Forrest Gump as Sir John Sack-and-Sugar? Believe it. Tom Hanks is set to make his L.A. stage debut in Henry IV, which the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles will raise the curtain on in June. Rita Wilson also will star, but her role wasn’t revealed.
Daniel Sullivan, who won a Tony for directing 2000’s Proof and has been nominated five other times, will direct Henry IV. The show is set to open June and run for two dozen performances through July 1 outdoors at the Japanese garden on the Veterans Affairs campus near UCLA.
The larger-than-life Sir John Falstaff, of course, is among William Shakespeare’s most famous comedic characters. Old, fat, braggadocious, a drunkard, a thief and a one-time dandy — it should be a hoot to see how double Oscar-winner Hanks embodies him. Remember, this is the guy of whom his ex-drinking buddy Prince Hal refers to as, “This sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh!”
Hanks and Wilson both have hosted and taken part in the Center’s Simply Shakespeare readings for more than a quarter-century, but this will be their first time onstage for the real thing. Ticket on-sale info is TBA.