'Cavalcade of celebs' do Shakespeare Hollywood style

Wednesday May 11, 2011

Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hanks have brought Shakespeare to Southern California with an all-star reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The reading took place in the University of California's Royce Hall, which is about as far as you can get from the Bard of Avon's old stomping grounds.

"It's a cavalcade of celebrities in here, some of whom have done Shakespeare before, some of whom not," said Hollywood star Tom in an interview before the event.

"And it's a one-time only. We sell it out. We rehearsed it today. We're performing it later. Hardly anyone knows what they're doing in there. So anything could happen. It could be Hellzapoppin' in here, by way of The Merry Wives of Windsor."

Among the participants in aid of The Shakespeare Centre in Los Angeles were Christina Applegate, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Eric Idle, Tracey Ullman and Kenneth Branagh, who has brought Shakespeare to the masses with such films as Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing.

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