A rollicking schlock-operetta, StageWorks Ink’s Flash Ah-AHHH! pays faithful tribute to 1980 camp classic Flash Gordon—and takes it a step further by shoehorning a dozen Queen classics into the show alongside the titular smash song. While the troupe’s Varsity Cheerleader Werewolves LIVE From Outer Space and The Adventures of Dex Dixon: Paranormal Dick veered toward extended improv skit or burlesque pastiche, this latest spoof embraces B-movie grandeur through music-hall ebullience and tent-revival triumphalism. Between the daft iconography, the “he’ll save every one of us” tropes, and the hint of the devotional in every Freddie Mercury impression, the effect is something like a Godspell panto dreamt up in a church basement by an assemblage of boozy dramatists and the neighborhood kids they’ve press-ganged into service as a live band. Among the cast, Tasha Danner is an incandescent Dale Arden, Jake Sauvageau imagines Dr. Zarkov through an Iron & Wine prism, Jonathan Hall sneers droll menace as Ming the Merciless, and StageWorks mainstay Steve Coker treats Vultan’s Falstaffian swagger with a nimble touch. Well aware the lunatic source material needs no elaboration, the performers invest themselves in rousing renditions that manage to underplay the original’s hamminess while spotlighting quieter amusements, such as flight attendants incorporating safety demonstrations into their choreography, loungey nods to “Under Pressure” and Ming’s serpentine lick of a weaponized Ring Pop. Gordon has risen indeed.
SEE IT: Flash Ah-AHHH! is at the Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave., 841-6734. 7 pm Thursdays-Saturdays through March 1. $10-$15.