “Yeah, this sounds pretty exciting.” And, things that just kinda look cool…that I think would be really kinda fun to bring to the Weinberg Center and so that people don’t have to go to D.C. [or] Baltimore— they can come to Frederick.

Are there any shows in particular you’re very excited about this season…other than all of them?

(laughs) Yeah, well that’s a bit like asking who’s your favorite child. It is hard to say sometimes! There are people in the Tivoli Discovery Series, in which we bring in new and emerging artists [and audiences can] pay-what-you-want—we ask for a ten dollar donation but you don’t have to give it to us. We’re more interested in exposing these artists to the Frederick community. That’s always been a piece of my heart because I think it’s an important part of what we do.

Arlo Guthrie always puts on a terrific show… William Shatner I’ve never seen live… This is his Broadway show that he’s bringing in here. So that’s gonna be a pretty crazy time.…see, now I’m just gonna start talking about all of them! (laughs) Because it is, it’s a fun thing to do, to put a season together that will appeal to many different people.

What if people want to suggest a possible show they want to see on our stage?

I think that’s a great idea and I love getting suggestions.  Go to our website and then click on Contact Us and send me a link or your suggestion.

Is there anything you’d like to add about this wonderful season of ours?

We’re going to be adding things! So keep following us. There are things in the works already that we just can’t announce yet, but we will be announcing them soon!

If you’re looking for more insider info on what John had to say about our 2016-2017 season, check out the full interview on our Facebook page, or explore our upcoming events when you hop on over to the Performance & Events section of the site. See you at the theater!


Sept. 22 | Welcome to the Weinberg Insider

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Why are we so excited today? Two reasons.

One: For many of us here in the theater, it’s the first day of our favorite season—fall!

Two: With our timeless theater continuing to progress through the years, we’re excited to announce the Weinberg Center officially has a blog!

What’s even better, as you might have seen, we are busy behind-the-scenes preparing to kick off our 2016-2017 season this weekend. Just in this month alone, our lineup promises a diverse array of live entertainment! Let’s take look at the roster:

Sept. 23 | The Midtown Men
Watching this group is legitimately like traveling through the music of the ’60s— during their show, the Midtown Men absolutely perfect performing timeless, well-crafted songs. With classics ranging from the Beatles and the Beach Boys to Motown hits, we can’t wait to travel back in time with this performance tomorrow night!

Sept. 24 | Paula Poundstone
“My mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, ’Mom, they weren’t trying to teach you how to swim.’”

Yes — this is a Poundstone original. Back by popular demand, we can’t wait to cackle along with this NPR favorite again. Ever since her stand-up career launched in the early 1980s, Paula’s been known for spontaneously interacting with the crowd and never doing the same act twice.

Sept. 28 | Flying Dog Film Series: The Big Lebowski (1998)
You know those moments in life where after a long day, you just need to stir yourself a White Russian and sit in a warm bath? Or perhaps, fail to see exactly why you even need to get out of your bathrobe for the whole day in the first place? Then you can resonate with the Dude. We’re excited to launch our fifth annual Flying Dog series with this cult classic, and to make things even better – happy hour starts at 6:30pm!

Sept. 29 | Nighthawks Night
Did you know that mixing blues, R&B, honky-tonk country, doo-wop, gospel and rockabilly into one performance was once considered a no-no? Neither did vocalist Mark Wenner when he first thought of the idea for The Nighthawks in the ’50s. Experience the Nighthawks legacy in film and live in concert with us in a unique, one-night-only event.

Sept. 30 | Russian Grand Ballet’s “Swan Lake”
Although not much is known about the original production of Swan Lake back in the 1800’s (hardly anything concerning the ballet was documented), it’s no wonder to us why Swan Lake has remained one of the most popular ballets of all time. We’re thrilled to welcome the stellar Russian Grand Ballet as they expertly present ‘the ballet of all ballets’.

As for the blog itself, here are some things you can expect to see:

  1.  What’s happening month-to-month. We’ve got you covered on staying in-the-know on what’s happening on our stage.
  1.  Interesting thoughts and random facts about our theater. After being here for almost 90 years, the Weinberg has a few quirky stories up its sleeves.
  1.  Insider-info on upcoming shows. Whether it is getting to know an upcoming performer behind-the-scenes or learning first-hand what deals we have to offer, you can count on us.
  1.  Spotlight features on the people most important to us. That means you! Whether you’re a donor, member or first time guest, we’ve got something for you.

We’re so excited to share more! While you wait for content to come — enjoy a hot latte, break out the fall jacket, and prepare for a great upcoming season. See you at the theater!

Image courtesy of Creative Commons.