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Live Active Cultures

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For a nightcap, Skill Focus: Burlesque, Orlando’s original “nerdy girl” striptease squad, showed off with Damn It, Jim! It’s Trek Burlesque! Last time I saw this troupe, led by local actress-designer Lora “Dorothy” Massey, they were playing sci-fi heroines in a dingy dive bar; this time, they had a standing-room-only ballroom of velour-shirted cadets clamoring to hand over dollar bills as an ersatz Kirk, Spock, Seven of Nine and a “fully functional” Data undressed. Looks like these ladies have found their target demographic; I’m looking forward to their upcoming Batman villains production.

In the end, I finally got my “Encounter at Farpoint” and thanked Sir Pat for that Christmas Carol long past (scoop: He may reprise the play “one last time” in 2012!), but it was at arm’s length over a microphone. Convention admission got you in the building, but an up-close autograph ($75), photo ($100) or cocktail ($200) with Capt. Chrome Dome cost extra.

Ultimately, these conventions aren’t really about the stars, but the fans, and the community they form. By midnight, a boisterous crowd bearing a Crayola box of various skin colors had gathered around the lobby bar piano, drunkenly singing along to Beatles songs, their battles with the Borg apparently behind them. Even in an ailing economy, as long as there is still latex and liquor in the universe, cons like this look to live long and prosper.

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