When Charles Ross came up with his idea to create the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, a show that condenses the original three films into a 90-minute comedic reenactment, he was “combating the condition of being unemployed when you’re an actor.”
The Canadian native “just wanted to start working, and I started to write my own stuff. When I started doing this, it was just sort of for shits and giggles. I didn’t really think it would work.”
It worked. So well, in fact, he’s created a one-man industry out of it for over 18 years, racking up more than 1,000 performances of the hit. Over time, he’s added other “One-Man” shows to his repertoire, including Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, and The Dark Knight. And now, he’s venturing into the world of series television with One-Man Stranger Things: A Parody.
“Retelling the narrative of Star Wars, that’s a straight-up homage,” he says. “Whereas Stranger Things is more of a parody. I can actually poke fun at the story itself, but also immerse myself into the music, and enjoy being in the early ’80s again.
“All the references, all the movies that were out, the music that’s even in the show, those are things from when I was a kid,” continues the 45-year-old. “I find it interesting that I can lampoon that stuff and it feels a lot closer to my childhood. Whereas Star Wars had nothing to do with my childhood, specifically. I just enjoyed it.”
One-Man Stranger Things only encompasses the first two seasons of the series, and audiences don’t need to have watched the Netflix hit to enjoy Ross’s take. “It’s a parody,” he says. “It’s intended to make people laugh, regardless of whether you’ve even seen the shows. My goal is to keep you entertained.”
Charles Ross performs One-Man Stranger Things: A Parody on Sunday, Jan. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave. Tickets are $35. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
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