Details are still slow in coming regarding the Broadway adaptation of Judgment at Nuremberg, due in a National Actors Theatre mounting this season. As reported late in September, rehearsals are slated to happen sometime between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, with preview and opening dates dependent on the rehearsal schedule, according to production spokesperson Gary Springer. An Oct. 11 call to the Springer Chicoine press office re-confirmed that February 2001 seems the likely target date for Nuremberg, but there’s no new information on casting or venue.
Weeks earlier, it was confirmed that Maximilian Schell, unforgettable as the volcanic attorney defending Nazi war criminals in the film version, would return to the material -- albeit in a different role. This time he'll play a defendant, a calm, intelligent man who should have known better than to just follow orders. (The role was played by Burt Lancaster in the movie.)
Director John Tillinger and NAT artistic director Tony Randall are still casting the other roles, and there's still no word on which theatre the show will fill, although spokesperson Springer told Playbill On-Line the choices have been narrowed down to two possible venues. Abby Mann, adapting his own screenplay, is apparently still working on revisions to the script.
Variety had mentioned (Aug. 31) that actor Schell was recently recovering in a Munich hospital after collapsing at the Latvian Film Festival. He didn't require surgery, and Nuremberg spokespersons say he's recovered, remains with the project, and has been in frequent contact with the producers about the show.
Judgment at Nuremberg began life at 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. (The play has no connection, by the way, to another television piece: "Nuremberg," a four hour docudrama by David W. Rintels, which premiered July 16 on Turner Network Television.) Judgment will 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.