Monday, March 12, 2012
The last time we saw Bill Shatner we were sitting on lawn chairs, waiting for him to premier his Star Trek documentary, The Captains, against the mausoleum wall of the Hollywood Forever cemetery. Since then he’s been pulling together a one-person show, called Shatner’s World—We Just Live in It, which hit the Pantages theater last weekend.
Karen was the first to read about the show on one of her theater blogs. “Shatner is performing on Broadway for two weeks in February,” she emailed me a couple of months ago.
I began moving things around on my mental calendar to accommodate a quick flight to NYC. But luckily it was soon announced that Bill would be performing in Los Angeles, for one night only, before taking his show on the road. I immediately bought 4 tickets: 3 for Karen and us, plus one for Tim’s boss Mike, who is also a ST fan.
We arrived at the Pantages early enough to stake our spots in the lobby. I knew if we stood there long enough, we were bound to see some of Shatner's celebrity fans. Indeed, Mike was the first to spot rock musician Joe Walsh getting refreshments. Karen recognized Mark Valley, Shatner’s Boston Legal co-star. The biggest sighting, though, was David Hasselhoff, who sat a couple of rows away from us. He looked very good in his bright green sportscoat and caused almost as much of a stir as Shatner himself. We were hoping Bill’s Boston Legal partner James Spader would appear, but if he was there we didn’t see him.
Reviews for the Broadway show were mixed—I’m guessing because they were written by non-fans who don’t really know William Shatner. The audience Saturday night loved him, however, and gave him a standing ovation before he even said a word. He then started what would turn out to be an almost two-hour monologue about his life and 60-year-long career. He told lots of funny stories and screened clips from various movies and TV shows in which he had appeared, including Alexander the Great, a corny sword-and-sandals movie -of-the-week made during his early Captain Kirk days. This is also, apparently, when he developed his love of horses, a passion that continues today.
I adored the entire show and highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan and/or enjoys hearing a practiced raconteur reminisce about himself. Nobody, after all, plays Shatner quite as well as Shatner plays himself.
Tim, me and Mike hoping to spy celebs