This time, he's a Pimpernel on the post-Broadway national tour.
Sills earned Best Actor nominations for the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for playing the sometimes swishing, sometimes swashbuckling British aristocrat Sir Percy Blakeney (aka The Scarlet Pimpernel) in the romantic musical adventure by Nan Knighton and Frank Wildhorn.
Sills created the role in fall 1997 and stuck with the show when new producers revamped it with a new director-choreographer, Robert Longbottom, in fall 1998. When the show shut down and scaled back its cast and scenic elements in spring 1999, Sills took a break from the tuner. Following a mini-tour in summer 1999, the trimmer show returned to Broadway, at the Neil Simon Theatre, in September, with Ron Bohmer as Percy.
The Broadway staging continues at the Neil Simon Theatre through Jan. 2, 2000. Sills will appear on tour for 17 weeks only, beginning Feb. 20 at New Haven's Shubert Theatre. Bookings will take him to St. Paul, Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles. Regional credits in southern California earned him a loyal audience in the Los Angeles-San Diego area.
The tour is booked through summer 2001. Complete casting has not been announced.
Sills' previous work includes first national tours of The Secret Garden and Into the Woods. He appeared in the Los Angeles premiere of Chess, and has performed at South Coast Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, California Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. A Michigan native, Sills holds degrees in theatre from University of Michigan and the American Conservatory Theatre.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is produced by Radio City Entertainment and Ted Forstmann. Book and lyrics are by Nan Knighton and music is by Frank Wildhorn (drawing on novels by Baroness Orczy). Designers are Andrew Jackness (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Karl Richardson (sound).