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Paul McCartney to Read Shakespeare With a Bunch of Other Stars

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For more than two decades, the folks at Simply Shakespeare have convened once a year to offer “a hilarious and entertaining evening of impromptu Shakespeare and song.” This year, they’re adding a former Beatle to the mix.

ABC News Radio reports that the 23rd-annual Simply Shakespeare benefit event — scheduled for Sept. 25 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Calif. — will feature a reading of ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ starring a cast that includes William Shatner, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Paul McCartney.

The event, which will mark one of McCartney’s first forays into acting since his starring turn in the 1984 movie ‘Give My Regards to Broad Street,’ is a natural fit for the lifelong Shakespeare fan. In the McCartney biography ‘Many Years From Now,’ he talks about the many afternoons he spent by himself in the cheap seats of the local playhouse because he couldn’t get anyone to go with him.

Later, McCartney found fellow aficionados in the Beatles, who spoofed ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (which you can watch above) and incorporated a few lines of ‘King Lear’ into ‘I Am the Walrus.’ In more recent years, the band’s music has been used to form the basis for a hybrid tribute act, called ‘A Bard Day’s Night,’ which envisions the Fab Four going back in time and meeting Shakespeare.

Tickets for this year’s Simply Shakespeare event, which will feature additional cast members yet to be announced, cost $1,500, with proceeds going to benefit “arts based veterans employment and youth employment programs for inner-city youth and arts education in local schools.”

Next: Top 10 Paul McCartney Songs

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