The facility itself is nice enough, but nobody will mistake it for the Kennedy Center (or even Strathmore). The seats are comfortable, the sight-lines are good, and the acoustics are at least acceptable. The lobby itself is very comfortable and the access to the seats is good.
But the arena facility is definltely "no frills" -- and showing its age.
It's the programming that makes this a near-great facility. Unlike Kennedy Center, where you might still be in the parking garage an hour after the show closes, it's easy to get in and out of this facility on the GMU campus. And you can see the Mariinsky ballet and orchestra (nee Kirov), the leading Russian ballet companies; leading modern dance troupes such as Mark Morris, Martha Graham, etc. There are some compromises -- at Kennedy Center, the ballet is going to be dancing to the orchestra while at Mason they'll be dancing to a recording. But if the performance is what matters, you can see some excellent performances here.
The CFA also hosts a resident orchestra and opera company and is the venue for student performances. These represent a high quality but affordable entertainment option.
Even during the recession, when major donations fell way off, the quality of their programming stayed surprising strong. This is an outstanding performing arts facility.
A good am
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.