You’ve got to love the folks at the Signature Theater for making it possible to experience legitimate theater for just $25. The problem with the experience is the space! They have a new home designed by Frank Gehry and on Sunday afternoon, we saw it. In my opinion it is cold, sterile and absolutely charmless. There are actually three theaters, but the literal centerpiece—the thing that dominates the space— is what they erroneously call “the cafe,” an example of the curious bastardization of the language that I’ve noticed as we move forward in this century, something like devaluing the word “friend,” which used to denote someone sort of special, and was always a noun. There’s nothing intimate or charming about the Signature food pit. “High school cafeteria” would be more accurate. But I digress.
I don’t expect an off-Broadway venue to be lavish. But surely we can do better than this. The whole thing with its plywood walls and brutal lobby decoration struck me as something you might find inside any mall in America Give me a little black box theater any day.