Charles Ross and TJ Dawe grew up in the ‘80s, addicted to adventure movies, and went on to co-create a series of one-man parody shows of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Batman, which continue to tour the world.
One Man Stranger Things: A Parody recreates season one of the Netflix sensation Stranger Things. Ross single-handedly fuses all the characters, dialogue, special effects, music & Eggos into one superb, upside-down show.
The Netflix original is set in Indiana in 1983, a callback to an innocent brand of science fiction mixing the fantastic with keen observations of small-town and suburban life. When 12-year-old Will goes missing, his mother, Joyce, searches for him, and the supernatural underbelly of the town begins to churn. Although the show is a parody, it’s also a respectful homage. Ross pokes fun, but he does so with an evident fondness.
The series features scenes of kids on bicycles augmented by such ’80s classics as the Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost in You,” while the sky is awash in hues of purple, signifying both rampant teenage emotion and the presence of an alternate universe known as the Upside Down. On stage, Ross communicates such supernatural elements solely through imagination, switching back and forth between speaking and exaggerated body comedy, at times vocalizing sound effects.
Ross says, “These shows are essentially revisiting the 8-year-old kid that I was and that a lot of other people recognize in themselves. That’s the style of my performance: observational humor.”