Canadian actor Charles Ross spent his entire childhood memorizing every word, scene, song, sound effect and nuance of “Star Wars,” so it was probably only a matter of time before he put all that passion into action. Originally starting in small comedy clubs, the lifelong fan tried playing every part, flying the ships, fighting the main battles and humming the tunes, which gradually evolved into the “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” in 2001 that’s since become a North American tour fully performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd.
“One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” is tailor made for those who can quote the script verbatim, or at the very least, identify every aspect being presented, which given the fact that its the most successful franchise in movie history, shouldn’t make this trip to “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” a hard sell.
After previously playing the Noble Fool Theater in town, Ross is back on a much larger scale as part of the Broadway In Chicago series (through April 24), recreating literally every element of “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return Of The Jedi” at warp speed. That means he masters multiple voices including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, C-3PO and R2-D2, alongside snippets of John Williams’ immortal soundtrack and all the battle sounds intermixed with superhuman concentration.
Granted, the 75-minute show doesn’t capture every single scene of what would otherwise be a half-day marathon, but it condenses key aspects from each plot into roughly 25 minutes, complete with some comedic embellishments that are sure to hit the bullseye with die-hards. During the break between the first and second flick, Ross also polls the crowd on their “Star Wars” knowledge, and during the opening night performance, seemed shocked to find a few folks who’ve never seen any of the films.
He immediately apologized for making them feel totally left out and congratulated them for being good sports, but also pointed out the uninitiated onlooker isn’t the intended subject of this show. Instead, “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” is tailor made for those who can quote the script verbatim, or at the very least, identify every aspect being presented, which given the fact that its the most successful franchise in movie history, shouldn’t make this trip to “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” a hard sell.
“One-Man-Star Wars Trilogy” continues various dates and times at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place through April 24. For additional details, visit BroadwayInChicago.com and OneManStarWars.com.