Photos by Sam Garret and Donald David
It was a convocation of tribes akin— in passion, if not in scale—to Woodstock, Burning Man or the Gathering of the Juggalos. More than 100 hardcore William Shatner fans assembled at The Bell House in South Brooklyn last Thursday night for Shat Ball 3, a multimedia celebration of the legendary actor, musician, and horseman.
As DJ Brian Blackout spun “hot space jams” from the likes of David Bowie, Gorillaz, and, of course, Shatner himself, costumed Trekkies partied furiously over frothing glasses of “Romulan Ale,” “Klingon Blood Wine,” and other Star Trek-inspired drinks. It was like a scene out of Night of the Living Trekkies come to life on the banks of the Gowanus Canal.
The main stage featured comedy, magic, trivia contests, and Mystery Science Theater-esque capering courtesy of the Raspberry Brothers. I dropped a little science on the crowd with a few readings from The Encyclopedia Shatnerica, accompanied by video selections from the vast YouTube Shatner archive.
An ad-hoc Q&A session ensued, during which the audience and I crowdsourced such imponderables as “Who would win a fight between William Shatner and Adam West?” and “Which of his female co-stars did Shatner actually boink in real life?”
While we may never know the definitive answers to these questions, I feel richer for having wrestled with them in a public setting. Three cheers for the Shat Ball, a stunningly well-curated evening of Shatner-themed merriment. May it become an annual tradition!