April 3, 2012
By Nick Larsen
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Nick, what the hell are you writing about?” One man re-enacting the original Star Wars trilogy in a one hour show!? Charlie Ross, the creator and performer of this one man show, has performed in over 180 cities spanning four continents since 2002. This fast-paced, thrill ride of laughter keeps you entertained from the moment you enter until the moment you leave. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you will be on the edge of your seat laughing and cheering as you see all your favorite scenes re-enacted by a man who plays the perfect balance of respecting the source material while taking every opportunity to poke fun at it. If you have never seen Star Wars there is a good chance you will struggle to follow along or understand all the jokes but if you go with friends who have watched the films it should still be a great night.
No props are used during this performance. In place of light sabers, puppets, and a list of other objects that one would think are needed to perform such a fantastical trilogy, Ross mimes every action and object that he needs into reality. From the giant mouth of Jabba the Hutt and X-Wings to the giant hologram head of the Emperor and every light saber duel, the scenes are perfectly recreated in front of you on stage. Most impressive was his control over his voice to keep a stable dialog for each person he acted out, with a great impersonation of R2-D2’s whistle.
As a huge fan boy of this series, it was great to see jokes played out on stage that Star Wars’ fans have been poking fun at for years (Chewbacca not receiving a medal of honor, “It’s a Trap!” etc.). Between Acts (each movie), Ross would hold a quick dialog with the crowd, getting a feel for his audience and how well informed they are on the series. During the performance in which I was in attendance, the crowd varied from people fresh to the series, to a small group (which I am a proud part of) who have seen all six films in one sitting. Towards the end of the show (for those who have seen the films, when Luke removes Vader’s helmet) a camera flash went off distracting Ross for a few minutes. After cracking jokes at the fan it was revealed that he had lost his place and the line he was up to. Luckily, Star Wars fans know their movies like they know the back of their hand, one fan shouted out the next lines from the movie putting the show right back on track. That being said, I believe that is a great example of how adaptable the show is because of its fans. No one went to criticize but to help because of the love that Star Wars creates between its fans.
The One Man Star Wars Trilogy is a show that I would recommend to any fan to go see. Is it for everyone? Unless you are adamantly against Star Wars or have no interest in the series then I would say not to go but the humor is perfect for anyone; filling them with laughter by the shows end. Kids of any age can see it too; nothing is crude or inappropriate making this not just a show for fans but a show for the whole family to make an evening out of. Charlie Ross has created a show that will live forever in the annals of Nerd culture as one of the best reenactments of a beloved series. For all you Star Wars fans, take the first chance you get to see Ross on stage, you won’t be disappointed.
May the Force be with You!