The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Listen To A Symphony Pay Homage To 'Star Trek' In Chicago Saturday

By Marielle Shaw in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 13, 2016 4:55PM

Spock ultra-lookalike Paul Forest cosplays his doppelgänger (photo via SauceyJack on Flickr)

2016 is a banner year for Star Trek and its fans, marking the 50th anniversary of the show's first episode airing. Celebrations abound, including a sold out convention in Las Vegas in August, and two in New York and Chicago still in the works. To top it all off, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is coming to the Chicago Theatre on Saturday, March 19.

The show features a live symphony performing music from all iterations of the Star Trek legacy, all while footage from the various Star Trek series plays on a giant screen behind them. Fans of the series can expect to clips from all six television series and all twelve movies, soundtracked by works from composers like the prolific Jerry Goldsmith. (He created the theme to Star Trek: The Motion Picture and went on to score four more movies for the franchise.)

Several pieces on the show's set list come from the most highly lauded episodes among the series' 50 years, such as the "Inner Light Suit"e by Jay Chattaway from the Next Generation episode of the same name. Other pieces were pulled from similarly iconic episodes, like Deep Space Nine's "In The Pale Moonlight" and the original series' "Doomsday Machine."

Brady Beaubien, the writer and co-producer for the show, explains the thinking behind the show. "Films have always been about transporting someone to another place," he said, "and the film score has always been one of the most effective devices to ignite this process. But it is all too often missed. We want to celebrate the artists that create the score better... [and] help return audiences to the tradition of live entertainment."

Nowadays, Beaubien notes, most people consume the bulk of their media on smartphone and laptop screens, alone. This show pushes back against that trend, helping viewers "[share] something you love... in a new way that feels big and special, with others that feel the same way."

But what makes Star Trek fans so loyal, and so excited to revisit the series again and again through events like this one? We turned to local expert and sociology professor at the College of Lake County, John Tenuto, for some insight. Not only is he a huge fan himself (who walked down the aisle to the Voyager theme, we might add), he also teaches a course called "The Sociology of Star Trek."

"Since the very, very start, even way back in the Gene Roddenberry era, [the show's creators] were very concerned with being relevant—using science fiction as a metaphor to explore today's issues," John told Chicagoist. "They were able to make commentaries about what was going on, like racism or global political tension, but wrap it around fun and adventure."

"Music is so important in our daily lives," John continued, "and it's a big part of the emotional punch of Star Trek...You associate the music with the characters and it's a great nostalgic experience."

If you'd like to be a part of the celebration,tickets are still available for Saturday's 8 pm show at the Chicago Theatre. Ticket prices range from $43 to $78.