William Shatner keeps reinventing himself, but he doesn’t describe it as a conscious process.
His résumé includes lesser-known items such as Shakespearean stage and roles as Spencer Tracy’s attaché in “Judgment at Nuremberg” and as Alyosha in “The Brothers Karamazov” as well as starring roles as Capt. James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, Sgt. T.J. Hooker and Boston law partner Denny Crane. He has even tossed in recordings and Broadway appearances.
To him it all comes down to taking an opportunity when it comes up.
“It’s all about pressing on,” he said in a phone interview regarding his appearance Saturday at Cache Creek. “There are times when caution would perhaps be the better choice, or would have been, but pressing on is its own venture. It may be a mistake, but saying yes to opportunity is very important. If something pops up, I say you take it.”
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“Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It” is the title of a show he did on Broadway and his show at Cache Creek. The name is, of course, a tongue-in-cheek reference to what has become Shatner’s outsize persona, but he promises simply a good time.
“There is a little about everything, comedy and drama, marriage and children, life and death. There are songs and visuals, and even a gorilla and a motorcycle. I even dance with a chair. It has been very well-received, and I can guarantee that you will walk out at the end of the evening feeling what you’ve been given was worth every dollar.”
Shatner is well aware of one opportunity that has been given him: a chance to inspire others. His inspirational book, “Leonard,” is, he says, “all about my over 50 years of friendship with Leonard Nimoy. How different life is when you find a friend and keep a friend.”
Shatner has written a wide variety of books, from science fiction novels to one called “Catch Me Up,” about helping older people adapt to and learn to use social media.
But he hasn’t altogether forgotten his Shakespearean roots (he started out in the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada). He has considered Lear now that he’s of an age to take it on, but says “that’s a lot of work.” Instead he participates in an annual reading of a complete Shakespeare play with other actors that is organized by Tom Hanks and his wife to raise money for classics education in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“It’s good to keep involved in that, and it’s such a good cause. The last one I got to do (the part of) Falstaff.”
He keeps following passions: a new novel (“Zero G”) due in October, a show – “Better Late than Never” – on NBC (a travel-reality series with Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman) on the burner, a guest spot on Rufus Wainwright’s new album, “Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets,” an upcoming Christmas album and “several documentaries.” (8 p.m.; $65-$105; cachecreek.com).