One man, one stage, one show: See the ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy in about an hour in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Oct 25, 2021 7:30 AM

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Charles Ross' show has the tagline:

Charles Ross’ show has the tagline: “Forty roles. Three films. One man. One hour. No props, sets, or costumes.” For over 15 years, Ross has performed the live solo stage show, recreating iconic moments from the original trilogy of Star Wars movies (“Star Wars – A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”) (Dean Kalyan / Courtesy)

A long time ago (the early ‘80s) in a galaxy far, far away (um…Canada) a young Charles Ross was so mesmerized by “Star Wars” he would wake up at 5:30 a.m. and watch it, over and over.

“I taped it off TV before we moved to a farm,” Ross recalls. “While we lived on the farm I watched the movie every day for two years. Eventually my mom wouldn’t let me watch it anymore. I feel like the first film made the crazy cold winters worth it.”

But that obsession from 1982 to 1984 was the spark that led the now 47-year-old actor to create “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy,” a live, condensed re-creation of iconic scenes — with a little added humor here and there — from “Star Wars – A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back“ and “Return of the Jedi.”

The show will have three performances in South Florida.

  • On Nov. 4 Ross will play the Amaturo Theater at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.
  • On Nov. 7 there will be a matinee and an evening show at the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.

In the stage show

In the stage show “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy,” Charles Ross plays scores of characters and re-creates iconic moments from “Star Wars – A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” (Izik Mishan / Courtesy)

In the stage show it is only Ross up there voicing and miming Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, R2-D2, C-3PO, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Yoda, Lando Calrissian, Jabba the Hutt and about 30 other characters from the movies. He doesn’t use props, costumes or sets, and the lighting cues are minimal.

“It’s almost like being a bard, not that I am one, but they would tell stories that people already knew. People already know the ‘Star Wars’ stories. I’m using an actor’s factors to kind of draw people in. People fill in the blanks with their imagination. It’s a combination of so many…performance forms. It’s so familiar and yet so exotic at the same time.”

Ross first saw “Star Wars” at age 6 with his father, and aims to capture that same sense of wonder in his show. “It recalls times in the old analog world when the first ‘Star Wars’ came out and people in my age bracket were playing ‘Star Wars.’ This is like theatrical instant gratification. In one hour you get a crash course of the ‘Star Wars’ trilogy.”

Directed by college pal T.J. Dawe, “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” made its debut at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2002. Over the last 20 years Ross has staged the show in Dubai, the Sydney Opera House, off-Broadway and in London’s West End.


The “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” stars Charles Ross. The Canadian actor sent LucasFilm the script and a video of his solo performance and was awarded exclusive rights to perform the show. (Izik Mishan / Courtesy)

Appearances at pop culture and sci-fi conventions led to an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show in 2005, giving more Americans their first glimpse of what Ross was trying to do, even if the audience wasn’t quite sure what that was, at least at first. Was it comedy or performance art?

“They didn’t know what to do,” Ross says.

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It was the humor that he inserts into the script that helped connect with audiences, from casual fans to die-hard fanatics (Star Warriors? Warzians? Force-niks?)

“I had planted jokes throughout the original script,” explains Ross. “Other jokes organically evolved and became bigger than I ever intended for them to be. It’s amorphous, there’s always room for the jokes to grow. I can gauge what kind of audience it is just by uttering the jokes. I change the show on the fly based on the kind of reaction I get, whether it’s a super nerd audience or a light nerd audience.”

There was also an appearance on CBS’ “The Late, Late Show” and a performance on the set of the Vin Diesel starrer “The Chronicles of Riddick.” But most importantly he did a private show for the some of the “Star Wars” actors and George “The Maker” Lucas. That led to LucasFilm giving official licensing permission to Ross.

“It’s like nerd currency,” Ross adds. “I went back to being when we were all little kids, you know, playing ‘Star Wars.’ You never imagine that one day you’ll get the thumbs up from George Lucas … it seems ridiculous that would ever happen, but somehow … this is exactly what has happened. Previous to that, I was doing the show with their blessing, but when I started doing things more seriously in New York City, we really needed to get those legal ducks in a row.”

And this is not the first time Ross has brought the show to South Florida (aside from the many cruise ships he has performed on that left port here).

“The first time I performed the show [Stateside] outside of New York City was in West Palm,” says Ross. “That was in 2005. We sold out our little mini run. I just remember it was so much fun to be outside of New York. And this was the first time we saw if this show would have legs. I didn’t understand how much fun South Florida was. I don’t know why. The sunny people, the open shopping, it’s just a beautiful life. I had a hard time believing people would want to spend time indoors nerding out. I thought they’d rather spend time sunning outside.”

  • The show has two performances at the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $38. To order, call 561-832-7469 or go to
  • Audience members are invited to wear costumes, but no weapons are allowed.
  • Also, both the Broward Center and the Kravis Center require proof of a negative test or COVID-19 vaccination. All guests over the age of 2 must wear a mask that completely covers the nose, mouth and chin.
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