Returned to Abravanel Hall for another performance. This time we were seated in the first tier balcony, along the side. Our experience was negative enough that I thought I should warn people who are contemplating attending performances in those seats.
The Hall has very odd flow. Patrons are faced with MANY stairs to get up to balcony levels, followed by a lot of walking depending on which side you're on, or offered one extremely inadequate (in terms of size, placement, & speed) elevator. The performance we attended had a fair number of elderly patrons and they really were struggling.
Once getting to the balcony, we found that they were set on a slope (for sight-lines, I'm sure), resulting in some awkward walking if you're in heels or have mobility issues. And, once seated we found the seats themselves to be far too short, even for a 5' 2" woman with moderate heels. My husband is 6' and felt like his knees were by his ears. Sight-lines from our halfway back first row first balcony seats were not great for the opera we were attending.
I imagine that the balcony seating that is parallel to the stage does not have the slope issues, but those seats are pretty far back, so I'm not sure what the visibility would be like.
The alternative to balcony seating is floor seating, which we've had on a prior visit. However, the floor seats have no center aisle, so they are not a great option if you don't want to either crawl over people or be crawled over.
After two visits to Abravanel I've concluded it is only a place I'd return to for a performance that I really wanted to see (a once in a lifetime type of thing) or for one in which sight-lines are not important. It's a shame as the building's lobby is pretty, but as a venue for performing arts, I think it's poor.