OFFSTAGE: Tim McGraw Hits Shakespeare Stage

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

If I could see Tim McGraw in a Shakespearean wig, a pair of white tights and a fat suit, I’d gladly pay $175. That’s what the best seats cost for this “Simply Shakespeare reading” of the comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor . McGraw is doing it, along with his wife Faith Hill, at the Shakespeare Center at UCLA on May 9. It’s the theater’s 25th anniversary, and they are calling this event a “rhinestone-studded cast in a down-home evening.” And they promise it will be “more colorful than a clown at a rodeo.” There are plenty of other celebs taking part, like Christina Applegate, William Shatner, Martin Short, Tracey Ullman and the co-chairs of the event — Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. But I just can’t get past the image of McGraw potentially playing knight Sir John Falstaff in all his portly glory. Tickets start at $95 and go on sale today. Proceeds will benefit youth employment programs for inner-city kids and arts education in the local schools. (I should mention that UCLA’s description as a “Simply Shakespeare reading” is probably just a vague way of saying that none of the participants will be in costume. Which takes a little bit of the fun out of it. But, still, it sounds like yet another cool way to see McGraw onstage.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.