Despite receiving two Tony Award nominations for acting, the Broadway play Judgment at Nuremberg will close on May 13, after 45 previews and 56 performances. The National Actors Theatre production of the Abby Mann drama was cited for the work of featured actor Michael Hayden and featured actress Marthe Keller but not recognized for the performances of veterans Maximilian Schell and George Grizzard, and passed over for a best play nom.
On April 11, in a unique action, the Equity cast of Judgment at Nuremberg voted unanimously to “postpone their pay increase until June 17” according to an Equity spokesperson. The unusual move was decided by the cast following the Wednesday matinee of the show. That decision, coupled with a bump in box office grosses, stayed the hangman's noose for the drama, which looked like a goner in early April.
The cast had been working under a less costly LORT A contract since the show's opening on March 26 and were schedule to switch to the full freight Production Contract on April 22. Concerns about increased costs led to speculation that the show might close under the burden of higher salaries for actors.
Nuremberg had earlier picked up Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Best Play, Actor (George Grizzard), Director (John Tillinger) and Featured Actress (Marthe Keller). Keller and Schell has also received Drama Desk nominations.
* As previously reported, Judgment at Nuremberg, an adaptation of Mann's teleplay and screenplay about war guilt and responsibility, opened at Broadway's Longacre Theatre March 26. Previews began Feb. 15 for the drama. The full cast of Nuremberg includes Maximilian Schell as Ernst, George Grizzard as Judge Haywood, Robert Foxworth as General Parker, Marthe Keller as Frau Bertholt, Joseph Wiseman as Dr. Wickert, Michael Hayden as Oscar Rolfe, Michael Mastro as Rudolph, Susan Kellerman as Elsa, Heather Randall as Maria Wallner, Peter Herman (OB's The Gathering) as a Prison Guard, Jack Davidson as General Merrin, Peter Kybart as Geuter, Jurian Hughes as the court interpreter, Henry Strozier as Judge Norris, Fred Burrell as Judge Ives, Rex Robbins (The Sisters Rosensweig) as Senator Burkette, Teagle F. Bougere as Captain Byers, Patricia Connolly as Mrs. Habelstadt, Peter Maloney as Emil Hahn, Philip LeStrange as Fredrich Hoffsetter and Reno Roop as Werner.
Peter Francis James, who was playing Captain Byers, left the production April 24 to take a movie role. Understudy Ty Jones now plays the role, with Lieth Burke taking over Jones' role as a Guard.
Judgment at Nuremberg began life as a television production. It was subsequently made into a film starring Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Lancaster, Judy Garland, Schell and Marlene Dietrich. The NAT commissioned Mann to adapt his own script for the stage.
For tickets ($29.50-$75) and information on Judgment at Nuremberg at the Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48 St, call (212) 239-6280 or check the website www.judgmentatnuremberg.com. Student rush tickets are available for $10 plus $1.25 facility charge.