These Veterans Made A Shakespearean Play Starring Tom Hanks A Reality

Code Red News
Courtesy of Mike Dowling

Nicest guy in Hollywood and A-list actor Tom Hanks is currently starring in Henry IV, a play by William Shakespeare, and a substantial number of veterans are the backbone of the production.


"I'm playing Falstaff in the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of Henry IV, on this very stage, that has in fact, been built by veterans," Hanks says in a new video that goes behind-the-scenes of the play, running from June 5 to July 1st. (You can watch the full video below.)

A number of veterans worked as stagehands, builders, prop managers, and in many other roles behind-the-scenes, giving them a chance to work on a real production and perhaps gain other opportunities in the entertainment industry. Veterans are being offered plenty of free tickets to the show, as well.

While Hanks stars as John Falstaff, other well-known actors play in key roles: Joe Morton as King Henry and Hamish Linklater as Prince Hal. And the production has gotten rave reviews thus far, especially for Hanks, whom Entertainment Weekly called a "Falstaff for the ages":

But Henry IV provides a platform for Hanks that permits him range and evident glee, as he flits through a cavalcade of double-speaking monologues and physical sight gags. Trussed up in a fat suit and a stringy white wig, Hanks loses himself in the role, so much so that he does the seemingly impossible — makes you forget you’re watching a movie star do Shakespeare and allowing you to sink into the action, enjoying the comedic antics that attend his every appearance on stage.

His physical comedy is genius, whether he’s struggling to raise himself from a bench or taking credit for killing an already dead man. With a single raise of his eyebrow or the drooping of his lips in mock disbelief and outrage, he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Hanks has always been a gifted physical comedian, a man able to hilariously channel his sense of wide-eyed mischief through every nerve ending, and it’s a rare treat to see him indulging in that side of himself.

The play is a joint venture between the nonprofit Shakespeare Center, the L.A. County Department of Mental Health, and the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus, which serves as the venue.

Check out the video of the vets working behind the scenes below:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.

Read More Show Less
Saturday Night Live/screenshot

President Donald Trump said that "retribution" should be "looked into" after this week's opening skit of Saturday Night Live featured Alec Baldwin being mean to him again.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)

CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.

Read More Show Less
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense

Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.

It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.

Read More Show Less