The Weinberg Center for the Arts in beautiful historic downtown Frederick, MD bills itself at the jewel of Frederick, and that's indeed the case. Just an hour's drive from Baltimore, Washington, Annapolis, Harrisburg, it's got a line-up of shows that rival anything put on in those cities, but without the high cost of tickets (average in DC = $100, Weinberg = $25-45).
Performances are remarkably high-end - Garrison Keillor, Bebe Neuwirth, David Desaris, the Temptations, Esperanza Spaulding, Imagination Movers, Jack Hanna, Bela Fleck and the original Flecktones, for instance, movie series, the Nutcracker with professional principals, local community dance recitals, country music concerts, Christian rock shows, Grateful Dead tribute bands, community sings, Menopause the Musical, etc. Check the website: www.WeinbergCenter.org.
The theater itself is a 1920's gem in the process of being faithfully restored (new chairs are comfortable, wider, beautiful, i.e, and wait until you see the wall decor!) in the heart of a vibrant, artsy, attractive downtown full of surprisingly good restaurants (check out Wash Post's Tom Sietsema's reviews) and wine bars, antiques, home decor, outdoor outfitters, and unexpectedly interesting art and gift shops. Plan to shop and/or dine around your visit. Everything's within four blocks of the theater.
Parking is adjacent to theater in city parking deck ($1 to exit after evening performances); if a performance is sold out (1100+ seats), other parking decks are 1-2 blocks away.
1. Theater offers full bar and candy/snack concessions.
2. Sometimes front orchestra seats are almost too close to the stage - I like rows H and up.
3. Buy your tickets in person at the friendly box office to save fees. If you do call for tix or reserve online, will-call is managed easily and and efficiently.
4. There's a Mighty Wurlitzer organ played by a master keyboardist for silent movies, not to be missed.
5. Handicapped accommodations in the theater itself are excellent - spacious, with great view of the stage, and volunteer ushers are plentiful and extremely helpful.
1. There is no elevator to mezzanine and balcony seats and second set of restrooms.
2. First floor restrooms are not that spacious for wheelchairs.
3. Local liquor laws forbid alcohol in the theater itself, but the bar stays open until intermission in the lobby for most performances. You can bring water, soda, popcorn, and candy into the theater.
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