Review: One Man Star Wars Trilogy (Starvox)

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Starvox presents the original Star Wars trilogy in a one-man show on stage in Toronto

I took Starvox at their word about One Man Star Wars Trilogy being suitable for “ages six to Yoda” on opening night at Bluma Appel Theatre and brought my favorite six-year-old Star Wars fan, Stanley, along to see Charles Ross’ solo rendition of all three movies, by himself, in 75 minutes. With nothing but a mic and a remarkable array of mouth noises, Ross recaps the entire trilogy. Though obviously a heroic endeavor, and clearly very appealing to the three guys sitting behind me, my small companion and I concurred – not really our cup of tea.

Certainly, Ross is very energetic and full of vigor as he motors around the stage, choreographically sketching out assorted interstellar battles and destructions with his movements (and more mouth noises). Many of the most recognizable lines of each movie get said, or at least gestured at, as he does a strange version of recitation that’s so fast most of it’s garbled but a few key words stand out. But my excitement for all the characters of the trilogy to be represented was, sadly, unfulfilled. As Stanley said with some disappointment partway through the second section: “A better Yoda voice than his I can do, myself.” And it was true.

Ross is very good at the robot and wookie voices, and his dry, throwaway lines about inconsistencies in the plot or other moviemaking nonsense are pretty funny. I howled with joy at his extended remix of an AT-AT crashing to the ground. To be sure, I also giggled a few times as One Man Star Wars Trilogy skewered some belabored bit of “as you know, Bob” exposition or pointed up an incontinuity. But at a certain point I began to have the same experience I have watching Jem Rolls perform — an onslaught of words and noises, too fast for lyricism and too loud for any nuance.

Maybe looking for impressions was too much to ask in such a battle-heavy movie. Maybe I am not enough of a Star Wars superfan to enjoy this? I must report faithfully that as we left there were a some people, mostly young to middle-aged men, in the crowd who were crowing about how awesome it was. They were clearly the target audience for this tremendous display of fan service. Stanley and I agreed that while it wasn’t awful, neither was it great, and that we were both a little sad that there somehow weren’t any Ewoks.

Details

  • One Man Star Wars Trilogy plays at The Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St E, until May 1, 2016.
  • Shows at 8 pm each evening, with 2 pm matinees Sat & Sun.
  • Tickets range in price from $37-$77
  • Tickets may be had online, or by phone at 1-855-985-ARTS.

photo of Stanley and the Stormtroopers by S. Bear Bergman