(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.