COME GET MAGGIE, Rogue Machine Theatre at The Matrix

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Socks Whitmore – Stage Raw.

John Perrin Flynn, the producing artistic director of Rogue Machine Theatre, states clearly in the program for their latest production: “We don’t do musicals.” And yet, the show itself — the world-premiere run of Come Get Maggie, a feature-length retro science-fiction/forbidden romance created by Diane Frolov and Susan Justin — is exactly that.

The music of Come Get Maggie exists in a particularly interesting place; the vocal textures and counterpoint are notably inventive, likely to appeal to fans of Hadestown and Come from Away, and the lyrics (especially those regarding physics) feature a formidable number of well-researched, complex rhymes. In its current form, it’s unclear whether the show wants to be a musical or a rock opera because a fair bit of the score draws from operatic recitative, drawn-out dramatic moments, and sometimes even chanted verse. From a traditional musical theater standpoint, some moments are musicalized unnecessarily, and could be cut or streamlined to remove a good 15 minutes from the show’s runtime. The first 15 minutes are the weakest; they suffer from a lack of “show don’t tell” and rhythmic drive — but after two or three scenes the narrative pacing finally clicks. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – BroadwayWorld

Love may be real and not science fiction. But Rogue Machine’s attempt at a first musical is so bubble gum, pop-retro, Flash Gordon-y, it’s almost guaranteed to be a runaway hit.

Never mind the low-barometer canned music, the predictably misogynistic thin-minty storyline, the dated, go-to tropes, or the underwhelmingly, slow-paced melodies. COME GET MAGGIE is a powerhouse of intellectually, politically, and emotionally, unchallenging, non-threatening, audience-pleasing instant-feel-good with a gleeful, if not logically sound ending for all. What could be better? Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Theatre Digest

This is an original musical, staged in a scrappy production, and it didn’t work for me…Some of the songs, by Diane Frolov and Susan Justin, were charming, but the score spans a large enough range that a few in the cast struggled vocally. It’s possible that the book, lyrics, and design elements were aiming to be fun and campy. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that they landed at that destination. It’s quite possible that with some finessing, this will be a charming show, but this incarnation is not there yet. Read more…