The last time Paul Simon was part of a stage theater production, it was as the co-writer of his poorly received 1998 Broadway play 'The Capeman.' Things will presumably proceed much more smoothly on Sept. 22, when he returns to drama in order to help some famous friends bring Shakespeare back to life.

Simon's part of the impressive cast of characters that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have lined up for this year's Simply Shakespeare event, the 24th annual edition of their yearly benefit for the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. He's scheduled to accompany a roster of celebrities that includes Hanks and Wilson as well as William Shatner, Steve Carell, Martin Short, Christopher Lloyd and Sam Waterston as they stage a reading of the play 'As You Like It.'

Simon follows in the footsteps of Paul McCartney, who appeared at last year's Simply Shakespeare, and helps continue the show's tradition of raising funds to bring the Bard (as well as job training) to vets and "inner-city youths at, or below, the poverty line." Tickets for the event, which will take place at 8PM at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA, cost $750; for more information, visit the Simply Shakespeare site.