A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Tim Cummings (as Patsy) and Lisa Pelikan (as Breda) in “The New Electric Ballroom” / Photo by John Flynn

Recent Tony Award winner for his book of Best Musical “Once,” playwright Enda Walsh has “The New Electric Ballroom” mounted by Rogue Machine with both on and off results.

A better title would be “Four Incredible Monologues by Four Superb Actors in Search of a Play.”  It’s easy to see any of the various monologues from this show being scooped up for acting classes and auditions. And I would love to see any and all of these four actors in another vehicle.

The very abled and talented cast (Tim Cummings, Casey Kramer, Lisa Pelikan and Betsy Zajko) nail their respective wordy monologues with expertise and very credible and consistent Irish accents.

Stephanie Kerley Schwartz gets kudos for her single set of a working family’s Irish cottage interior.

The play opens with three sisters basically emoting their respective monologues and occasionally bickering with each other. Director John Perrin Flynn doesn’t establish the set-up or reason for the sisters’ monologues, bickering and rituals, with the result (intended?) being a never-ending loop of captive, isolated sisters repeating the same monologues, bickering and rituals.

Not often enough, Cummings, as the lonely fisherman Patsy, drops by to deliver fish to the sisters, and his electric stage presence brings fresh air to the audience.  Cummings also gets to display his commanding vocal chops later in the 90 minutes, almost too well distracting from the rest of the action.

Audience warning: bring a jacket as temperatures drops numerous degrees from the outside.

—Gil Kaan, Culture Spot LA

Performances continue through July 30. Rogue Machine in Theatre Theater, 5041 Pico Blvd., LA 90019. Showtimes are Saturdays at 5 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m. (no performances Monday, June 25, or July 23). For reservations, call (855) 585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.