Hanks Goodness, It's Tom's LA Stage Debut

The movie star will play Falstaff in "Henry IV" over 24 performances beginning in June.

What to Know

  • "Henry IV" at UCLA VA campus
  • Pre-sale opens on April 23
  • June 5 through July 1

So you're a beloved movie star, a high-spirited performer who has graciously garnered the goodwill of the public over the nearly four decades you've been appearing in films and on television.

You've won Oscars, you have an international holiday named in your honor, you merrily pop up in the lives of unsuspecting fans, and you're set to play yet another beloved icon, on the big screen, named Fred Rogers.

Clearly, making your first appearance on stage in Los Angeles seems like a "get" that's best gotten at this point. Which is just what Tom Hanks will charmingly do, over 24 performances, from June 5 through July 1, at the Japanese Garden on the West Los Angeles UCLA VA campus.

Fittingly, the comical legend will take on the eternally entertaining role of Falstaff in William Shakespeare's "Henry IV." Sharing the stage with Mr. Hanks is Harry Groener, Hamish Linklater, and Joe Morton, while Tony-winning director Daniel Sullivan is at the helm.

The pre-sale for tickets, which are expected to be in high demand, begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 23. You'll need to register first to be able to get a crack at an admission, so tarry not, as the Bard might say.

The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, which is behind the production, is "... providing thousands of complimentary tickets for veterans and active members of the military who enter their names and service information on this page at The Shakespeare Center site. 

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And nearly three dozen veterans will work on the production, following a period of training, in addition to the 14 union-contracted actors appearing on the stage.

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs and the West LA VA are partnering with The Shakespeare Center on the play, one that will shine a light on Shakepeare's "most colorful and political military hero," per artistic director Ben Donenberg.

It's a treat of Tomly proportions as we roll into the summer outdoor Shakespeare season, and one with a lot of veteran-focused heart. You'll be hanksful you procured a ticket, but do so early, before they're gone faster than a flagon of mead in Falstaff's hands.

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