It was Star Trek under the stars last night as a sellout crowd of Star Trek fans, many in uniform, filled Embarcadero Marina Park South last night for "Star Trek Live in Concert" featuring a presentation of Star Trek (2009) with the soundtrack performed live by the San Diego Symphony.
The event kicked off with a costume contest. The five finalists were revealed on stage with the audience naming Greta Strand (Female Spock) the winner and the Vanderbilt family -- Matthew (father), Shannon (mother), Brendan (boy) -- as the runners-up. The other finalists included Daniel Lussier and Larissa Thorn (TNG couple, including "Riker"); Bill Johnson (23rd century alien Starfleet Captain); and Andrew Shaver and Breean Shaver (James T, Kirk and his communications officer -- a/k/a The Kissing Couple).
StarTrek.com chatted with some fans, and one particular married couple stood out. Claire and Eren Sakai are huge fans. Claire flew to Houston last weekend for the Star Trek Into Darkness concert event because it wasn't going to be here in San Diego. The couple told us they are such Trek aficionados that they actually joined an acting company to try to be extras in the 2009 movie... and they succeeded. Now, that's devotion.
Making the event truly special, both composer Michael Giacchino and the film's Sulu, John Cho, appeared on stage. Cho took to the stage first, welcoming fans to the event. He shared memories of watching movies with his brother when he was younger and pointed out that music was a key part of their re-enacting the roles.
Cho then introduced Giacchino, who recounted the first time he met Cho. Apparently, Cho told Giacchino he had some great ideas for the music, which he demostrated by air-jamming a screaming electric guitar solo. Giacchino also took a moment to tip his cap to the many people on hand in very different types of uniforms: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines.
Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness producer-director J.J. Abrams is an ardent supporter of The Mission Continues, a not-for-profit group that empowers veterans facing the challenge of adjusting to life at home to find new missions; several The Mission Continues soldiers appeared in Star Trek Into Darkness. The crowd cheered and the orchestra began playing the first notes of Star Trek (2009).
All in all, it was a great night of music and Trek fun. And it concluded with a post-concert standing ovation for the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Giacchino and Cho.
"Star Trek Live in Concert" will touch down next in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 31, with a screening of Star Trek Into Darkness and a performance of the score by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Visit www.philorch.org for details and to purchase tickets.