Is Disney Hall too intimate?

| 9 Comments

Joseph at joyrides without maps is a blogger with cul-chah. He gives a great inside-the-hall report on opening night at Frank Gehry's monument -- and posts it before midnight. He leaves the music review to the critics and dishes on Disney Hall's friendly confines.

Here's the biggest problem I noticed tonight: when it's full, it's downright claustrophobic, even for the normally relaxed. Now, not many feel that claustrophobic, and music should relax you, but this place will bring out the worst in those predisposed.

The rows are so narrow they're crippling, and where I sat, Terrace E, they are sports-arena-level raked. Note to geriatrics: fall while going to a seat on a terrace and you're dead. (Nonetheless, I will sit there again whenever I can--I can't imagine better sound--you are right over the orchestra in a crows nest.)

No matter, this is the worst concert hall possible for anyone predisposed to anxiety. At the Dorothy Chandler, they used to dispense cough drops--here they should dispense Xanax.

...

The seating is intimate, but because it's in the round, that just means you can see anyone who moves. Need to run out of an aisle suddenly? Forget it here. You'll cause a riot. Everyone in the Hall will see you...

It's intimate, the Disney Hall. Too intimate. It's a veritable doll house inside. In the anxiety to break down the barrier between orchestra and audience, the audience is too much with us.

He worked the room at the party and ran into Pete Wilson, Warren Beatty ("shorter than I thought") and Arianna Huffington ("taller than I thought").


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