William Shatner in "Shatner's World". Photo by Joan Marcus.
Within the last seven days, I saw Moby Dick sing, a Prom Queen blow up a gym and Captain Kirk take a bow on Broadway. If that isn’t the strangest week of theater I’ve ever experienced, then I’ve clearly repressed the memories of a weirder seven day span to protect my delicate psyche.
In honor of the decidedly odd (though certainly worthwhile in some cases) trio of works, let’s jump to some quick mini-reviews and thoughts:
Shatner’s World – We Just Live In It: The bombastic, Emmy-winning star of Star Trek and Boston Legal takes to the stage for a one-man show about his life and career. If you’re expecting a well-constructed play featuring carefully enacted remembrances, well–really? No, William Shatner is content to step into the spotlight and entertainingly ramble through stories like a dinner party guest who has had an extra cocktail or two. Funny thing is, once you’ve accepted the ramshackle nature of the evening, it’s quite amusing. I’m not a Trekkie and yet darned if I didn’t find Shatner charming, self-depricating and the best kind of ham–well-seasoned and never canned. He wanders and improvs and sings and tells hoary jokes with an impish glee that is infectious. In fact, his childhood love of vaudeville comics turns out to be a “rosebud” key to understanding his bigger than life, irrepressible persona. In the end after he has ever so glancingly touched on more serious matters of life and death, he imparts a world view that is both simple, illuminating and touching. Why does Shatner have a show on Broadway? Because he said “yes,” because he has always said “why the hell not!” And, for that, it’s hard not to love the guy. Read more…