One Man News & Reviews; Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things Charles Ross

7 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

One Man virtuoso Charles Ross has more than one show up his sleeve. He’s best known for One Man Star Wars, and since its debut back in 2001, garnering attention worldwide, he’s expanded his repertoire to include Lord of the Rings, Batman and now Stranger Things. Of the latter two, they are not as often performed. As demand grows for specific shows, he will tour. Netflix’s season three of Stranger Things is the most anticipated television programme to come sometime in 2019 and this act will certainly develop as the series plot thickens.

His energy has never waned throughout the years I have seen him perform. One Man Star Wars is part of the local May the 4th celebrations at Farquhar Auditorium at the University of Victoria in 2019 and One Man Pride and Prejudice is set to go live (dates TBA). When considering his roots with the Fringe Festival, local or otherwise, where he tests new material, I will be in line to see his take of this Jane Austen classic. It was performed at the last Edinburgh and Winnipeg Fringe Festival. I believe my English Lit profs would want me to attend.

He can easily get audiences and me to laugh out loud. Knowing something of the story helps, as he is fast and furious, compressing sixteen episodes of Stranger Things down to a 75min show. Part of the performance includes improv, so to guess which moments will get recreated is a fun game. Not everyone will remember everything from the season. it’s hard not to forget Will is lost in the Upside Down (a mirror universe) for much of season one and his return is not without some mystery. The stage lighting helps as he transitions between worlds and characters. My favourites include when he onomatopoeias the Demogorgon.

Stranger Things is all about 80s pop culture than 70s. Having grown up between decades, to notice earlier references had me smiling. I’m fairly sure he took inspiration from Edith Bunker from All in the Family to play a certain motherly figure. Also, Ross makes more than one nod to Steven Spielberg films. He hardly ever misses any beats either singing. Hearing his version of the song “Every Breath You Take” to summarize this show is a particular high note. Part of the show also includes him referencing Samwise Gamgee because Sean Astin had an important role in season two.

Charles’ shows are worth seeking out. He takes his most popular shows on the road and to keep up with what he’s up to next, his Facebook page has all the updates, including revealing where Star Wars fans can check out a collaborative work with Rod Peter Jr. called 421 is Dead: A StormTrooper Parody.

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