Star Trek Live! is a Wonderfully Entertaining, Silly Love Letter to Star Trek

Star Trek Live!

Star Trek Live!

This article was contributed by Elizabeth Salvia, with Barry Rice

San Francisco’s huge gay bar Oasis is currently running a show called Star Trek Live! It’s a live re-enactment of the original Star Trek episode “The Naked Time”, with a twist - the players cross-dress. They are all talented drag queens and drag kings.

Directed by D'Arcy Drollinger and Sailor Galaviz, the show features the exact score from the original episode. Every scene from the original episode is treated in this version, although the lines are sometime different. Very, very different...

The set design makes the most of a small stage. We get the bridge, with a screen accurate model of the captain’s chair, and Dr. McCoy’s medical bay with a vertical patient table reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein’s. We also see engineering, and the Enterprise hallways. Rear projection is used for the space scenes, and the breaking of the third wall give the event an even grander scope. The cast’s interpretations of transporting, and of using the Enterprise doors are inventive, and very funny.

Leigh Crow, “the world’s only female William Shatner impersonator”, delivers a Captain Kirk of extraordinary exuberance, comedy, and spirit. Her physical and vocal mannerisms skewer Shatnerisms brilliantly. Dene Larson is also a standout, delivering a spooky, hilarious performance as Nurse Chapel. Zelda Koznofski gives us an ever-inebriated Dr. McCoy, Cassie Wassie’s Scotty is delightfully screwball, and Anne Norland takes Spock where no man has gone before. Ammo Eisu and Juhnay Arabesque wonderfully spoof Sulu and Uhura, and Carol Ann Walker sashays through the part of Riley.

The audience can participate by playing a drinking game all the way through the show, using sound cues that occur during the performance. And in a trivia contest during the intermission, led by Leigh Crow, audience members are invited to “Stump the Captain” for fabulous prizes (OK, a drink token).

With nods to Galaxy Quest, and to Rocky Horror Picture Show, it’s a wonderfully entertaining, silly love letter to TOS.

Star Trek Live! is playing only three more nights, Sept. 19th, 20th and 21st.

This article was written for the podcast Daily Star Trek News.

Elizabeth Salvia