Broadway in Chicago presents ONE-MAN STAR WARS TRILOGY.
Charles Ross has condensed our beloved original Star Wars Trilogy (“Star Wars”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of the Jedi”) into a tight seventy-five minute live performance. He starts each movie by mimicking the iconic soundtrack and talking about the words scrolling vertically on screen. He then starts the impressive retelling.
Ross plays all the roles; human, robotic and other, with distinct voices and sounds. We always know who is who and what is what. He speaks with a British accent for CP30 and then responds with R2D2 signature beeps and whistles. He introduces the canteen scene with the familiar peppy tune. He breaths heavy for Darth Vader, speaks gutteral for Jabba the Hut and hunches over a pretend cane for his squeaky Yoda-speak. Even when I don’t know the name of the character he is playing, I know exactly what character he is. He does a fist eye movement for the one general and flapping hands at his jawline for the sidekick guy. It’s hilariously accurate. For battles scenes, he runs, jumps, glides all while making a variety of starship noises. At times, Ross looks like a kid imaginatively playing “Star Wars.” Yet, the level of detail ensures we know this is a slick professional production. This Lucasfilms-approved-show is a perfectly condensed version of the films.
And Charles Ross has heart and humor. He effortlessly slips from scoundrel to princess in the intimate conversations between Han and Leia. Sarcastic inflections, sexual tension and kissing is all there with only Ross present. In his clever depiction, Ross even inserts inside jokes. He pokes fun of Luke’s whining, Natalie Portman, and the guy who calls Leia ‘Lea.’ When he removes Darth’s helmet, his one liner is hysterical. In between movies, Ross interacts with the audience as he chugs water. His performance is very physical and quick-paced but instead of taking a break offstage, he takes it onstage. He jokes with the audience. Ross is very personable and engaging. At the end of the show, he just plops down on the stage and shares the story of how he became Lucasfilm approved. It feels less like we are in a theatre and more like we are at Charlie’s house listening him regale us with tales from a galaxy far, far away.
Charles Ross is the ultimate Star Wars fan. Chicago gets to experience his innovative storytelling for a limited time. Grab your light saber and board the Millennium Falcon before the Death Star explodes.
Running Time: Ninety minutes includes a post-show chat with no intermission
At Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut
Written and performed by Charles Ross
Directed by TJ Dawe
Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 PM
Friday, April 22 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 23 at 2 PM and 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 24 at 2 PM and 7:30 PM
Buy Tickets at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.
For more information and reviews on Chicago theatre, visit Theater in Chicago.