Shatner's World: We Just Live in It
William Shatner's new one-man show is not the most challenging piece of theater you're likely to see this year. You've probably also seen more inspired one-person shows. But it does make for a fun evening of personal reminiscence, gossip, video clips and old-fashioned humor - along with one of his strange musical performances.
The 80-year-old Canadian actor, who has become a pop-culture icon thanks to playing Captain Kirk on the original "Star Trek" and Denny Crane on "Boston Legal," began his career doing Shakespeare and even understudied for Christopher Plummer in "Henry V." He also claims to have turned a Broadway flop into a hit simply by yelling his lines.
Wearing a navy jacket and light blue jeans, Shatner makes for a congenial presence and is very expressive throughout. He did seem a bit jittery and flustered at first, mumbling some of his lines and fiddling with the microphone packet in his back pocket, but he grew more relaxed as the 100-minute evening wore on.
Onstage, he is joined by a few chairs (one of which he uses to simulate riding a horse) and a giant moon, on which short clips are shown from "Star Trek" (Captain Kirk dying) and his Comedy Central roast (George Takei cursing him out). For better or worse, Priceline is not included.
Shatner does not shy away from discussing some of the more serious incidents in his life, including the drowning of his wife, and he treats his medical issues with humor, noting that his kidney stone was purchased for no less than $75,000, which was then donated to Habitat for Humanity. He even gets philosophical about the universe.
To cap off the evening, he performs a selection from "Has Been," his latest album of spoken word and song, reiterating that he is a man who is not afraid of trying anything - even doing Broadway after a 50-year absence.
If you go: "Shatner's World: We Just Live in It" plays at the Music Box Theatre through March 4. 239 W. 45th St., 212-239-6200, telecharge.com.