'SHATNER'S WORLD: WE JUST LIVE IN IT'
William Shatner comes to the Walton Arts Center Saturday.
8 p.m. Walton Arts Center. $50-$125.
Trekkies rejoice: William Shatner
is coming to the Walton Arts Center for a performance of his one-man show, "Shatner's World: We Just Live in It."
Now, everybody and their grandma is familiar with Trekkies, the "Star Trek" partisans who are up there with Deadheads in terms of cultural ubiquity. But Saturday will also be an exciting day for another, slightly more obscure group of obsessive devotees of one of Shatner's TV shows. That's right, I'm referring to Hookies. These are the folks who are rabid fans of "T.J. Hooker," Shatner's early '80s police drama. They may not have conventions and all that, but trust me, they're hardcore.
But getting back to Shatner, I am forced to remark that the man looks pretty good for 63, which is incredible when you realize he's actually about to turn 83 in March. That's right, 83. What a career! I mean, there's "Star Trek" and "T.J. Hooker" and "Rescue: 911" and "The Practice" and all the movies. But there are also the albums. Who could forget the albums? I mean, 1968's utterly timeless spoken word/pop hybrid "The Transformed Man," with Shatner pairing strange poems with his sui generis deconstructions of the hits of the day (his "Mr. Tambourine Man" is a must-hear). His 2004 long-player "Has Been" contains a version of Pulp's "Common People" that is so achingly gorgeous that Jarvis Cocker no doubt hung his head in shame shortly after hearing it.
Then there's 2011's "Seeking Major Tom," which featured what has to be the most mind-shatteringly weird collection of guests ever assembled on one record: Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Bootsy Collins, Brad Paisley and Steve Miller (on the latter's "Space Cowboy"), Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice (on different tracks), Wayne Kramer, Johnny Winter, Steve Hillage, Steve Howe, Edgar Froese, Toots Hibbert, Michael Schenker, Warren Haynes, Zakk Wylde and freakin' Dave Davies.
Now, how many people are powerful enough to get all those folks to guest on their album? Not many. William Shatner is one of them. And on Saturday he'll tell you all about his life in this acclaimed one-man performance.