What: Charles Ross: One Man Star Wars Trilogy
Where: Eagle Eye Theatre (Squamish) Jan. 23
Where: MY Millennium Place Jan. 24
Tickets: $15 - $20
If the one-man show is the marathon of the theatre, then Charles Rosss One Man Star Wars Trilogy is the ultra-marathon.
The name pretty much says it all. Charles Ross is but one man. And in the course of an hour, he runs through the plot of the entire first Star Wars trilogy, from "Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away," to "Luke, I am your father" to the destruction of the Death Star.
In case this hasnt fully sunk in, lets quickly go over the cast.
Luke Skywalker Charles Ross
Princess Leia Charles Ross
Han Solo Charles Ross
C3P0 Charles Ross
R2D2 Charles Ross
Chewbacca Charles Ross
Darth Vader Charles Ross
Yoda Charles Ross
Ewoks Charles Ross
Jabba the Hut Charles Ross
Storm Troopers Charles Ross
There are more. And they are all played by, guess who? Youre right! Charles Ross. And so it goes.
Of course, youve seen the films. Weve all seen the films. And while back in the day many of us deemed Generation X by people that like to label generations played at re-enacting the films with our action figures, try to imagine re-enacting the whole trilogy from start to finish, in one bloody hour, without action figures! The force is strong in Charles Ross.
He confirms the show is no Sunday stroll. Hes required to maintain a frenetic pace from the moment he steps onstage. And a consistent comment by reviewers of the show, which has been running for the past two years after debuting at the Toronto Fringe Festival, is that even non-Star Wars fans will be amazed by the spectacle.
Ross has to train for each performance. He eats a high-carb meal such as pasta at least six hours in advance, and makes sure to down a litre and a half of water in the five hours preceding. Over the course of the show and afterwards he consumes another litre and a half of water. He never drinks coffee.
Aside from proper diet and hydration, the show runs on pure energy, dedication and the odd Jedi mind trick.
Its a reasonable assumption that the One Man Star Wars Trilogy would have to be performed by a Star Wars fan, but not just any fan, a super fan. Growing up in a remote area outside of Prince George, Ross happened to catch one of the first broadcasts of the original Star Wars on network television, and recorded it on the family VCR. From that day on, he watched Star Wars incessantly every morning before he caught the bus to go to school. His estimation falls somewhere between 400 and 500 times. Its no wonder he couldnt escape it as a major source of inspiration as an adult actor.
Aside from the mere awe the film inspired in every kid at the time, Ross says right from the start he felt a special kinship to the character of Luke Skywalker, who at the start of the trilogy is a simple farm boy living in the middle of the desert.
"The films are about a nobody finding out that theyre in fact more than a nobody, theyre an extreme somebody, and that appealed to me as a kid because I lived, for all intents and purposes, in a place that was kind of nowhere," he explains. "I didnt feel like it was a shitty place to live, I just didnt feel like it was the centre of the universe. It was a show that gave hope."
As much as he loves the films, he admits watching them as much as he did was "a humongous waste of time." But he now sees his show as a positive consequence of his childhood infatuation.
"My show is about the fun of it," he says. "Its about the fun of loving something, and loving it sometimes a bit too much."
Charles Ross: One Man Star Wars Trilogy will be touring the Sea to Sky corridor next week, stopping at the Eagle Eye Theatre in Squamish on Friday, Jan. 23 and at MY Place on Saturday, Jan. 24. Both shows start at 8 p.m. with tickets ranging from $15 to $20 in Squamish and $17 to $20 in Whistler. For more information call 604-898-9411 in Squamish and 604-935-8410 in Whistler.