Charles Ross is set to perform his highly acclaimed One-Man Stars Wars Trilogy, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 13. Ross, the man who has mastered a plethora of theatric characterizations, spoke with Irvine Weekly, reflecting on life as a performer during the pandemic and what he expects in his return to the stage after the longest hiatus of his multi-decade career.

Ross has become well-known for his one-man performances of big titles – One-Man Stranger Things, One-Man Lord of The Rings, One-Man Batman and One-Man Pride and Prejudice.

If you are unfamiliar with Ross’ One-Man Star Wars Trilogy show, the performer is planning to wow crowds at the Irvine Barclay Theatre with a 75-minute show, in which Ross performs the trilogy of George Lucas’ blockbuster on his own.

“It’s kind of like a monologue – but it’s kind of like a nightmare, actually,” Ross joked. “It’s almost like performance art on Star Wars – on crazy 8-year-old kid energy.”

In his solo performance, which has appeared on Broadway, Ross comically embodies the Star Wars cast, while flinging himself around the stage, creating a high-energy performance with slightly acrobatic elements.

In terms of physical demands, Ross explained to Irvine Weekly he normally would spend time limbering up prior to a show, but admits that he no longer does high-intensity workouts, like martial arts, due to the demands of One-Man Star Wars Trilogy performance.

“It’s a cross between exercise and limbering up because there’s a lot of physical impact that happens in the show – chucking of myself around,” Ross said. “I don’t even want to do martial arts anymore, because it involves a certain amount of impact and that will affect how I can do my show – I don’t want to be limping on stage with some stupid mistake I’ve made.”

During the pandemic, Ross said that his newborn daughter accidentally pulled his thumb back, leaving him in a brace for more than a year. While it was somewhat of a harmless injury, Ross said he may have been unable to perform the show due to the small injury.

In that sense, Ross said the pandemic gave him the time he needed to heal.

“If I didn’t have this pandemic to be able to recover, it would have been really hard to do the show,” he explains. “I would have done permanent damage – or I would have had to change the show.”

Speaking from his home in Victoria, British Columbia, on October 22, Ross says the pandemic created many uncertainties for his future as a performer. However, as the world opens back up, along with multiple dates booked in the United States, Ross says he feels blessed to be able to perform after more than a year. 

“I never appreciated at the time that Star Wars would have that kind of staying power – because that was nearly 20 years ago, when I first started doing this – but Star Wars has been reinvigorated and reinvigorated,” Ross explains. “For me, it was taking my experiences loving the films as a kid and doing this one-person stand-up where I wasn’t using costumes of props – it’s just me and my own sense of humor.”

Ross’ career began in what he called “Fringe Theatre” festivals more than two decades ago and he since evolved into an Off-Broadway distinction. Prior to the pandemic, however, he felt like he began to “lose perspective.”

“I think that just happens after 20 years of touring. You just lose perspective,” he says. “This new perspective has been a boon, a silver lining. After a pandemic’s worth of shows being canceled and some theaters going belly up – I’ve got like a mini-tour.”

With the endless amount of characters embodied by Ross in his performances, he admits Darth Sidious – known as the Emperor – is a favorite to play.

“It’s always been the Emperor. He’s one of those archetypes that doesn’t even try to be nice – there’s nothing redeeming about him at all,” he said. “There’s something cathartic about being able to play not just a villain, but an unrepentant villain.”

Charles Ross will be performing his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy on Nov. 13 at the Irvine Barclays Theatre. Tickets can be found here.

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