Sir Paul McCartney and Tom Hanks joined friends on stage Wednesday night (September 25) in Los Angeles for the 23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare benefit.

The literally impromptu reading of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," featuring a star studded cast that included McCartney, Hanks, Rita Wilson and William Shatner was more about fun than good theater. The event is one of Los Angeles' most anticipated annual fundraising events of the year.

SOUNDBITE Tom Hanks saying (English):

"We come here all day and if it is not fun than nobody wants to do it ever again. We get to rehearse some and we get to experience absolute abject fear just a few minutes before we go on and we get to revel in some language that goes back a long way for both of us. It's a blast."

SOUNDBITE Rita Wilson saying (English):

"You know we only read through it once, run through it once and then we do it."

All proceeds from the event go to support the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and other arts based programs for inner-city youth and arts education.