The Pattern at Pendarvis
Closed 1h 5m
The Pattern at Pendarvis

The Pattern at Pendarvis NYC Reviews and Tickets

(41 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Resonant, Absorbing

About the Show

A fictionalized look at the quiet life of Edgar Hellum, a closeted man in his nineties who did pioneering work in historic preservation in a small, mid-western town.

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Member Reviews (41)

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Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Resonant, Relevant

See it if Young scholar learns of life 'before Stonewall" from closeted 'activist' Fine ensemble led by poignant Merritt but cultural steward theme ??

Don't see it if Slow going & a travelogue (20 min) until homophobic curator's outburst Finding true tempo it becomes moving & a plea for generational equity

Great acting, Profound

See it if Poignant tale of an older gay man being interviewed for a book. Will he share how he & his lover built Pendaris? Touching & heartwarming.

Don't see it if You're looking for a musical. Show runs 70 minutes. All 3 cast members are excellent.

Critic Reviews (6)

Lighting & Sound America
July 30th, 2018

"'The Pattern at Pendarvis' suffers from a certain awkwardness of construction, and, in its later passages, it doesn't entirely avoid the trap of preachiness, but Edgar is a fascinating character brought to life in all his evasive, cranky, poignant glory by Lawrence Merritt...To his credit, the director, Joseph Megel, lets the drama unfold in its own way, trusting it to deliver its considerable emotional impact."
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July 21st, 2018

"Serene, absorbing, and concise...Gray infuses his straightforward 70-minute interview treatment with tension, suspense, and drama...He provides skillful exposition and while present at the discussion stuffily keeps trying to steer it away from personal disclosures. The dialogue is smooth, efficient, and dotted with references to figures of that time...Megel’s staging is suitably simple yet theatrical...A moving work that documents a distant chapter of gay history."
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July 22nd, 2018

“A sweet, sincere, but very small exploration of Midwestern mid-20th century life...What’s onstage...amounts to a snapshot—an intriguing snapshot, but one with a frustratingly blurry focus...To watch Merritt navigate Edgar’s rather complicated, detailed monologues is impressive and even inspiring...A touching, fully felt performance...’The Pattern at Pendarvis’ lasts a little over an hour, and it leaves you a little hungry.”
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Gay City News
July 23rd, 2018

“An absorbing new play about queer culture keepers...The premise couldn’t be simpler...A slow burn of a play. The first half is relatively static and expository...Gray’s naturalistic dialogue and incremental storytelling holds our interest. It’s not until the final minutes that the play realizes it’s full dramatic potential...The Merritt, who embodies the soft-spoken Edgar with a delicate mix of caution, intrigue, humility, fervor, and, ultimately, pride.”
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July 20th, 2018

"We can truly understand and appreciate what these to men did for the town and celebrate their love story...What makes this an astounding production is the connection between Lawrence Merritt, Edgar and Gregory Jensen, Rich. The men are separated by 60 years and throughout the play they develop a deep understanding and respect for one another...The two have breath-taking chemistry...This is a definite must see and another perfect example of theater that matters!"
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July 24th, 2018

A play that goes into great detail about its description of a setting while taking place entirely within a man’s living room shouldn’t work so well, but it does...Written with great affection and care, ‘The Pattern at Pendarvis’ is a play whose effect sneaks up on you slowly. At first, it seems like a pleasant enough way to spend eighty minutes, but it gradually becomes something special, and concludes with a beautifully understated ending that respects the nuance that came before.”
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