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‘One-Man Dark Knight’ is like an impression jukebox, but with Batman

By Chelsey Stuyt
Charlie Ross, the one-man-trilogy-show veteran, is at it again with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Night Trilogy.

Charlie Ross, the one-man-trilogy-show veteran, is at it again with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Night Trilogy.

VANCOUVER — Charlie Ross is a one-man whirlwind. After nearly 14 years of touring his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy and One-Man Lord of the Rings, Ross is back in Vancouver with a brand new trilogy: Christopher Nolan’s Batman. But why would one man move from elves and space to the grittiest celluloid superhero audiences have ever seen?

“It’s much more unhinged and chaotic,” explains Ross. In tackling every character from Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al-Ghul and Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate to one of the most iconic performances of our time, Heath Ledger’s Joker, Ross allows himself to embrace the madness that is so addictive to the modern audience. But while the chaos offers an intoxicating new avenue of performance, the real draw is the freedom that comes with Ross’ veteran experience.

“I’m a little less worried about being respectful than I used to be,” he admits. Ross began touring his one-man shows in 2002 to Fringe Festivals across North America. Since then, he has taken his one-man trilogies over 1,200 times in more than 180 cities across the globe. But it hasn’t always been a simple case of stand up and deliver. Ross’ most famous work, the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, most recently performed last spring as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Fringe Presents series, was nearly shut down by none other than Lucasfilm itself. Before their acquisition by the Disney Corporation, Lucasfilm flew Ross out to meet with executives over the possible copyright infringement in a moment that he calls, “a little bit terrifying.” Everything worked out, but has resulted in an older Ross who understands that it pays to balance sass with a bit of smarts.

“I’m still playing it a little low,” he says. “And there’s a reason the word parody is in the title.”

With sellout runs all over the world and an itch to push his talents even further, One-Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody is an experience set to stun. If you’ve ever fantasized about seeing a single man nail a series of increasingly more implausible impressions, this is your show. But it’s also, you know, Batman. It’s Batman, you guys.

One-Man Dark Knight runs February 18-21 at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island.

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