Apparently there was a medical issue at a recent performance of Henry IV in West Los Angeles, and Tom Hanks came on stage in full character as 'Falstaff' and filled in for five minutes. Yes, for five minutes. And an even better "yes," -- yes, there’s video.
Clearly there was nothing like this when I went to the play last week, but at least people can get a hint of the vibrancy of his performance and how I wrote here that he played the part to the fullest and that it wasn't a mere Star Turn. Even in this clip, ad-libbing for five minutes, he plays the weight of Sir John Falstaff lumbering around and in full Falstaffian bombast.
And also, this isn’t a cell phone video, but clearly the Shakespeare Fest is videotaping it -- though I suspect more for archival purposes, since the sound quality is not very good. But as a remembrance for those who saw the play – and as at least a hint of it all for those who didn’t – what a treat to have, for them to even just see five minutes of Tom Hanks as 'Falstaff,' even if it's just 'Ad-Lib Falstaff. Because poor as the sound quality is, you can hear enough, and some of it is very funny.