Already closed | 1h 5m | Soho/Tribeca

The Pattern at Pendarvis

From 41 member  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. More…

'The Pattern at Pendarvis' tells the story of a man who just happened to be gay in an era long before Stonewall and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." It deals with contemporary gay identity issues through the eyes of a man who spent his life in the closet.

Member Reviews (41)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Resonant, Absorbing
Avg Score

Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You're interested in seeing how much the LGBT community has moved forward in the last 100 years

Don't see it if You don't like slow plays or small productions

Thought-provoking, Riveting, Resonant, Profound, Great acting

See it if a beautifully written tale of an unsung hero of gay America, in a moving production, excellently acted, is your cup of tea.

Don't see it if you like loud, in your face, mind-numbing drivel.

During previews
Touching, Monotone, Minimally dramatic, Well played, Static

See it if you think you'll be charmed by a staged interview with an elderly restaurateur, restorer of houses & 1-half of a pioneering gay male couple.

Don't see it if you need more drama than even a charming staged interview can provide.

Also This play is a staged interview. In 1997 a young gay writer interviews... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Exquisite

See it if you want a mostly pleasant and touching 90 minutes with three good actors in a true story that is presented with warmth and heart. See it!

Don't see it if you are looking for a lot of action - this is a parlor scene interview.

During previews
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Profound, Great acting

See it if you're interested in historic preservation & the struggles gay couples faced in the mid-20th century and in the midwest, see gays as heroic

Don't see it if don't like LGBT history or care for the rights & comfort of gay folk, don't like static action (3 men in chairs throughout)

During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You want to see a fascinating story of life as a gay man from the mid 20th century on. The is an intelligent look at gay life.

Don't see it if You’re averse to gay plays

During previews
Intelligent, Specific audience, Informative, Gay issues & history, "parlor interview"

See it if slice of gay history in interview format, discussion of gay issues, quiet staging, wonderful cast are reasons 2 make U happy in theatre seat

Don't see it if gay issues, lack of action, flashy issues, car crashes, 3 handers, no dancing chorus, no helicopter or volcano would keep U from attending

During previews
Great acting, Slow, Relevant

See it if you want to see a tender play about being gay many decades ago

Don't see it if you need fast paced plays with movement.

Also The 70 minute play had a very dull first 30 minutes but the conflict s... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Profound

See it if It is a bit slow, but also a well written and well acted one act about gay issues in the USA.

Don't see it if You are not interested in Talky, heady issues of the day.

During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in restoration, history or LGBT rights. A fascinating portrait of DL gay life in the midwest pre-Stonewall.

Don't see it if you are looking for fast-paced action adventure or big revelations. This is a small, introspective play about life during a simpler time.

During previews
Enchanting, Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you like character expositions and you're curious about how LGBT relationships worked with respect to society and the closet in the 1960s.

Don't see it if you're in the mood for a musical or anything upbeat and energetic.

During previews
Profound, Must see, Great writing, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a great Play. You like sophisticated, intelligent theater.

Don't see it if You are bored by serious theater.

During previews
Modest but charming and thoughtful slice of cultural history

See it if You're interested in Americana, preservation, gay history, small but well-done plays

Don't see it if You want big showy theatrical productions. Gay themes annoy you.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful

See it if This show starts slow and uneventfuly but later turns into a masterfully played drama of a gay artist. There is something for everyone.

Don't see it if You don't like old school acting with lots of subtextual meanings conveyed without words.

During previews
Exquisite, Great writing, Must see, Absorbing

See it if You want to spend a fascinating evening enjoying great acting, great writing and hearing about a part of gay history most of us don't know.

Don't see it if You are not interested in gay history

Also I absolutely loved this show and was drawn in every second. The princi... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy reflecting on life. This beautifully acted piece will leave you feeling like you just overheard fabulous conversation.

Don't see it if you prefer a high energy performance with a lot of variety. This is show moves at a slower pace but is perfect for the dialogue.

Also The acting was just excellent - I truly felt like the actors couldn't ... Read more Read less

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 d...
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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, effici...
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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...
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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 ...
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