Convention Connection: Las Vegas Preview
The Official Star Trek Convention 2010 Las Vegas is about a week away and the organizers at Creation Entertainment are still adding names to an already-impressive guest list that’s at 70 strong. Among the latest additions to the mega-show, which will run from August 5-8 at the Las Vegas Hilton: Bruce Greenwood, Captain Pike from the recent Star Trek reboot feature, who joins the likes of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Sir Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, George Takei, Nana Vistor, Walter Koenig, Michael Dorn, Robert Beltran, Jennifer Lien, Brent Spiner, Rene Auberjonois, Julie Newmar, Sally Kellerman, John Billingsley, Grace Lee Whitney, Tim Russ and more.
“Every year, particularly with Las Vegas, we want to top ourselves,” says Gary Berman, who co-founded Creation Entertainment in 1971, when he and partner Adam Malin were just teenagers. “We have all sorts of guests and we’ll have many, many events, but one of the things we did for this show was to try to find people who either haven’t done conventions yet or who rarely do them. And we especially looked for people from the original Star Trek series, which was a challenge because it’s hard to find folks who haven’t been with us before. I think we succeeded in that."
He adds, "Beyond that, we wanted to try to have some of the major talent from each of the different series, and I think we succeeded at that as well. And we’ve found that the fans love to see a lot of the stars together on stage. So we’ve attempted to do that where we can, having panels with two or three or four stars from one show together at the same time, interacting with each other. We’ll have Bill (Shatner) and Leonard (Nimoy). We’ll have Sir Patrick (Stewart) and Brent (Spiner) and Jonathan (Frakes). We’ll have a Voyager reunion (with Robert Picardo, Jennifer Lien, Robert Beltran, Garrett Wang and Ethan Phillips). We’ve pulled some nice surprises and I think we may still have one more surprise coming.”
Berman proudly rattles off the names of guests who’ve either never or rarely attended a Creation convention. Craig Huxley, Pamelyn Ferdin, Mark Robert Brown and Brian Tochi, who were child actors when they appeared in the TOS episode “And the Children Shall Lead,” will all be on hand. Barbara Babcock, who voiced several TOS characters and also appeared in the flesh as Mea 3 in “A Taste of Armageddon” and Philana in “Plato’s Stepchildren,” will make her first Creation appearance. Likewise, Julie Newmar – best known as Catwoman from Batman, but who played Eleen in the TOS hour “Friday’s Child” – will also make her Creation debut. “Another guest we’re very happy to have is Bruce Hyde,” Berman says. “He used to do conventions quite a long time ago, but it’s been many, many years. I don’t believe he’s ever done one of ours, and certainly not Vegas. We also have John Winston, who played Lt. Kyle. Naomi Pollack, who was a TOS guest star, has never done one of our shows. I’m sure they’ll all get a very nice welcome from the fans.”
So what else will be going on?
“We’re trying to break the world’s record for the most people in a Star Trek costume in one place,” Berman replies. “The current record is, I believe, 507, and that was done at FedCon in Germany, this year. So we’re going to try to break that and get at least 508. Hopefully our audience will be up to it. We’re going to have amazing kick-off parties on Thursday and Friday. Leonard Nimoy is leading a photography seminar. He’s kind of a renaissance man and he’s been interested in photography for decades. He’s become a really famous and respected photographer, and this seminar gives the fans a chance to see him in a different light. It’s a much smaller event, about 100 people, and it will go into depth about the art of photography and his involvement in it.
“We’ll have photo opportunities and autograph signings, and Alec Peters, our friends at PropWorx, will be running a fabulous auction of Star Trek props and costumes,” Berman continues. “The auction will be live at our show and accessible to people on the Internet as well. We’ll also have our usual Creation auctions, and we spend a year between shows trying to find cool and unusual items to auction. We’ll have a Persis Khambatta autograph, for instance. Something that’s a little bit different is we have members of the Nevada Pops coming in and they’ll be doing Star Trek themes. We’re having a party at the atomic testing museum in Nevada, and that’ll be a first for us. So it’s going to be a great time.”
For additional information about The Official Star Trek Convention 2010 Las Vegas and to buy tickets, visit www.creationent.com. And be sure to visit StarTrek.com over the course of the convention, as we’ll be on hand and reporting from the show.
In the meantime, share favorite convention stories in the comments below and post photos from past Star Trek conventions in our Galleries.