Saturday at Creation Entertainment's The Official Star Trek Convention in Chicago, at the Westin O'Hare, opened with three notorious aliens from Deep Space Nine: Casey Biggs (Damar), Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat) and Jeff Combs (Weyoun/Brunt). In contrast to their nefarious characters, these three incredibly talented actors are warm and gracious with the audience, answering questions with in-depth responses and punctuated by jokes and laughter. Marc spoke on the perseverance and commitment one must face as an actor (or in any professional pursuit) to be successful and also stood up for his character in defense of the Gul's seemingly militaristic tendencies. Jeff spoke about his one man show as Edgar Allen Poe, "Nevermore," that he has been touring around the US for the past year, and all the trials and tribulations of putting that intense performance together (Creation hosted a performance at their Weekend of Horrors event in Burbank, CA, the weekend before). He also defended the Vorta Weyoun as "the most handsome Vorta" and really a nice guy. Casey riffed on his character's propensity for drinking, complaining that he had to continually consume corn syrup on set, much to his distaste. He then called up the other two gentlemen, describing them as his "supporting players". The three then convened on stage together, joined by Vaughn Armstrong, who played several supporting characters during the DS9 show run. They traded jokes and barbs, much to audience laughter and
Things continued at a fast clip as show host (Creation co-CEO) Adam Malin offered a raucous Star Trek Trivia Yes No Challenge which brought much of the audience on stage at different intervals to compete against each other answering Trek trivia questions, with the
last person standing winning $200 gift certificates. Three different fans each won a certificate after surviving the gauntlet of challenging questions. Following the contest, Vaughn Armstrong came on stage for a "solo" appearance joined by Casey Biggs, a fellow member of the Enterprise Blues Band. Together the two performed several songs from their catalog, with Vaughn choosing the ukulele and Casey the acoustic guitar. After a great mini-set, Casey left and Vaughn continued, answering questions about his tenure both on Enterprise and in previous series guest roles. He revealed that the writers/producers had another season already mapped out for Enterprise, and everyone lamented the abortive conclusion of the show.
One of Creation's No Minimum Auctions followed, offering such rare collectibles as out of print Hamilton Star Trek plates, Galoob mini action figures, signed cast photos of Voyager, Enterprise, and The 5 Captains, all going for ridiculously low prices, much to the audience's delight. Following that, Max Grodenchik and Armin Shimerman hit the stage to celebrate their relationship as the Ferengi Brothers. They traced the evolution of the Ferengi characters (Armin confessed he hated his portrayal of the alien race on ST:NG) and Armin felt that Quark as a character didn't grow through the seven years of DS9 as much as some of the other characters. He also thanked the producers of Buffy (he played Principal Snyder) for accommodating his work schedule, as he was filming both Buffy and DS9 simultaneously. Max offered his affectionate call-out to his Ferengi Mom, Moogie, and they
took a minute of silence to honor the deceased Cecily Adams (daughter of Don Adams and wife of actor Jim Beaver) who played Moogie on several episodes (Andrea Martin of SCTV also did a stint as her as well). Armin revealed that Andrea hated the Moogie makeup, which is why she didn't return as the character. He also said that Wallace Shawn, who played the Grand Nagus, said it took him six months to forget how awful the experience of getting into the makeup was.
Following the Ferengi segment, College of Lake County Sociology Professor John Tenuto offered a wonderful slideshow of rare photography from the University of Iowa Library Nicholas Meyer Archive showing Nick Meyer and the cast working on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (including shots of the late Ricardo Montalban) and Star Trek VI.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the performance of Shakespeare selections by Casey Biggs, Jeff Combs and Marc Alaimo. It's not hard to see where these three master actors cut their teeth, and they each performed solo performances and worked together in duos. One memorable duet featured "Romeo and Juliet" with Casey as Romeo and Jeff as Juliet! Jeff with a flowing headdress cut quite a feminine figure as he declared, "What satisfaction wouldst thou have me give tonight?" to an amorous Romeo! Marc launched into a ferocious "Two Gentlemen of Verona," jumping and crawling around the stage with manic
intensity portraying a drunk thrown out of a tavern. "King Henry V" featured Casey fervently uttering the classic line, "Once more into the breach!" They then focused on great Shakespeare villains, with Marc and Jeff tackling "Othello;" Jeff, the wailing, whining drunkard, and Marc, the conniving manipulator professing friendship. As a finale, the three joined forces to reflect on the many common expressions we all use that mean, "You are quoting Shakespeare!" At the end of their show, the audience went wild with a standing ovation.
The day show ended with Creation's Costume Competition, a classic fixture of their events for 40 years. Dozens of contestants competed, with all kinds of aliens, Starfleet officers and surprise characters. Grand prize went to a striking Data, with Geordi La Forge and Klingons
in the runners-up positions. An autograph session with the day's guests concluded the festivities.