Actor Maximilian Schell underwent an emergency appendectomy over the past weekend, forcing him to miss nearly a week's worth of performances of Broadway's Judgment at Nuremberg. According to a production spokesperson at the Springer/Chicoine office, the actor is expected due back in the production tonight, March 16. However, it's not yet known whether he'll be able to do both performances on March 17.
Schell was expected to return March 15, but doctors suggested he take another day to recuperate, which he did. During his absence, understudy Peter Maloney played the role of Ernst.
Schell was preparing for a press interview on Friday, March 9, when he called Springer asking if the show had a doctor on staff. When Springer met Schell later that day, one look at the Oscar winner told him that it was prudent to call a physician sooner than later. Schell finished the Friday night performance and was then swiftly ushered to the hospital, where he underwent an emergency appendectomy.
No performances of Judgment were canceled. The show's official opening remains March 26.
Schell experienced health problems last summer, when, at the Latvian Film Festival, he collapsed. He did not require surgery and recovered. *
Judgment at Nuremberg, an adaptation of Abby Mann's teleplay and screenplay about war guilt and responsibility, began previews Feb. 15 and opens March 26. John Tillinger directs the drama, currently scheduled to run through the end of May or early June.
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.
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. (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, 2000 on Turner Network Television.)
Judgment marks 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. Nuremberg is produced by NAT in association with Earle I. Mack.
As a way of stressing the educational aspects of the show, the NAT and Yad Vashem (a Holocaust memorial organization) will offer two post-show panels following the Sunday matinees March 25 and April 22. These "Judgment After Nuremberg" panels will feature law professors who are war trial experts, as well as people who took part in the hearings. Author Mann will be on the March 25 panel, producer Randall will co-moderate the April 22 panel with Yad Vashem's Education Director, Marlene Warshawski.
For tickets ($29.50-$75) and information on Judgment at Nuremberg at the Longacre, 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.