Tony nominee and former Scarlet Pimpernel Douglas Sills plays Benedict in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, opening Feb. 23 and running through April 1 at South Coast Rep. Rucker, who devised a stylized 1950s, Italian-American setting for his award-winning 1996 The Taming of the Shrew, has set this production in the Hollywood of the 1930s.
Sills, who earned a Tony nomination for his performance in the title role of The Scarlet Pimpernel, returns to SCR after appearing there in The Philadelphia Story and She Stoops to Conquer.
Sills' casting may say something about the future of a Broadway-bound production of Mack and Mabel. Sills was named to play Mack in the Jerry Herman show, should it reach Broadway this spring. Producer Jon Wilner registered April 23 as a New York opening night date with the League of American Theatres and Producers and is targeting a March 1 rehearsal start-date, in the admittedly unlikely event that a Broadway theatre becomes available for the show. Sills could arguably do both shows if Mack and Mabel rehearsed in L.A. As of yet, no Broadway house has become available for the Wilner venture.
Nike Doukas plays Beatrice. She was seen earlier this year at SCR in the world premiere of Richard Greenberg's Everett Beekin.
The rest of the cast includes Julia Coffey, Robert Dorfman, Richard Doyle, Joshua Fardon, Andrew Heffernan, John David-Keller, Art Koustik, Hal Landon, Jr., Michael Louden, Preston Maybank, Martha McFarland, Todd Murray, Tony Pasqualini and Don Took, with Marika Betz, R. Louis Brahtz, Mark Coyan and Troy Ryan Zurcher. SCR is located at 655 Town Center Drive. For tickets and information call (714) 708-5555.