Kenneth Branagh, William Shatner, Tom Hanks, Martin Short Flirt With Merry Wives in L.A. Benefit

News   Kenneth Branagh, William Shatner, Tom Hanks, Martin Short Flirt With Merry Wives in L.A. Benefit
 
The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (SCLA) will present its 21st "Simply Shakespeare" reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor on May 9. The starry benefit evening will feature readers Kenneth Branagh, Faith Hill, Eric Idle, Christina Applegate, William Shatner and co-chairs Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, among others.

Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh

The fundraiser is May 9 at 8 PM at Royce Hall at UCLA in Los Angeles. Tickets to the general public go on sale April 15 at Ticketmaster.com.

Also expected to read the Shakespeare comedy are Arte Johnson, Eugene Levy, Tim McGraw, Martin Short and Tracey Ullman.

The evening is directed by Ben Donenberg, founding artistic director of The SCLA. Last year's "Simply Shakespeare" reading of Much Ado About Nothing with Helen Hunt led to the company's recent full-scale production starring Hunt, Tom Irwin and Lyle Lovett at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Gala tickets at $500 and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Lauran Huff at Levy Pazanti Associates at (310) 201-5033 or by email at Lauran@lpaevents.com.

Tickets to the general public go on sale April 15, for the performance only and are priced at $95 and $175. Tickets can be purchased by visiting uclalive.com or Ticketmaster.com or calling (800) 745-3000. An eBay auction for a role alongside the cast commences on April 21 and concludes on May 1. The winner will join the cast on stage with a line of dialogue, participate in limited rehearsal, have billing in the program, gain admission to the VIP post-show party and take a group photo with the cast. Visit The SCLA auction site at http://tiny.cc/simplyshakespeare.

All proceeds from the event and the eBay auction support The SCLA and "its arts based youth employment programs for inner-city youth, arts education in local schools, and professional union-contracted productions that are accessible to all."

For more information on the Simply Shakespeare fundraiser or The SCLA, visit www.ShakespeareCenter.org.

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Since 1985, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles "has been a vibrant hub of unique programs and events designed to make Shakespeare accessible and engaging in Los Angeles." The center recently presented the West Coast premiere of The Trial of Hamlet, previously presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Boston and Chicago.

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