Recurrent Themes – Performing Artists
Performing artists in Star Trek? Sure.
The performing arts are canon. In Star Trek: TOS and TNG, members of the crew put on plays and the like in amateur productions, or characters go to shows. In VOY, characters might see a show on the holodeck, or even participate.
Then in the E2 stories, there’s nothing different and exciting to do a lot of the time outside of work, so the characters think up some entertainments.
In the E2 stories, the characters play a baseball game. As a means of opening the game, and to fill in the Seventh Inning stretch, Captain Archer finds a singer. Meredith Porter is an Engineering crewman and an older woman, almost as old as Lili. For the game, she sings America the Beautiful and Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
In the Romulan War story, Soldiers’ Marriage Project, a performance is not seen, but it is referenced – pop sensation Kurt Fong and soprano Rosumund Taylor sing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Fong shows up again, or, rather, the team responsible for answering his fan mail, in Gainful.
Lili also sings, but she’s not a professional. In Together, she sings O Pato to Joss. Then in Temper, she sings Arroz con Leche to Tommy. In Fortune, she sings La Petite Poule Grise to Declan. And in the E2 stories, she sings Maria Elena to, of course, Maria Elena, and reprises Arroz con Leche, but sings it to the infant Valleri Rostov.
Aside from Shelby Pike, who had been a ballerina before she joined Starfleet, no one else is a professional. However, in Together, it’s revealed that Jennifer and Frank are particularly good. In Fortune, Malcolm gives Lili dancing lessons as a wedding gift.
In the E2 stories, people dance all the time, either at weddings or at various parties. Because Jenny is paired with Aidan, the pairing isn’t quite as good, evoking the fact that she’s not with the right person. Aidan’s no dancer. He mainly just facilitates her movements. First dates and early explorations of feelings are also expressed through dance, particularly between lonely male crew members and Ikaaran women in both of the kickbacks in time.
In Wider than the Sargasso Sea, aspiring actress Gabrielle Nolan is forced to star opposite aspiring actor and archenemy Desh, who is a Breen. They act as Jane Eyre and Rochester, respectively, in a production of Jane Eyre.
Actress Alyssa McKenna is mentioned in Soldiers’ Marriage Project, but she isn’t acting. Instead, she’s serving food for a charity.
Playing a Musical Instrument
In the E2 stories, Rex Ryan entertains everyone by playing guitar. He has a somewhat limited repertoire and mainly plays songs like This Land is Your Land. However, when he gets together with Meredith, and when she is pregnant with his child, they team up. He plays and she sings Danny’s Song (although in both kickbacks, they name their son Nicholas).
Historical professional musicians are seen in the HG Wells stories on several occasions, and time traveler HD Avery is tasked with fixing a lot of musical missions, most of which have to do with assuring a musician’s death. However, he also works to assure that the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon album is released. Other professional musicians seen in the series include Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper (JP Richardson), members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain. Cobain and the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd have no lines, however.
Stand Up Comedy
While no one is an actual professional, Chip Masterson dreams of his moment of performing stand up in a little comedy club on Risa, where the audience is mainly composed of appreciative Orion slave girls.
Where the characters go, sometimes entertainment follows in their wake. I know I’ll show more plays, songs and dances as more stories are written.