Stage Review: ‘One-Man Star Wars Trilogy’ – May the farce be with you!

Between each of the three hysterical, exhausting “acts,” the affable Canadian takes a short break on stage as himself to talk to the audience. And after the finale he once again steps out of character with a short epilogue explaining the genesis of the show and how he ultimately obtained permission from Lucasfilm to continue parodying their intellectual property.

Charles Ross - One-Man Star Wars
In Review

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars - 'Smashing'
San Jose Repertory Theatre

The Susan and Phil Hammer Theatre Center
Directed by T.J. Dawe
Written and Performed by Charles Ross
July 14 - 17, 2011
60 minutes with no intermission
www.sjrep.com
Review by

Charles Ross - One-Man Star WarsOne-Man Star Wars Trilogy was originally a 20-minute comedy sketch that grew into an hour-long solo tour de force featuring its talented creator, Charles Ross. It’s one obsessed man’s loving, manic tribute to the phenomenally successful first trio of movies, done with one’s tongue firmly planted in cheek. Familiarity with the sci-fi/fantasy saga is essential, however, if one is to fully appreciate the experience.

Without the aid of any elaborate set design, special costuming, nor the accompaniment of any musical instrumentation, Mr. Ross manages to perform each memorable episode mimicking both the physical and mechanical action within a scene, simultaneously reciting dialogue with convincing impressions of each iconic character, all while providing both sound effects and hummed excerpts from John Williams’ magnificent score!

Although the performance is clearly scripted and carefully choreographed – enhanced by simple, but effective, lighting design by Mike Schaldermose – the hilarious Mr. Ross doesn’t miss an opportunity to occasionally ad-lib a few lines or briefly engage the patrons.

On opening night the charismatic performer even asked the receptive crowd to participate in a prank on a young theatregoer returning from the restroom (in the middle of the show) that worked beautifully. Stage manager Christine Fisichella adapted well to the impromptu diversion and it did not in any way diminish the overall effect of the play.

Between each of the three hysterical, exhausting “acts,” the affable Canadian takes a short break on stage as himself to talk to the audience. And after the finale he once again steps out of character with a short epilogue explaining the genesis of the show and how he ultimately obtained permission from Lucasfilm to continue parodying their intellectual property.

Sadly, its limited run at the San Jose Rep ends in a few days. For the Star Wars fan, casual or hardcore, this is a trip to the theatre that should not be missed.

San Francisco Bay Area theater: Listings, reviews, news, stories, videosOne-Man Star Wars Trilogy

4 out of 5 stars

Written and Performed by Charles Ross
Directed by T.J. Dawe

San Jose Repertory Theatre
The Susan and Phil Hammer Theatre Center
July 14 – 17, 2011
www.sjrep.com

60 minutes, no intermission

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Despite living in the South Bay, Greg’s heart remains in his hometown of San Francisco. When he’s not spending time attending local theatre, art exhibitions or the cinema, he practices law in San Jose. He likes to think of himself not as a “critic” but as an unabashed fan of the performing arts with an opinion that, he hopes, is worth sharing. His reviews can also be read at bayareacritic-at-large.blogspot.com which covers theatre venues throughout the Bay Area.