Splash Magazines Review of PATTERNS

Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary season, Theatre 40, located on the campus of the Beverly Hills High School opens its new season with Patterns.

Telling the tale of a young executive, Fred Staples (Daniel Kaemon,) newly arrived from Cincinnati with his eager wife Fran Staples (Savannah Schoenecker) who takes up his position in the company run by Walter Ramsey (Richard Holt Miller) only to realize that Ramsey’s goal to is have him replace the older executive, and now friend, Andy Sloane (James Schendel.) The quandary begins as Staples philosophies are similar to Sloane’s and yet he finds that the boss is accepting what he, Staples, says as gospel and discards what Sloane has said.

Andy’s son, Paul (Louis Schneider) begs Staples to be fair to his father, and Staples wavers. Does he stay and feed into the system or does he quit and return to what he knows in Ohio?

With an unhappy wife, and other yes-men surrounding him (Todd Andrew Ball, John Schroeder, David Hunt Stafford) and somewhat hostile secretarial staff as Marge Flemings (Sharron Shayne), Erica Larson, Aygul Maksutova, Cathy Diane Tomlin, and Elain Rinehart, Staples must decide how far he will go to protect his new career. Will he compromise his morals and ideals?

The first major breakthrough for Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, Patterns was first performed in January, 1955 and earned several Emmys.

This version, directed by Jules Aaron, and assisted by Kori Beth Kaye, it was produced by David Hunt Stafford, and revised by James Reach does the original play justice. With the exception of terms like mimeographed and teletype, the story still holds true in today’s blood-letting corporate world.

Jeff G Rack did the amazing set design, while Michele Young costumed the actors and Paul Zimmerman did the lighting. Joe “Sloe” Slawinski worked the sound while Judi Lewin did makeup, hair and wig. Stage manager was Don Solosan and he was assisted by Richard Carner.

The acting was good, but the play itself was stagnant with not a lot of action. I have to admit that the first half felt slow to me, but that was probably because knowing who the original author had been, I expected more of a twist.