How to score tickets for Tom Hanks at the VA (it's free for vets)

Tom Hanks talks with
Tom Hanks talks with "The Frame" host John Horn at the 43rd annual Telluride Film Festival
Keith Ladzinski for KPCC

Who doesn’t want to spend a balmy Los Angeles evening in a historic Japanese garden with Tom Hanks commanding center stage as one of Shakespeare's best-loved characters?  

Tickets to see the Oscar-winner in ‘Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2’ at the West Los Angeles VA go on sale Monday, April 23 at 10 a.m. for the pre-registered set.  

Hanks is taking on the comic role of portly, braggadocious Sir John Falstaff for the production by the Shakespeare Center of L.A. (SCLA). Tony Award-winner Daniel Sullivan is directing. Hanks and his wife, actress and producer Rita Wilson, are longtime supporters of SCLA and host an annual reading to benefit the non-profit. (The couple have also contributed to KPCC.)

Twenty-four performances of Henry IV will start June 5, beginning at 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Shakespeare Center of L.A. is returning to the Japanese Garden on the West LA VA campus for the first time in nearly four years. A lawsuit by disabled and homeless veterans claimed the VA was mishandling the 388-acre property, leading to a 2015 settlement that booted dozens of third-party leaseholders from the Brentwood-adjacent campus.  

New leases have slowly been returning to the campus, but only those that “principally benefit veterans.” SCLA founder and Artistic Director Ben Donenberg told KPCC in February, “our commitment to veterans has been long-standing. We have veterans working backstage on scene construction, costumes, lighting, sound, communications, IT, and box office.” And veterans working for SCLA have the option to enroll for free in technical theater training courses at Santa Monica College.

SCLA is providing 2,000 tickets free of charge to vets and active-duty servicemembers.


If you’re in the military or a veteran, sign up here for complimentary tickets on a first-come, first-served basis.

Everyone else: add your name to this list to get an ‘Early Access’ link to purchase tickets delivered to your email inbox at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 23.