Cosmic musical ‘Come Get Maggie’ is light-years from being prepared

Cosmic musical ‘Come Get Maggie’ is light-years from being prepared

Few issues are as troublesome to drag off as giving start to a brand new musical. However launching a rocket to Pluto could be simpler than creating a brand new musical about house aliens.

For affirmation, take a gander at “Come Get Maggie,” a jejune musical by Diane Frolov and Susan Justin that’s receiving its world premiere courtesy of Rogue Machine on the Matrix Theatre.

That is the primary time that Rogue Machine, which has established its status by way of unconventionally gritty dramas, has produced a musical. The inexperience, I’m afraid, reveals.

A winking satire a few sensible younger lady within the Fifties whose dream of constructing a rocket ship for house exploration is derailed by a inflexible patriarchal tradition and its warfare machine, “Come Get Maggie” is light-years from being prepared. The present, directed by Michael Pressman, tries to evoke the campy look and spirit of ’50s sci-fi motion pictures, however the musical simply appears out of time, belonging neither to the period through which it’s set nor the cultural second through which it’s carried out.

Frolov’s lampooning guide has a warmed-over high quality. It’s not merely that the targets — dictatorially conformist dad and mom, a milquetoast but however controlling husband, grotesquely sexist colleagues and a bullying surrogate mother-in-law — are cartoonishly drawn. It’s the obviousness of the caricatures and the staleness of the theatrical presentation.

The creators faux as if “Avenue Q” and “The Ebook of Mormon,” two musicals that raised the bar for zany social skewering, by no means occurred. The authors additionally appear oblivious to the probabilities of psychological depth {that a} present like “Enjoyable Dwelling,” spun from a graphic novel, revealed weren’t incompatible with broad comedian strokes.

However maybe the mannequin that “Come Get Maggie” would want to emulate is “Little Store of Horrors,” the sci-fi musical comedy a few carnivorous plant that makes a Faustian take care of the flower-shop nerd who turns into its murderous confederate.

That present, which premiered in 1982, harks again nostalgically to the Motown sound and doo-wop of the early Sixties. However Alan Menken’s music has a timeless enchantment that accelerates the camp daring of Howard Ashman’s guide and lyrics.

Justin’s music for “Come Get Maggie,” in contrast, looks as if an afterthought — a pastiche of kinds so generic it would as effectively have been programmed by synthetic intelligence. Music director Michelle Do appears to be typing out the rating on keyboard, the sound seemingly piped in from a derelict stereo to accompany the flatfooted march of Frolov’s rambling lyrics.

Comparisons are odious, however they’re useful in taking the measure of a present that appears to have dropped in from outer house. The plot of “Come Get Maggie” isn’t inhibited within the least, however the outrageousness interprets to clumsiness in a manufacturing that’s overmatched in each assets and creativeness.

Actors in costume cluster around a woman standing on a model house.

Melissa Jobe, left, Eddie Vona, Jacquelin Lorraine Schofield, Dennis Renard, Melanie Neilan, Sarah Hinrichsen and Nicole Ledoux in “Come Get Maggie.”

(John Perrin Flynn)

Satirically, the house aliens, ludicrous as they could be, are much less insulting to the intelligence of the viewers than the cockamamie developments on planet Earth. Recapping can be an train in insanity, however the musical traces the lifetime of Maggie (Melanie Neilan) as she makes her meteoric rise in science (guess who unintentionally invents the H-bomb), descends into housewife distress, finds enjoyment of alien abduction and later tries to make contact from her laundry room with the gallant house creature (Dennis Renard) who loves her for her magnificent mind.

I’m leaving out myriad particulars which can be belabored in extraneous musical numbers. The present units out to show — drum roll, please — that distinction isn’t any barrier to true affinity. However the sentimental handwriting is on the wall with the opening quantity, which begins with the phrases “Starlight, star shiny,” and quickly goes downhill from there.

As Maggie, Neilan has sphinx-like allure and a gaze that means shrewd inside calculations. She deserves a greater musical, as does Renard as her astonished interplanetary inamorato.

Philip Casnoff, within the function of a cross-dressing detective, brings a contact of gruff originality to a present that sorely wants it. His character retains jokingly making untimely entrances, certainly one of a number of of the manufacturing’s self-referential gags. But when the musical ever will get a rewrite, I’d counsel bringing the gumshoe on as quickly as attainable. “Come Get Maggie” wants all the assistance it might get.

‘Come Get Maggie’

The place: Rogue Machine at Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A.

When: 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Ends March 26

Tickets: $60

Contact: (855) 585-5185 or

Working time: 2 hours, 10 minutes, together with intermission