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‘One-Man Star Wars Trilogy' a treat for fans at Asolo Theater in Sarasota

Growing up on a farm in Canada, Charles Ross had limited entertainment options. So he ended up watching a video of Star Wars over and over — more than 400 times in all.

Years later, as an actor, Ross came up with the idea of turning his misspent childhood into something positive and created the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, in which he tells the whole complex story in one hour.

Dorky? To be sure, but Ross' obsession with Yoda, Wookiees, Chewbacca and everything else in George Lucas' sci-fi saga found an audience. His solo show was an off-Broadway hit in 2005 and is popular at Star Wars conventions. Ross, dressed in a jumpsuit and using a face mike, does impersonations of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader and other characters, even C-3PO and R2D2. He mimics the sound effects for light sabers, spaceships and lasers.

Viewer alert: If you don't know the three original Star Wars movies from the 1970s and '80s — Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi — you will be lost.

For "the casual fan . . . One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is totally bewildering,'' wrote Marty Clear in his St. Petersburg Times review of Ross' Tampa engagement in 2005. But diehards — fans who dress up as Stormtroopers and Jedi knights — love it.

Ross performs his show at 5 and 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Historic Asolo Theater at the Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. $28-$40. (941) 351-8000 or toll-free 1-800-361-8388; asolorep.org.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

‘One-Man Star Wars Trilogy' a treat for fans at Asolo Theater in Sarasota 12/22/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 3:30am]

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