As the intrepid Captain James T. Kirk from Star Trek, William Shatner has visited different planets across the galaxy. As himself over the years, he’s lived on one of his own. Known for his hilarious and often nonsensical antics—seriously, just Google the phrase “Shatner sabotage”—Shatner is a true original, ignoring the orders of anyone but himself, no matter how silly the consequences. Even his speech patterns—with their own unique and halting cadence—have become instantly recognizable.
On Jan. 22, Shatner is bringing his unique brand of a one-man show, Shatner’s World—We Just Live in It, to Salt Lake City’s Kingsbury Hall for the benefit of geeks across the Wasatch Front. For a premium ticket, you can also get VIP access, which includes a meet & greet with Captain Kirk himself.
“This one-man show,” Shatner shared via e-mail, “is a mixture of stories, movie clips, stills—essentially a multimedia event. It’s filled with laughter and tears and some points of wisdom that may resonate with the audience. I riff on horses, motorcycles, death and love amongst many subjects. I talk about Star Trek and how I fell into it, what it means to me and others, how NASA dealt with Star Trek and how astronauts befriended me. Because you see, I never forget that Star Trek begat all this.”
Shatner hasn’t always looked at Star Trek with that kind of positive nostalgia, but he’s now set his sights on it with this touring show, which is a good thing for fans. And the stories that someone with the age, wisdom and breadth of experience that Shatner possesses are most always incredible. Here’s a man who was doing Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone in the 1950s and ’60s. He was on one of the single most important television shows in history, and in seven movies based on the franchise. He moved on to other television work ranging from TJ Hooker to Boston Legal, and has probably met everyone who’s anyone. He can also get you a deal on an airline flight. And that’s not even mentioning his music career. If all of that experience isn’t fodder for great stories, I don’t know what is.
It’s hard to know where Shatner, at age 81, finds the energy to take on a touring one-man show. But it’s easy to tell that he’s singularly energized about it. It’s not just something he’s doing because he’s being forced to—he really likes this show and the experience it provides. In fact, every question I offered for our interview was deflected so the Captain could maintain a laser-like focus on his show and the coming Salt Lake City tour date.
“The essence of the show,” Shatner continued in his e-mail, “is to say yes to life—yes to opportunity, yes to new ideas. It’s entertainment on a broad scale. I love doing it, and the audiences up till now have loved seeing it.”
He tasks us. He tasks us and we will have him. I can’t wait to see what else the Captain has in store. I’d chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round perdition’s flames before I wouldn’t see his show.
I’m boldly going to Shatner’s World. Won’t you join my away team? You can wear the red shirt, though. Gold suits me better.
SHATNER'S WORLD—WE JUST LIVE IN IT
1395 E. Presidents Circle
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m.
$30-$60; $5 University of Utah students with ID
Bryan Young is editor-in-chief of BigShinyRobot.com.