It’s hard to pick a favorite space in the newly renovated Baltimore Center Stage building, but we’re drawn to the Deering Lounge. The fourth-floor space, named for generous donors Lynn and Tony Deering, feels like a combination of an artist’s loft and a luxe lounge — floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Calvert Street allow for plenty of natural light (and a lovely view of the city as night falls), and moody atmospheric lighting and comfy-cool modern furniture give theatergoers a chance to mix and mingle. A thought-provoking quote from playwright Tom Stoppard underscores the mood: “Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can judge the world a little.”
The slick look of the lounge is offset by its more rustic elements: White-painted exposed brick peeking out from the plaster, a faux-distressed carpet, and ever-popular Edison bulbs dangling above the bar. Its contradictions add texture, underscoring the chameleon-like transformations it undergoes for each new show. (At a summer production of Toni Morrison’s “Jazz,” for example, a selection of early 20th century instruments lined the room and black and white video was projected onto the wall.)
Patrons can enjoy a martini from the bar before heading into the Head Theater or Third Space, the two theaters the lounge serves. It’s pleasant enough that one could almost be inclined to skip the show and stay for a while — almost.
Live at the Lounge
Updating the space required input from local sources as well as an international theater consultant.
Furniture: Price Modern
Lighting: Provided by the architects
Architects: Cho Benn Holback + Associates, A Quinn Evans Company
Theater Consultant: Charcoalblue
Construction: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company