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Oppenheimer Reviews


Liebman imbues the figure with a mournful intelligence. …it’s possible to see in (his) eyes the calculations Oppenheimer is making about the fascist threat.
via Charles McNulty—LA Times

Liebman does such a good job as Oppenheimer that it feels more like an incarnation than a performance; he presents both the man’s arrogance and increasing inner doubts with admirable artistry.
via Terry Morgan—Stage Raw

… nowhere does that pay off more handsomely than in James Liebman’s “Oppie.” The complexity of his performance in that title role is distinguished by a kind of reticence and grace, a reluctance to shine and take center stage amid the noise — which is exactly right. He has the tall and thin demeanor of the enigmatic man he impersonates — a creature apart, sometimes cruel, with a perpetual question mark in eyes that seem always to be looking Beyond.
via Sylvie Drake—Cultural Weekly

James Liebman is terrific as Oppenheimer. He embodies the thrill of the science. … Mr. Liebman shows us Oppenheimer’s vanity, but he also believably conveys something deeper, the fear that unless mankind sees the terrible fury of his bomb, it will be used to start another, even more terrible war.
…he betrays the trust of those closest to him, and he survives. Liebman projects that strength, but he also makes Oppenheimer’s breakdown palpably alive. When he curls up in a fetal position on the floor, shaking at the horror of what he has created, you feel his pain.
via Samuel Garza Bernstein—Stage and Cinema

Perhaps not surprisingly, Liebman’s warts-and-all star turn as Oppie is the evening’s standout, a man forced to live the remaining twenty-two years of his life with the consequences of his actions, the abandonment of friends whose political beliefs he once shared and the knowledge that he has, metaphorically speaking, dropped a loaded gun on a playground.
via Steven Stanley—StageSceneLA

As Oppenheimer, James Liebman creates a likable genius with one toe on the autistic spectrum. He’s often so inwardly focused he seems aloof; he’s stubborn when faced with change; yet he can be lively and engaged in all kinds of relationships, from military to intimate. Liebman grounds his character by bringing intense stillness to the many solo moments playwright Tom Morton-Smith gives him; we find ourselves watching closely for his smallest facial gesture.
via Theatre Ghost

Liebman cleverly balances Oppenheimer’s social unease, his brilliant mind and his sexual appetite.
via Peter Foldy—Hollywood Revealed


Directed by Elizabeth Swain, the three supporting performers are adept and entertaining, while Liebman emanates naturalness and an appealing warmth that invests you in his story.
via LAWeekly

…it is Liebman’s subtle, grounded work that makes the lasting impression
via StageSceneLA

…Liebman, … sets his Ben up for tensions, affection and fear for his partner’s mental and physical health.
via EDGEMediaNetwork

Liebman‘s Ben, the perfect yin to Jack’s yang. The calm to his hysteria. The optimism to Jack’s pragmatism. Liebman’s Ben would be the perfect partner for anyone, gay or straight. Ben’s loving, caring, understanding, and empathizing.
via BroadwayWorld

Director Elizabeth Swain is fortunate to have an extraordinary cast that is both convincing and affecting.
via WillCall

Liebman, as Ben, and Michael Rubenstone, as Jack, exude charm and credibility as the two protagonists, backed by an adept supporting cast (Elyse Mirto, Dale Raoul and Joel Swetow)
via Frontiers Media

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2 very kind reviews that had great things to say about our performance as a whole, but a snippet or 2 about me in particular. Flatterers …

“The play succeeds on all fronts. The acting is genuinely hilarious and subtle with wonderful performances from all cast members. Special acknowledgment goes to James Liebman as Sven, the Finnish know-it-all, for his ability to deliver unexpected interpretations to all of his interactions.”-by Markus Paminger on 6.9.10

“James Liebman’s Sven is the yin to Stattin’s yang, encompassing all that can happen to a person when nothing goes right. Sven, someone who “is never wrong, even when he is” is pompous and arrogant at first meeting, but his house of cards soon dissolves when he finds it harder and harder to keep up with Ricard’s good fortune – especially since they are equal business partners. A tennis match between Sven and Richard is the perfect metaphor for their relationship; what is pure sport and just fun for Richard is steely competition for Sven. Sven wins, of course, but only when Richard plays the game with his non-dominant hand. Liebman doesn’t over stretch Sven’s faults in order to expose them, he simple coats every action with a thin veneer of self-righteousness that at once makes Sven laughable and pitiable, especially as the years draw on.”-by Karen Tortora-Lee on 6.8.10


during a moment when Glen (James Liebman) is confessing to his wife that he loved his mistress in a way that didn’t interfere with his marriage the moment was genuine and true; you could honestly believe how this man got to the point of being with two women, needing them both equally and not seeing how one had anything to do with the other.  This is the heart of the play.  This is the very reason we’re here …

via Corner Pocket – Pool With A Side Of Everything – The Happiest Medium.

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