Weekend mini interview: Brent Spiner

We put your questions to performer Brent Spiner when we met him in London some weeks ago . He was over in the UK promoting his new CD - an immersive concept album called Dreamland which makes use of American crooner classics - and we were able to get many of his responses into SFX issue 173, which is on sale next Wednesday. As a little taster of that feature, here are two or three answers we didn't have room for in that issue.

Above: Brent Spiner and Maude Maggart record the fantasy album Dreamland .

The 59-year-old actor and singer was born in Houston, Texas and his big break came in 1987 when he was cast as Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation. After seven series he also played the character in four spin-off films. He has starred on the Broadway stage, played Nigel Fenway in the short-lived TV show Threshold, taken roles in a number of movies - such as Independence Day - and made guest appearances in many other TV productions. What did you want to ask him?

I have the soundtrack to your Broadway production of 1776. Your performance of John Adams is outstanding! Any chance you'll be bringing it to London's West End?
Henrik Hansen, SFX Website
Brent Spiner:
"Wouldn't that be great? That was 11 years ago, but it seems like yesterday. We had a reunion at The Roundabout Theatre in New York, which is a great theatre - they produced 1776. We had a reunion, it was their 40th year at The Roundabout and we opened the show with the opening of 1776; and everybody who was in the show came back, 17 guys and me opened that show. It was amazing, but I don't think that'll ever happen again - the British are the villains, you know, so I don't think it would play that well over here!"

If you could sing a duet with anybody in the world, who would it be?
VF, Email
Brent Spiner:
"Well, I've been fortunate enough to already do that with Maude Maggart, who was fantastic. If it were a man it's gotta be Tony Bennett, right? All 81 years of him, still singing like a dream. Do they have to be alive? Cos, I'd certainly enjoy singing with Sinatra, if that was possible. And Doris Day and Jo Stafford..."

Did you ever get to meet Frank Sinatra or anybody like that?
Roy Hargis, Email
Brent Spiner:
"[When the Star Trek actors watched Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas] somebody came up to our table and told us 'the old man' wants to meet us after the show! So we went back stage... but it turned out the old man was Frank Junior , who was his conductor! Frank Senior had already left. He had said he wanted to meet us but he had to go. So we sat and chatted to Frank Junior for a while, and got to know him a little bit."

"But I never saw Crosby. I had an opportunity but missed it. It was the last performance he gave in New York! My friend John 'Mac' McKinney, who did the arrangement on Dreamland, and I were living there and Crosby was playing with Rosemary Clooney in town. I've seen Rosemary playing since then, but something came up and we were too late getting to the theatre - we didn't get a ticket. And then he died on a golf course, so we blew it."

SFX: Thanks Brent!

Remember folks, you can read many more of his reminiscences in the news-stand magazine: the full four-page interview (with more questions from readers about Star Trek and Threshold) can be found in SFX issue 173 on sale from 30 July 2008 to 26 August 2008.

Above: Dreamland is available on CD now from $19.99. For more information go to www.therealbrentspiner.com .