I mentioned a while back that William Shatner was bringing his one man show: Shanter’s World to Broadway. It started previews on Tuesday and opens officially tonight. The 90 minute (or so) show takes “audiences on a voyage through Shatner’s life and career, from Shakespearean stage actor to internationally known icon and raconteur, known as much for his unique persona as for his expansive body of work on television and film.” (playbill.com)
Tim and I went to see the show in its second preview last night. I LOVED IT! Now I will say– I’m a pretty biased judge here. As a Trekkie and as a fan of William Shatner it’s hard for me to not love sitting in the same room as the man and listening to him tell stories. It was really a huge treat. Shatner seemed at home on the stage. He was so calm and casual about the whole thing. I felt like I was sitting in his living room sipping an iced tea while he entertained me with stories of his life. He talked about his early life in the theatre working with some of the great men of our industry– men I’ve read about and studied in college like Tyone Guthrie (founder of the Stratford Festival and the Guthrie Theatre) and Anthony Quayle (one of the founders of the Clarence Brown Theatre Company at my undergrad). He talked about Gene Roddenberry asking him to do pilot for a space show– a moment that changed his life. He talked Star Trek’s connection with NASA and described how he felt when he watched man land on the moon. He told us about his horses, talked about his family and briefly about the tragic death of his 3rd wife. My emotions ran the gamut while I watched this living legend be so honest and human. True, he rambled a little. Sometimes the stories didn’t really connect with each other– he didn’t tell a cohesive story with an arc from beginning to end. But that didn’t really matter to me. It was a great evening and I recommend that you go see his show too.
After the show we decided to go to the stage door for a glimpse of him up close. We waiting with a small crowd of fans in the cold for about 20 minutes. Finally, he stepped thru the door onto the sidewalk. The crowd erupted in cheers. There was a barrage camera flashes. Mr. Shatner paused for a moment, raised his hands and thanked us for coming. I’m sure my face was beaming. I had my iPhone in my hand and was unconsciously clicking pictures with it (mainly of the back of the head in front of me). The others were cheering but I couldn’t make a sound. Time slowed down. I was kind of frozen. He looked great. He was right there— just a few feet from me. I’m sure he said more, but I’m not sure what it was. Before I knew it he was in his car and being driven away. “Goodbye Bill!” I thought. ”See you again one day!”
Shatner’s World runs on Broadway thru March 4th. After which, Mr. Shatner will take his show on the road to cities all across the country. Check out this video from Playbill.com in which Bill talks about his return to Broadway!
[I had trouble embedding the video-- but you view it by clicking THIS LINK.]