ARTS & CULTURE
09/26/2012 03:14 pm ET | Updated Sep 26, 2012

'Midsummer Night's Dream' Goes Sixties With Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, And More Hollywood Royalty (SLIDESHOW)

Fairy politics, love spells, an enchanted donkey: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is Shakespeare's trippiest play, no? This Thursday, William Shatner, Martin Short, Billy Crystal and Tom Hanks will join forces with even more A-listers with distinctive voices to test that premise, with a "psychedelic 1960s adaptation," put on by the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are co-chairs).

The "Simply Shakespeare" press release leaves no sixties cliche unreferenced in its rundown of "a tie-dyed cast of hilarious hippies," "peace," "love," and the intriguingly vague promise of "iconic music of the era." ("Forrest Gump" soundtrack? Is that you we're sensing?)

Proceeds from the staged reading will go to the SCLA and its various outreach programs. Ticket prices, it goes without saying, are steep.

As promising as the genre mashup seems, we're wondering where it'll rank in the long history of seamless Shakespeare adaptations. From Baz Luhrman to Roman Polanski, Hollywood's best and brightest have forever been on the quest to update the Bard. Then again, they did not hold the wild card of Cedric the Entertainer up their sleeves (well done, SCLA).

What do you think readers? Is the sixties experiment likely to stack up? Click through our slideshow below of the best in Shakespeare screen adaptations, and let us know your take!

10 Best Shakespeare Adaptations For The Screen

"Simply Shakespeare’s" staged reading of “A Midsummer Nights Dream,” is September 27 at the Freud Playhouse on UCLA’s campus. For more information visit their website.

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