Co-chaired by Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, the annual staged readings feature a cast of celebrities who donate their time to raise funds for the theatre company's programming and productions. Shakespeare's comedic battle of the sexes features Hanks as Petruchio, Bening as Kate, as well as Christina Applegate (Sweet Charity, "Samantha Who?") as Bianca, William Shatner ("Boston Legal") as Baptista, Sean Astin ("Lord of the Rings") as Biondello, Zach Braff ("Scrubs") as Lucentio, David Schwimmer ("Friends") as Tranio, Arte Johnson (Candide) as Gremio, Steve Root ("No Country for Old Men") as Drumio, Tim Allen ("Home Improvement") as Hortensio, Peter Bonerz ("Murphy Brown") as Vincentio, Tommy Chong ("Up in Smoke") as The Pedant and Rita Wilson ("Sleepless in Seattle") as The Widow.
Grammy Award winner Lyle Lovett will perform live music during the evening.
Shakespeare Festival/LA is currently auctioning off various packages and a speaking role in the May 19 presentation of as part of its fundraising efforts.
The 7:30 PM staging of Taming of the Shrew will take place at UCLA's Freud Playhouse. Tickets and sponsorship packages are available by phoning (310) 201-5033 or by visiting www.shakespearefestivalla.org.