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William Shatner’s mission: prog rock enterprise

For more than half of his life, actor William Shatner has been on a mythical mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Though he no longer commands the Starship Enterprise, the 82-year-old poet and TV pitchman is still visiting bizarre worlds, his latest being prog rock.

His new concept album, “Ponder the Mystery,” finds the man formerly known as Capt. James T. Kirk supported by a new crew that wields musical instruments rather than phasers. They include former members of the band Yes Tony Kaye, Billy Sherwood and Rick Wakeman. The record includes appearances by country guitar ace Vince Gill, arena rocker Mick Jones of Foreigner and jazz fusion keyboardist George Duke.

Shatner has recorded before, sometimes just for the fun of it, as on his 1968 camp classic album “Transformer Man,” and sometimes with a more serious musical agenda, as with his 2004 collaboration with musician-composer Ben Folds for their album “Has Been.”

“Ponder the Mystery,” released Tuesday, is a concept album revolving around, as Shatner describes it, “a guy in despair who is living on a beach, and it takes him through the last hour of the day at sunset through twilight, into darkness and the sounds of the night in which he regains his fervor, his love of life based on the beauty of what he’s seeing around him.”

“We didn’t want to put out another William Shatner record just for the sake of putting out a William Shatner record,” said Cleopatra Records chief Brian Perera. “But he’s such a wonderful artist and creative person to work with, we wanted to figure out what we could do next.”

Actors’ fairy-tale romance coming true

Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas’ fairy tale extends beyond their day jobs.

The actors, both 35, play Snow White and Prince Charming on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and have announced their engagement.

The couple met while working on the show.

Goodwin was previously engaged to actor Joey Kern, while Dallas was married to Lara Pulver from 2007 to 2011.

On her official Twitter account, Goodwin wrote Friday, “From my soon-2-b-Mrs-Dallas head 2 my soon-2-be Mrs-Dallas-toes, I’m oh-so grateful 4 your well wishes! THANK U!”

Dallas tweeted on his account, “Thanks to all of you for the outpouring of love and congrats!”

“Once Upon a Time” is now in its third season.

The birthday bunch

Comedian-activist Dick Gregory is 81. Singer Sam Moore (Sam and Dave) is 78. “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace is 66. Actor Hugh Jackman is 45. Actor Adam Rich (“Eight Is Enough”) is 45. Fiddler Martie Maguire (The Dixie Chicks, Courtyard Hounds) is 44. Actor Kirk Cameron is 43. Actor Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”) is 21.


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