Yes, it is true! FLASH! AH AHHHHH!
In February 2014 StageWorks Ink in co-operation with The Portland School of Rock, brought you the King of the Impossible LIVE on stage with the music of the Kings of Glam-Rock; QUEEN! But in this version, in addition to the iconic Flash Gordon theme song, we have added many classic and favorite songs from the band's decades of amazing music.
See the over-the-top characters of the 80s sci-fi classic Flash Gordon singing the epic songs of Queen, with all the low-budget tom-foolery you have come to expect from StageWorks Ink!
When the Earth is threatened with destruction by the planet Mongo, Flash Gordon, New York Jets football hero, and his high school sweetheart, Dale Arden are shanghaied aboard Dr. Hanna Zarkov's rocket ship in an attempt to save the planet by appealing to Mongo's Emperor, Ming the Merciless. But Ming has other plans, and decides to wed Dale before destroying the Earth. Flash must avoid the amorous advances of Ming's daughter, Aura and unite the warring kingdoms of Mongo to over throw Ming to save his love and his planet... And he only has 14 hours to do it all!!!
Added to the show are 16 iconic rock songs by Queen performed by our cast:
Flash Theme, These Are the Days of Our Lives, A Kind of Magic, We Will Rock You, Slightly Mad, One Vision, I Want to Break Free, Hammer to Fall, The Show Must Go On... and many others!
Cast: Illya Torres-Garner, Tasha Danner, Kristi Bogart, Craig Fitzpatrick, Kara Hayes, Landi Hite, Sean Ryan Lamb, Cyndi Rhoads, Steve Coker, Athena McElrath, Amanda Healy, and Matthew Workman.
Band: Zach Holden, Max McCargar, Connor Johnson, Evan Shely and Otto Portzline
REVIEW from Willamette Week
A rollicking schlock-operetta, StageWorks Ink's Flash Ah-AHHH! pays faithful tribute to 1980 camp classic Flash Gordonand 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.
REVIEW from Portland Stages Magazine
There's a time and place for totally polished, upscale THEE-A-TAH, with an all professional cast, director and production values that make you lift your chardonnay glass at intermission and go, "Yes, very interesting effort in this season's offering," as you discuss the production's writing in comparison with the works of, say, Edward Albee or Sam Shepherd.
And then there are the productions that are held together by the seat of their pants through sheer giddiness and sniggering bemusement, where you order various cheap beer & drinks, hot dogs and popcorn from the bar in the club, and watch in anticipatory, sloppy joy as your favorite songs and scenes are done by local pals, based on one of your favorite kitschy childhood memories. It's somewhere between a high school production (with the high school band to boot), an after-hours basement punk show where you have to know a friend to get in, and you and 50 friends out for an evening of karaoke. And yet, everything about it puts a silly, goofy smile on your face and have you laughing, singing along and crying out for more. Stageworks Ink's Rock Musical production at The Funhouse Lounge of Flash! AH-AHHH!, is just that sort of animal.
Based on the B-movie Sci-Fi epic with music by Queen from 1980, this production, conceived & directed by Stagework's Steve Coker, is a labor of love of all things overblown, tacky and camp from the fading years of the Disco Era, and the loosest of frameworks on which to hang a lot of Queen songs for the cast to warble through. And we are here to tell you, it works, in all its reeling, over-the-top, under-budgeted and over-costumed glory, this hilarious not-so-little show is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
To go over the quick synopsis former golden boy high school quarter back Flash (a very buff Illya Torres) & his former classmate, now journalist, Dale Arden (Tasha Danner) crash land outside wacky scientist Dr. Zarkov's (Jake Sauvageau) lab, who has been observing attacks on our Moon and is convinced the Earth is in peril. He kidnaps Flash & Dale for their assistance in conquering the foe, the evil Ming the Merciless of Planet Mongo (a hilariously villianous Jonathan Hall). Along the way there is Ming's daughter, Aura (Alexandra Blatt) who has her conniving eyes on the hunky Flash, a rivalry with Ming's heir, Prince Barin (Brian Koch), a rival faction led by Vultan (Coker), looking like an 80s version of the Wicked Witch of The West's Flying Monkeys, and the prerequisite torture & brainwashing for our heroes to escape, at the hands Klytus (Sean Ryan Lamb) and General Kala (ubiquitously talented Portland Theatre Journeyman Ithica Tell). And of course, lots and lots of Classic Queen rock songs added in for singing along especially since the band, Mercury Rising, are students from the local School of Rock, are amazingly talented, given their 13 18 year old range. They will, indeed, rock you!
Coker and his crew have just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek camp to keep the thin B-movie plot rolling from song to song, and the audience is encouraged to join in (especially on the titular "AH-AHHH!"). No Bohemian Rhapsody, but just about everything else Queen was known for from Under Pressure to We Are The Champions (quite the denouement anthem). This included a nice duet between Danner's Dale and Blatt's Princess Aura on Who Wants To Live Forever (one of my poignant favorites, as it was written & recorded about the time Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with HIV) and a fight challenge scene between Flash and his nemesis was definitely enhanced with the Boom-Boom-Clap! of We Will Rock You.
The audience we saw this with were giggling in delight like high schoolers parked and listening to their favorite tunes while sipping on beer an older sibling got for them at a 24-hour convenience store. We think this show will do the same for you. Be prepared to sing out and be fierce as Freddie, shred like Brian May, and save the world like, well, Flash.
The Hostess (View)
538 SE Ash Street
Portland, OR 97214
|Minimum Age: 6|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|