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Shatner's World: William Shatner on food, life and wanting to be Lucille Ball

William Shatner brings his one-man show "Shatner's World: We Just Live In It" to the MGM Grand June 19-21
William Shatner brings his one-man show "Shatner's World: We Just Live In It" to the MGM Grand June 19-21
Manfred Baumann

When William Shatner brings his critically acclaimed one-man show “Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It” to Las Vegas June 19-21, he’ll be fulfilling a lifelong dream.

“I actually visit Las Vegas quite frequently to see the shows and fights, but I never thought it would be possible to entertain a Vegas audience myself,” Shatner told Examiner.com. “When I was asked to bring this tour to Las Vegas, it was a great opportunity to do something I’ve dreamt about for a long time.”

A self-proclaimed foodie, the award-winning actor, director, producer, writer, recording artist, philanthropist and horseman said he enjoys new tastes and always welcomes “help and advice” as to which restaurants he should visit whenever he’s in Las Vegas.

“I don’t have any qualms when it comes to food,” Shatner said. “Once I even ate fried red ants, which is a basic food in a lot of cultures. Las Vegas is a great city for exploration, though, especially during the summer when you just want to stay inside and go from one air-conditioned venue to another. It’s the perfect man-made atmosphere with plenty of food and entertainment.”

Shatner said he’s particularly fascinated by the “preparation of food” and even tried selling his own cooking show in the past where he would interview guests on the subject. While Shatner may be interested in cooking, however, that doesn’t mean he’s an expert at it.

“Once I tried to deep-fry a turkey and my arm caught on fire,” Shatner recalled. “I actually did a public service announcement not to do as I do and let the oil spill over the bucket and catch fire. My wife ended up getting me a steamer so I could try to smoke a turkey instead, and I thought I discovered this new way to cook turkey. In reality, I was cooking food like mankind did millions of years ago.”

Given Shatner’s open-mindedness to trying new foods and cooking styles, it should come as no surprise that he has a similar outlook on life, which “Shatner’s World” focuses on.

“The core of the show is about saying yes to life and the ability to be brave,” Shatner stated. “Just like one should explore different tastes, people should explore life. There may be some things you might not like, but you won’t really know until you get out there and experience them. It’s always so much easier to say no to something than to say yes.”

Even the origin of “Shatner’s World” was about taking chances. Shatner was originally asked to do a one-man show in Australia and figured, “if it’s not successful, at least it will be buried in Australia.” The show went on to great success, however, with Shatner performing it in Australia, New Zealand and Canada before reworking it for Broadway. It has now toured more than 50 cities in the United States and was recently shown on the big screen at select movie theaters nationwide for a special one-night-only event hosted by Fathom Events.

“This show has frequently brought me to tears,” Shatner said. “The emotional transaction that happens between me and the audience, I’ve never seen that before. People are standing at the end of the show and cheering—it just reaches people.”

During the 90-minute show, Shatner takes audiences on a voyage through his life and career, from Shakespearean stage actor to internationally known icon and personality. Despite his many memorable roles, however, including Denny Crane, for which Shatner won two Emmy Awards—one as an Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series on “The Practice” and one as an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for “Boston Legal”—the role Shatner will undoubtedly always be identified with is “Star Trek’s” Captain James T. Kirk. When asked if he could be known for any other iconic TV or film character who he’d want to be (Han Solo, perhaps?), the personality Shatner chose was a bit surprising.

“I don’t know my television history that well,” Shatner replied with a chuckle. “I guess I’d say Lucy (Lucille Ball). She was a producer on ‘Star Trek.’ The production company she ran with her husband, Desilu Productions, was actually behind the show until Paramount took over.”

While Shatner may always be seen as Captain Kirk in the public eye, he definitely keeps busy with various other projects, both on-screen and off. His latest book, Hire Yourself, is scheduled for release this fall and deals with those over 55 who are unemployed and looking for work. In it, Shatner discusses the importance of “making yourself an authority” in order to get the money the book’s readers need and deserve. He’s also staying busy with “Brown Bag Wine Tasting,” a “wine tasting, man-on-the-street interview show” that premieres June 23 on Ora.TV. Additionally, Shatner is starting work on a new film and working on a new documentary. He said fans can look forward to these and “many more” projects in the future.

For now, though, fans are encouraged to see his triumphant return to the stage in “Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It.” The show runs June 19-21 at 8 p.m. inside the Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand. Tickets are priced at $69.99, $79.99 and $99.99, plus taxes and services charges, with VIP meet-and-greet packages that include booth seating available as well for $199 (plus taxes and service charges). To reserve your seat, call 702-891-7777 or simply click here.

For more on William Shatner, visit his official website.