By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The Oklahoma History Center, located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City, will host the launch of the latest book from Full Circle Press, “To The Max: Max Weitzenhoffer’s Magical Trip From Oklahoma To New York and London—And Back,” on Wednesday, October 9.
The program is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with a book signing to follow at 6:30 p.m. The event is free to the public, and copies of the book will be available for purchase.
“To The Max” was written by Tom Lindley and published by Full Circle Press, a division of Full Circle Bookstore. An Oklahoma native, Weitzenhoffer became a renowned Broadway producer and London theatre owner before returning to Oklahoma and settling in Norman.
During the event, Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, will interview Lindley and Weitzenhoffer, followed by an audience Q & A session,
“I’ve had a career being able to do what I wanted to do,” Weitzenhoffer told reporter Elaine Warner with 405 Magazine.” I’ve employed a lot of people. And I’ve done a lot of things that a lot of people have gotten pleasure out of. And, a lot of it was luck.”
Weitzenhoffer produced a number of Broadway and London shows, including “Dracula,” “The Will Rogers Follies,” “Song and Dance” and “Aspects of Love.”
Among his many positions, he is chairman of Nimax Theatres Ltd., which owns the Palace, Lyric, Apollo, Garrick, Vaudeville and Duchess Theatres in London’s West End. He has served as director of musical theatre at the University of Oklahoma and was a member of the university’s board of regents for 14 years, serving as chairman in 2010 and 2017.
The book’s dust jacket flap states: “More often, producers who make it big on Broadway start their climb from the lower East Side, not the raucous American frontier. Even fewer go on to become one of the most successful theatre owners in the storied West End of London.
A third-generation Oklahoman, Max Weitzenhoffer’s life story is a remarkable blend of risk-taking, glamour and glitz that has been enriched by saloon keepers, oil wildcatters, wealthy art patrons, artists and Broadway and Hollywood stars. Here is a man who was born to put on a show, and what a show it has been.”
“The first thing I look at is the script,” Weitzenhoffer said. “And not necessarily from some intellectual viewpoint, either. I just ask myself if I like the story it’s telling. Then I wonder if I might like to see it on stage. It’s really a very personal thing.”
Author Tom Lindley is a native Texan and longtime journalist now living in Norman. His two previous books are “Out of the Dust” and “Opening Doors.”
Full Circle Bookstore is the largest independent, locally-owned general interest bookstore in Oklahoma. Located on the first level of 50 Penn Place in northwest Oklahoma City, it offers a café, live music, reading rooms, interactive story times, weekly programming and more than 60,000 books on a variety of subjects. For more information, visit fullcirclebooks.com.
A division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Oklahoma History Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums.
The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state.
To learn more about the OHS, visit www.okhistory.org.