After a lengthy hiatus from the small screen, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” returned for a fourth season, giving Emmy voters more content to digest.
This time around, Midge, played by Rachel Brosnahan, takes on a career change and winds up working at a Manhattan burlesque club, the Wolford. Says production designer Bill Groom, “Had it not been for COVID, we would have used an old Broadway theater.”
Instead, he had to build the club from the ground up at Brooklyn’s Steiner Studios.
His idea was that the Wolford would be an old vaudeville theater. “At some point, perhaps in the 1940s, it was converted into a strip club and a burlesque theater,” says Groom. “It had two levels: a vaudeville level that was built probably in the early 1900s, and then the second level was added during a renovation, probably in the 1940s.”
Red and gold were commonly used for theaters in that era. And Groom decked out the set with a bar, dressing rooms and vintage theater seats. There were also lots of mirrors and lights. The set’s pièce de résistance was the chandelier — the same one used in the classic 1964 film “My Fair Lady.” Says Groom, “The chandelier (“Big Bertha”) came from LA, from the Warner Brothers lot. The last time we know it was used was in ‘My Fair Lady.’ It was kind of in shambles when it arrived, because it had been in storage for years and it needed a lot of refurbishment. It was so large and fragile that it was driven across the country from LA to NY. We hired a chandelier restoration company to come in, and they did things such as install new crystal and rewiring. It is the centerpiece for the Wolford theater. We have it rigged to fly in and out of the frame to accommodate the shot that we need.” He adds, “My vision of the theater was to have a statement chandelier, and it was perfect for us.”