The man who brought geekiness to New York theater, Charles Ross is this weekend wrapping up his Off-Broadway run of One Man Star Wars [my review here]. But it -- and his new show, One Man Lord of the Rings -- will be touring all sorts of interesting places in the next few months, including California, Georgia, Florida, and Wisconsin. Charles spoke to me recently about memorizing movies, getting dissed by The New York Times, and how weird geek audiences can be.
MAJ: I want you to know from the outset that I’m a big geek, I think it’s a good thing, and there’s not going to be any derogatory comments about geekiness.
CR: Actually, to tell the truth, I’m not even worried about when people do derogatory things. I think when they’re a little bit myopic, like, the review that came out in The New York Times...
MAJ: Uh! That was horrible!
CR: It was rather telling of... I don’t know if you want to call it. Audience discrimination? As though there’s some kind of upper echelon of the public. As though there’s only one kind of audience patron allowed and other people just aren’t welcome.
MAJ: Yeah, I was really stunned by that piece... especially since apparently The Times is supposedly trying to bring in more younger readers. And by younger, I mean people our age, not kids. Because we’re not reading The Times anymore, and you have to wonder why... It’s no surprise, because they obviously do not understand our culture.
CR: Well, the guy [from The Times] is a younger guy... he’s sort of mid-30s, I think. I don’t entirely know what it is. I guess any reviewer has a bit of soap box. It’s just kind of unfortunate -- it’s like somebody trying to bully somebody outside of high school. Like only certain people are cool and other people are not.