Trekkies and Orchestra fans alike will want to beam themselves to Blossom Music Center on Aug. 16 for George Takei’s narration of this summer’s Sci-Fi Spectacular. Yet the gig doesn’t have as much to do with Takei’s role as Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu as you might think.
He’s done this sort of work for almost 20 years, ever since he was invited to narrate a performance of Johan de Meij’s Symphony No. 1: The Lord of the Rings by the Orange County Wind Orchestra.
“It was a wonderful experience — I got to play Gollum and all of the other characters,” says Takei. “He liked what I did, so I did the same concert in Florida, Colorado and so forth. I guess the jungle tom-tom amongst symphony conductors got out.”
Selections for the Cleveland Orchestra’s Sci-Fi Spectacular include themes from Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars, Superman and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Takei’s personal favorite from the show is the theme from Star Trek, during which he will describe creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision for the iconic sci-fi series. Takei will also deliver Klaatu’s final speech as the orchestra performs the theme from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
“Science fiction is intriguing to people because it’s about what the future holds,” Takei says. “Good science-fiction writers have always had confidence in our ability to solve problems, to be creative in meeting the challenges of the future. That’s what Star Trek was.”