Uhura in a midriff-baring uniform on Star Trek was stirring as a kid. By "stirring", I mean "ohmigod thatissohot" swirled with a hunger for acquisition even when my sense of anatomy and what goes where was, to put it kindly, vague. The episode she showed her abs was "Mirror, Mirror" and on Sunday afternoon I went to a production with my spouse and friends and new acquaintances to see a local troupe re-enacting the episode, verbatim, with great humor, ingenuity, charm, and energy as part of an annual "Trek in the Park" event. More on that later.
Back to early stirrings and burgeoning lust.
Seeing Nichelle Nichols as Uhura sadistically, strategically, and dangerously tantalize George Takei as Sulu (Uhura, distract him with your wiles from seeing that flashing light on his console! Sulu, you lucky dog!) with a knife then sashaying off when she got what she wanted was ¡RAWR! to early-pubescent me.
A transporter accident beams four Enterprise crew members (Kirk, Uhura, Scotty, McCoy) to an alternate universe where the Federation is an assasination-happy empire. Enough summary. Confident cheesecake below!
HAWT, right? This imprinted me. I have a Nichelle Nichols CD of her singing (including made-up lyrics to the 'Star Trek' theme song) she recorded in the '90s. My friend S was similarly imprinted. We can both recite her favorite two anecdotes verbatim: when she wanted to quit 'Star Trek but Martin Luther King Jr. begged her not to, and hearing from Whoopi Goldberg that seeing a black woman like Uhura on prime time television was a BIG inspiration to little Whoopi in the 60s.
In high school/college, seeing the episode again, my eyes were opened to ANOTHER BABE on the very same episode: Barbara Luna as Marlena Moreau. Not the typical romantic interest for Kirk - ditzy, blonde, easily tricked - Marlena was a brunette, ambitious, great presence, and two-dimensional (maybe three dimensional?). Check out Marlena pitching woo to Kirk, not knowing (yet) he's from another universe where they are NOT shacked up:
Hubba, and then again [gets a drink of water, stands on porch, watches the sunset, does dishes] hubba.
Dialog is goofy, hilarious, and female-empowering in a ham-handed way. "You could be anything you want to be." Meaty episode with lots for actors to chew on, and a great choice for Trek in the Park.
Sunday was the first time I've attended. Wanted to before, but didn't get around to it the last two years. Finally, friend E. evangelized enough to get me and my spouse past our torpor and our asses on blankets. She got there about four hours before show time. I got there three hours before, and we held ground for the gradual trickling in of friends and family. E. got GREAT seats for us, third tier up from the ground in the tiny outdoor auditorium, center looking at the captain's chair. A shot of the crowd to my right about ten minutes before show time, rows of people behind THEM you can't see in the photo, captain's chair draped in orange on the left:
E. & her spouse say the crowds have ballooned in the 3 years of Trek in the Park. Always in this park, but now the actors have to project loudly and essentially play in the round. They do a good job of it. Microphones & speakers are saved for voice overs (like intercom and computer voices).
Attending this, I knew I was going to comment on the two original scenes shown above and would want corresponding photos from the reenactment. Kirk (Adam Rosko, who started and leads Trek in the Park) with Marlena (Allison Hergert):
And in this scene with Uhura, actress Dana Thompson gave a bonus playful jab of the dagger at Sulu (Kaebel Hashitani) before her exit that got a big laugh:
During these moments with the actresses, camera shutters went clickity click click. Below, a photo of another early scene with Marlena and Kirk where camera shutter noises also rippled around. Wonder why?
Am left to conclude the other photographers MUST also be bloggers commenting on these scenes. Weird coincidence! Looking forward to those write-ups as soon as they're posted. In the photo above, Marlena is using the Tantalus Field which can monitor and exterminate people at will. Maybe it was fans of high tech weaponry with all those cameras?. As I'm not much of a gear head, their mentality is tough for me to grok.
No admission charged, but comemorative t-shirts were for sale after the show. I bought us two. Might try to go back with the kids next weekend (the final pair of shows this summer). It was worth the wait for a good spot. A lot of enthusiasm + crowd deeply into it and giving love back = a high time. At the end, they even did a preview of next summer's episode: "Journey to Babel" where we first meet Spock's flinty Vulcan dad Sarek, his human mother, wolf dude with a pig snout, murder, intrigue, sneering sneaky blue guy, knife fight, derring-do!
We're SO there next year.