Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: The One-Man Show Parodies of Charles Ross

Charles Ross brings his one-man 'Avengers,' 'Stranger Things,' and 'Lord of the Rings' to the New Spire Arts in Frederick.

Charles Ross
Charles Ross

Dubbed the “Master of the One-Man Show,” the pop culture-savvy Canadian performer Charles Ross has made a name for himself around the world through his special brand of irreverent and succinct performed parodies of a growing roster of popular entertainment franchises.

“When I started doing this, it was just sort of for shits and giggles,” Ross told Metro Weekly in January of 2020. “I didn’t really think it would work.”

The struggling actor struck entertainment gold more than two decades ago with his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, an homage that condensed the original films into a 90-minute comedic reenactment. Ross played every character, re-created the effects, performed the music, and fought both sides of the battles in the piece, which even earned him an official endorsement by Lucasfilm.

Since then, he’s gone on to create CliffsNote-esque theatrical shows based on everything from The Dark Knight to Pride and Prejudice.

Next weekend, Ross will stop by Frederick, Maryland, for what will be, effectively, Charles Ross Weekend. He’ll perform three of his more recent one-man shows at New Spire Arts presented by the Weinberg Center. Saturday, Jan. 21, sees him perform his parodic One-Man Avengers and One-Man Stranger Things at 3 and 8 p.m., respectively.

In addition to poking fun at the story itself, Ross characterizes his parody of Stranger Things as one allowing the 47-year-old “to 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.”

Charles Ross - one man shows - one-man-stranger-things-DSC_2823-Enhanced
Charles Ross: One-man Stranger Things

The weekend concludes on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 3 p.m., with his One-Man Lord of the Rings. When Ross performed that in a production at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company a dozen years ago, Metro Weekly‘s then theater critic Tom Avila praised Ross for his “hardworking horseplay [involving] playing every character and teasing a surprising amount of the music from the Peter Jackson film trilogy,” concluding his review by noting that he “sprinkles his show with enough pop culture references and side-jokes to keep the non-comic con crowd entertained. But if you do count a Lord of the Rings fanatic in your circle of friends and family, do them a favor: Get them to the geek.”

New Spire Arts is at 15 W. Patrick St. in Frederick. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door for each show.

Visit or call 301-600-2828.

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