There are three absolutely unbreakable rules in this universe.
Nothing can exceed the speed of light.
A body in motion will continue in motion unless acted on by an outside force….
For those of you who have spent the last 45 years in the negative Zone, Bill Shatner , sometimes Captain of the Enterprise, Priceline Spokesman and Emmy Award winning nut job lawyer Denny Crane recently had a limited run in a one man show on (music cue)
I had the opportunity to see “Shatner’s World (we just live in it)” last Thursday night at The Music Box Theater. Now I freely admit that I am not capable of being unbiased when it comes to Bill Shatner
(O Captain! My Captain!)
BUT the man should be declared a national treasure or landmark or preserved for all time in Carbonite!
What you got for your money was a little over an hour and a half with one of the best story tellers you will ever find. Shatner took us through a high energy tour of his life from his childhood in Canada, through his career highlights and the time he barely escaped becoming the boy toy of Koko The Gorilla.
Koko The Gorilla! I kid you not! You could look it up. She must have been a Trekkie.
The 80 something actor even pokes fun at DEATH more than once, with that Captain Kirk twinkle in his eyes.
Through the clever and conservative use of film clips and photos projected onto a large globe that dominates the back of the stage we get to see Shatner at various, funny, sad and often heartwarming points of his life.
For those of you who think of bill ONLY in relation to Star Trek, you might be surprised to know that he spends relatively little time on that part of his life. He does not blow by it by any stretch, but he keeps it in context.
Instead Shatner talks about the relationships in his life. From his friendship with Christopher Plummer and Patrick Stewart, his VERY odd relationship with George “Helllloooooooo” Takei, his dad, wives and children, a cross the border Rabbi transport…and animals.
Yes Animals. Some of the most honest moments of the evening come when Shatner talks about his horses, his dogs, and of course Koko!
It’s a great evening and Shatner is the recipient of genuine affection from the audience. He seems more like an old friend and less like a “Star”. Bill makes it look so easy.
And that is the rub. Because what Shatner does in this show is the MOST difficult challenge for any actor. Bill’s show is the ESSENCE of theater and the actor’s craft.
There are no fancy sets to distract. No other actors to watch (unless you count the rolling desk chair he uses as a foil throughout the piece). No fancy costumes, music, lighting….or even a plot.
It’s just Shatner, stories and you.
A one man show can so easily be a disaster because the actor cannot lose the audience for even a moment. Lose them for a second and you WON’T get them back.
That is why stand up comedy is so hard. You are NAKED out there with only your talent as a shield. In the hands of a lesser performer this could have been theater purgatory. With Shatner it is a CELEBRATION.
O Captain! My Captain! You’ve done it again!
It is indeed Shatner’s World. And I for one am happy to live in it.