How was your experience?
I wish there were two different places to review the venue and the performance. The performance was so enjoyable. Frankie Valli's song selections and warmth cut through the decades since I first danced to "Stay." He wasn't with the Four Seasons, but with four talented young men who could, each one, have a great solo career. The 12 piece ensemble included musicians that came together for this very special even. Some played on American Idol, and others have traveled with Mr. Valli for quite a while. All were terrific. The negative was how the Saban Theater dealt with the Goldstar customers. As a long-time user of this fantastic service, I'm used to getting A-one service. Despite my contacting Goldstar, requesting handicapped seating/accessibility, having the excellent Goldstar personnel contacting the Saban Theater, and having the Saban Theater contact person assure they would make every effort to have seating available once I was able to reach the balcony, (there was no seating for Goldstar customers downstairs as far as I know,) nothing was done. We knew there were no assigned seats for the general public, a fact that later would upset numerous ticket holders that got there later, only to find that the tickets they had been given had no correlation to seats, but we thought they would honor their legal obligation to pay attention to the Americans with Disabilities Act. We got there early, as advised, though not at 6pm when the theater began allowed people to enter the lobbies. I struggled up the stairs with my walker, thinking that we would be seated upon arrival. Instead, we were told the doors opened at 8. My husband found me a seat, and then he waited in line. The stench of burning popcorn that rose up to the balcony level lobby belied the elegance of this once-stellar theatrical venue. A young woman bartender came over to see if I needed help with anything, and in fact had offered to help me up the stairs. She was the only person in the theater to behave in a gracious and caring manner. I said I had wondered about the accessible seating. She went to find a manager, and came back with an usher, who said there would be seating on the sides. However, when the doors finally opened, there was a free for all, since no seats were assigned. I was almost knocked over by the wave of mostly senior citizens rushing for the lower seats. No seats were set aside, however, and by the time we got in, I had to struggle with my walker up the narrow stairs to row H where fortunately my husband, who had gone on ahead for me, had secured two aisle seats. I didn't dare try to go downstairs during the performance in the dark to use the facilities. Saban Theater may be excused from not having an elevator, but their failure to honor their assurance of accessible seats as promised caused me and quite a few others I saw with canes and walkers genuine physical and yes, mental distress. People who came later were shocked to see they would be sitting so high up, and many ended up filling in single seats here and there. The ushers did nothing to help. In other venues, it's been requested that people leave no spaces in between. Here, people were left to fend for themselves. To top it off, I was splashed with beer and wine as people struggled to climb the stairs and to find seats with their hands full. With certain musicians, it is to be expected that the audience will be of a certain age. Mr. Valli was highly popular in the 1960s and 70s. That would make this mostly a very mature audience who is not used to being treated this way. It was my observation that the Saban Theater got only ill will for the way this was handled. The Saban Theater, in previous incarnations, was an elegant theatrical venue, with plays starring the likes of Rex Harrison and Claudette Colbert. Now it's being reincarnated as a music arena. Had we known, we would have worn hoodies and jeans, rather than thinking we were going to a nice event in Beverly Hills. On second thought, I wouldn't have gone at all. We have tickets for Foreigner, but my husband is going with a buddy. I can't face that melee again until I'm again steady on my feet.