Back in mid-April, word came that Tony Randall's National Actors Theatre would stage Abby Mann's courtroom drama, Judgment at Nuremberg, in New York in the fall. A spokesman for the show said the production would begin some time in October, with John Tillinger directing. No theatre was selected, but the Lyceum, home of other NAT shows, was a possibility.
Four months later, word is still mum on the production, with most of the principles out of town. (Tillinger was up in the Berkshires staging Lillian Hellman's Toys in the Attic through July 22. Randall is on vacation.) A production spokesperson at the Springer/Chicoine office (reached Aug. 10) said autumn was still the target, even if October may no longer be the month.
Judgment at Nuremberg began life at a television production. It was subsequently made into a film starring Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Maximilian Schell and Marlene Dietrich. The NAT commissioned Mann to adapt his own script for the stage.
(The play has no connection, by the way, to another television piece: "Nuremberg," a four-hour docudrama by David W. Rintels, premiering July 16 on Turner Network Television.)
Judgment would mark the NAT's first venture since Night Must Fall, which closed on Broadway in spring 1999. Since its first two seasons, in the early '90s, the NAT has operated in a more casual manner, presenting a play whenever the needed elements and talent were brought together. Past productions have included The Gin Game and Inherit the Wind. Tillinger, whose most recent credit was the short-lived Suite in Two Keys Off-Broadway, has almost become the house director for the NAT. For the company, he has mounted, Inherit the Wind, Night Must Fall, The Sunshine Boys and Three Men on a Horse.
--By Robert Simonson
and David Lefkowitz