Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Force Is With Charles Ross

How many of us get to do work we really love, and have fun doing it? Charles Ross does. He's the creator of the show One Man Star Wars Trilogy, which he performed Friday night at Fairfield University's Regina Quick Center. It's a funny, inspired 75 minute ride through the original films (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) with Ross performing all the roles, doing sound effects, and even both sides of the battle scenes. He has an endless supply of energy, running around the stage, changing voices & characters at the drop of a hat, doing sections of the musical score, and occasionally interjecting some additional comments and humor into the proceedings. And he does it all without any sets, costumes, props or co-stars.

It's clearly a labor of love for Ross, a Canadian born actor who's been touring with the show for 10 years. Ross drove from Canada to California to visit George Lucas, and get his permission to do the show. After an off the cuff performance of the trash compactor scene from Star Wars, Lucas gave his blessing. Ross has done the show on four continents, and in 180 cities, including Dubai. If you grew up watching the original trilogy, or became a fan over the years due to the countless re-releases of the films on video or in theaters, you'll really enjoy his affectionate (and hilarious) take on the saga.

It's a unique, funny, and amazing experience. You truly have to appreciate his inventiveness, energy and sense of humor. The show is part genius, part spoof & part fanboy appreciation, but it all comes from Ross's love of these movies. The audience at the Quick Center was roaring with laughter & applauding constantly, and so was I. By the way, Ross also does a One Man Lord of the Rings show, which he'll be performing Off Broadway later this month. Charles Ross took his love of the Star Wars saga, and turned into a successful, enjoyable theatre piece. If you're a Star Wars fan, I recommend checking out One Man Star Wars Trilogy.

Here's a link to a brief clip where Ross explains the genesis of the show, and does a performance of the trash compactor scene:

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