Al Pacino and Geoffrey Rush star
in a Benefit Reading for
Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles



Legendary actor Al Pacino joins fellow Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush for Simply Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice, a one-night only staged benefit reading to support The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.  Tony Award winner Dan Sullivan reunites Pacino (Shylock) with his Merchant of Venice Broadway stars Lily Rabe (Portia) and Hamish Linklater (Bassanio).  All three actors originally appeared in Sullivan’s 2010 production for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s summer festival in Central Park which quickly transferred to Broadway for a limited sold-out run.  Rush steps in to read the role of the Antonio and Keith David will read the roles of the Duke of Venice and Solerio. 

Prior to the reading at 7:30pm, LA attorney and author Bert Fields, will lead a discussion on Shakespeare and specifically on the character of Shylock, an enigmatic character who varies with each actor's interpretation.  Fields is the author of several books including the 2005 Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare, which deals with the authorship of the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare, and the 2015 Shylock: His Own Story in which Fields gives Shylock's full story, his dangerous background, his life, loves and challenges as an educated Jew in 16th century Venice, the motivation for demanding his seemingly bizarre 'bond,' as well as what occurred after his fateful confrontation with Portia and the Doge.

There will be a dessert reception following the reading.

Simply Shakespeare is a 28-year-old annual event to raise awareness and funds to benefit The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.  At this event, Oscar winners, Tony winners and Grammy winners unite for a night of impromptu Shakespeare.  The honorary Co-Chairs of Simply Shakespeare are Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks.

Simply Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice
The Gindi Auditorium on the campus of American Jewish University
15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90077  

Benefit tickets and sponsorships start at $500 and can be purchased online or by calling 310.559.9334 x102 or