Merriweather gets a face-lift

May 21, 1998|By J.D. Considine

Just as Marjorie Merriweather Post was the grande dame of Washington society, so the Merriweather Post Pavilion has become the grande dame of area amphitheaters. With 30 seasons under its belt, the venerable venue has played host to everyone from Led Zeppelin to Blondie, from Sinatra to Madonna.

But there's a difference between having a history and showing one's age. So as Merriweather heads into its 31st season, the Columbia landmark finds itself in the midst of a major make-over.

"We are undergoing phase two of a three-stage plan to give the entire facility a complete face-lift," Jean Parker, Merriweather general manager, said. "Last year, the first phase concentrated mainly on the backstage area. . . . This year is completely focused on the front of the house, starting out at the main parking area, and going all the way in through the main gate and the restroom areas."

That means the walkways into the amphitheater will be better lit, that the entryways will be brighter and more attractive, and that there ought to be shorter lines at the ladies rooms. (There will be 30 percent more facilities in the main plaza restrooms, Parker said.)

Even the edibles will be bigger and brighter, as Merriweather augments its old regimen of beer and soda, hot dogs and nachos with a menu boasting fruit drinks and smoothies, Boardwalk Fries and Papa John's pizza, even grilled food and vegetarian fare.

"We're really transforming the facility into a place where it's not only fun to see a concert, but a great place to spend the entire evening," Parker said.

Pub Date: 5/21/98

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