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The play, helmed by noted Broadway director Daniel Sullivan, condenses two of Shakespeare’s history plays, Henry IV parts one and two, into a single work.
Hanks will star as the comic figure Sir John Falstaff, “the villainous and abominable misleader of youth.” Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, will also appear in the production, with additional cast to be announced.
Henry IV will run for four weeks of evening, outdoor performances from June 5-July 1 at The Japanese Garden. The Shakespeare Center, in partnership with the West L.A. VA, has arranged to set aside 2,000 free tickets for eligible veterans and active duty military members.
Hanks and Wilson have been longtime supporters of the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. Former performers for the Center include Anthony Hopkins, Kenneth Branagh, Will Smith, Paul McCartney, Robin Williams and Steve Martin.
An online email list can be found at ShakespeareCenter.org, and participants will be notified when tickets become available.
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