Friday, September 23, 2011

A quick critique the Allen Theatre home of the CPH

The Allen home of the Cleveland Play House

I have been asked by inquisitive readers to make some comments about the new facilities.

•I find the new Allen warm and enfolding.

•I love that the designers kept the beautiful old world look of the lobby. The clever use of contemporary carpeting design, which is in the same tones as the ornate walls and decorations, was a stroke of genius to blend the new with the old.

•Inside the theatre, I like the use of metallic scrim to allow for seeing the decorative walls, but blocking them out once the show starts.

•I am disappointed in the seating. In the permanent seats section the rows are somewhat tight. Unlike the redone Hanna, you can’t walk to your seat without others getting up. Because of the shallow raking of the first set of rows, smaller people will have trouble seeing over those sitting in front of them. (My 4’ 10” wife had to sit on two folded coats in order to see the stage clearly.) More than one person complained of hitting their knees on the cup holders which jut into the rows, making for awkward dodging around fellow row members on exits and entrances.

•I did not park in the attached garage so I cannot comment on ease of traversing the walkway into the theatre.