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The world according to William Shatner

by Mark Burger

He’s boldly gone where no man has gone before, and now he’s talking all about it.

On April 24, Fathom Events and Priceline.com will present William Shatner’s popular one-man show Shatner’s World to more than 600 theaters nationwide – including two in Greensboro: The Brassfield Cinema 10 and the Greensboro Grande Stadium 16.

Actor, author, director, raconteur, recording artist, equestrian, philanthropist, superstar. Yes, William Shatner is all those things and many more, and now he shares the stories and secrets of his life and career in his trademark high-energy style, combining personal anecdotes and asides, jokes, and even a bit of soul-searching. It’s all Shatner all the time, the Captain at the controls.

“William Shatner takes fans on a unique and exciting journey where they’ll see the human side of his larger-than-life persona,” said Shelly Maxwell, Fathom Events’ executive vice-president, in an official statement. “This Hollywood icon truly offers us an intimate glimpse into the man behind the icon in Shatner’s World.”

William Shatner’s early career included appearances on Broadway (The World of Suzie Wong), television (including some classic episodes from “The Twilight Zone”), and supporting roles in such films as The Brothers Karamazov (1958) and the Oscar-winning, all-star Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), in which he played Spencer Tracy’s military adjutant.

In 1966, he was cast as Captain James T. Kirk in NBC’s “Star Trek,” which ran only three seasons in prime-time before its cancellation in 1969. Cancellation, however, was just the beginning for “Star Trek,” as it became perhaps the greatest cult series in the history of the medium. While the series was cruising through syndication (at warp speed!), Shatner appeared in such cult classics as Big Bad Mama (1974), in which he wooed Angie Dickinson; The Devil’s Rain (1975), in which he was corrupted by a Satanic cult (led by Ernest Borgnine, no less) and eventually suffered a gooey demise; and Kingdom of the Spiders (1977), in which he battled rampaging hordes of terrifying tarantulas in a small Arizona town. He even saved the leader of the free world in The Kidnapping of the President (1980).

After years of anticipation and preproduction, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) was released. Although not acritical success, the fans turned out in droves – convincing Paramount that there was still life left in the franchise. Indeed there was. Five sequels featuring the original crew of the Starship Enterprise followed, with Shatner directing and co-writing the story for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).

On the small screen, Shatner appeared in the hit series’ “T.J. Hooker” and “Rescue 911.”

In 2003, his guest  appearance as flaky attorney Denny Crane on ABC’s “The Practice” resulted in an Emmy win for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. The character continued as a regular on the popular spin-off series “Boston Legal,” resulting in another Emmy win, this time as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The same year, he won the Golden Globe Award in the same category, and would earn four successive Emmy nominations for “Boston Legal.”

The prolific Shatner has also dabbled in writing with considerable success. He wrote the TekWar series (with Ron Gou lart), which was subsequently adapted into a cable-TV series in which he appeared, as well as several Star Trek novels (with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens). His non-fiction works include Star Trek Memories, Star Trek Movie Memories and Get a Life! (with Chris Kreski); Up Till Now: The Autobiography (with David Fisher); and Shatner Rules (with Chris Regan).

In February 2012, Shatner returned to Broadway with the one-man show Shat ner’s World: We Just Live In It, which played to standing-room-only audiences during its run before embarking on a successful tour throughout the United States.

Thus speaketh Shatner himself: “I’ve done this one-man show on Broadway and in many cities across the United States. At the curtain call, the audiences’ reaction, their love and appreciated, moved me to tears. The show has been one of the highlights of my life.” !

WANNA go?

If you want to go “¦ Shatner’s World will be screened 7:30 pm April 24 at Brassfield Cinema 10 (2101 New Garden Road, Greensboro) and Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 (3205 Northline Ave., Greensboro). Tickets for Brassfield are $14 (general admission), $13 (senior citizens) and $12 (children under 12). Tickets for Greensboro Grande are $15 (general admission). For advance tickets or more information, visit the official Fathom Events website: www.FathomEvents.com.

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