You could almost imagine that whales were in the house and on the main stage at Star Trek: Mission New York on Saturday. And that's because a talented group of actors undertook a risky, entertaining enterprise in front of thousands of Star Trek fans: performing Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as a live staged reading.
First, director Mark A. Altman brought out the cast one by one. Some of them were familiar faces from popular current shows, including Elementary and New Girl, as well as a couple of Trek actors playing roles far removed from what we're used to seeing. And there was a movie star. A few of the actors performed more than one role.
The cast -- clearly all Trek fans eager to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary and Trek IV's 30th anniversary -- included:
Mary Stuart Masterson as James T. Kirk
Damian Young as Spock
Brian Haley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy
John Ellison Conlee as Scotty
Anna George as Uhura
Katrina Morhacova as Chekov
John Kim as Sulu
Nadia Dajani as Gillian
Terry Farrell as Saavik
Ethan Phillips as Sarek
Barbara Gaarick as Amanda
Robert Clohessy as Klingon Ambassador/Admiral Cartwright
Bobak Ferdowsi as Starship Commander
Nathan Aldrich in Various Roles
Leah Bonnema in Various Roles
Joseph Dylan Ruymen in Various Roles
After recap footage from Star Trek III set things in motion, the assembled actors did the rest. They all sat in director's chairs, scripts in hand, and stepped to the mic when their lines rolled around.
The jokes, as always, elicited laughs, and the drama still captivated. Some bits came across very differently when spoken live rather than seen and heard on a screen. For instance, the sequence featuring a recovering Spock being quizzed by a computer required complicated vocal dexterity.
As the event ended, everyone on the stage and in the audience sensed they'd participated in something special. We'd swear we saw a whale or two.