Kirk Here

For children of a certain generation, the Starship Enterprise’s earnest Capt. James T. Kirk was a cardboard cousin of Dudley Do-Right. The latter, a dim-bulb Canadian Mountie created for The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, was a cartoon character, you see, while the stilted, deep-space law-enforcer played by William Shatner was capable of only occasional animation. The cancellation of Star Trek (and Shatner’s late-’60s, bizarrely out-of-time spoken-word album) seemingly marked the premature end of a career. Who could have imagined the Canadian actor would one day achieve immortality as a cultural icon? Certainly not those who thought Shat lacked the wit and humility to parody his stuffed-shirt persona on Boston Legal and in Priceline commercials. Wild Bill has had the last laugh for a while now, and he lets us in on the joke tonight in Shatner’s World. Taking his crowd-pleasing one-man Broadway show on the road, Shatner blends anecdotes, jokes, philosophy, and video clips into a genial froth of survival, success, and mortality. Shatner isn’t Laurence Olivier, but he isn’t Pauly Shore, either. Give the man his props: Closing in on 81, he still knows how to connect with an audience.
Sun., March 11, 7 p.m., 2012

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