OPPENHEIMER

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Reviews: 9

Audience

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Rogue Machine Moves to Venice with the American Premiere of “Oppenheimer”

“TOP TEN - [Rogue Machine] always punching above its weight class...a strong, compelling production. Impressive achievement and a promising debut for Rogue Machine's new home in Venice” Stage Raw

Fascism is spreading across Europe. It's 1939 and Franco marches on Barcelona. Two German chemists discover the processes of atomic fission. In Berkeley, California, theoretical physicists recognize the horrendous potential of this new science: a weapon that draws its power from the very building blocks of the universe. Ambitious and charismatic, J. Robert Oppenheimer finds himself uniquely placed to spearhead the largest scientific undertaking in all of human history, the Manhattan Project and the creation of the Atomic bomb. Could it bring about an end of World War II, and all wars?

“Anyone who knows anything about the Manhattan Project or Oppenheimer has an opinion on it, and him. I wanted to show you the other side,” says playwright Morton-Smith. “I wanted to take a character who seemed so aloof in the history books and show him as a human being. His journey from idealism to cynicism…eventually kind of betraying his younger self.”

Written by Tom Morton-Smith and directed by John Perrin Flynn, the cast includes James Liebman, Ryan Brophy, Jason Chiumento, Kenney Selvey, Mark Jacobson, Miranda Wynne, Kirsten Kollender, Brewster Parsons, Zachary Grant, Scott Victor Nelson, Jennifer Pollono, Rachel Avery, Michael Redfield, Dan Via, Ron Bottitta, Brendan Farrell, Landon Tavernier, Brady Richards, Daniel Shawn Miller, Rick Garrison, Marwa Bernstein, Daniel Jordan Booth, Rori Flynn, and Sophie Pollono.

"It's a thrilling ride. The production's unimpeded flow, Brechtian overtones, smart choices and the play's deep dive into the complicated man who said he needed physics more than he needed friends, prove irresistible.” - Cultural Weekly

Oppenheimer runs at 8pm Saturdays and Mondays, 3pm Sundays through December 30, 2018 (10/28 is at 8pm, no performance on 11/12, 11/17, 11/26, 12/1, 12/2, 12/8, 12/9, 12/10, 12/24) with added performances on 10/26, 10/28 at 8pm & 11/2 at 8pm. Rogue Machine is located in the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue in Venice, CA 90291. Tickets are $40. Reservations: 855-585-5185 or at www.roguemachinetheatre.com

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Reviews

Steven Stanley
"It's hard to overstate just how much of a feather it is in Rogue Machine's cap to give Oppenheimer its first American staging since its 2015 Royal Shakespeare Company debut. That this U.S. Premiere represents Los Angeles membership theater at its most vibrant and indispensable gives L.A. audiences even more reason to cheer."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


"Liebman cleverly balances Oppenheimer's social unease, his brilliant mind and his sexual appetite. He is supported by a talented, hard-working cast who all deliver impressive performances. There are no slouches on stage. Every actor has a moment to shine... John Perrin Flynn's fluid direction keeps the lengthy piece moving at a good clip. I especially welcomed the staging of a wild, ritualistic dance number in the second act, based on the Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Richard Feynman's bongo playing. It's a climactic, tension busting moment that celebrates the success of the Manhattan Project, allowing the cast to cut loose while also giving the audience a moment of much needed levity... Oppenheimer is absorbing and powerful. It should not be misssed."

sweet - Peter Foldy - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"And while a lot of the scientific language during the 3-hour play is daunting at best to fully comprehend, BWW Review: American Premiere of OPPENHEIMER Initiates Rogue Machine Move to Venicewe are forewarned at the beginning by Oppenheimer himself, expertly portrayed by James Liebman, that he will be able to "make it clearer, but not simpler" to understand. The play is brutally intense at times and highly entertaining at others, with playwright Tom Morton-Smith explaining, "Anyone who knows anything about the Manhattan Project or Oppenheimer has an opinion on it, and him. I wanted to show you the other side... to take a character who seemed so aloof in the history books and show him as a human being. His journey from idealism to cynicism...eventually kind of betraying his younger self.""

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


"Director John Perrin Flynn stages the fast-paced scenes well, and he allows the actors the space to explore their characters' numerous psychological and emotional conflicts... Matt Richter's lighting design is as on-point as ever — he really is a theatrical treasure in Los Angeles — and sound designer Christopher Moscatiello gets it just right."

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"Last night was the opening night of Oppenheimer, as well as being the opening night for Rogue Machine Theatre (FB) at their new digs at the Electric Lodge (FB) in Venice, and it was that — electric. Although the show was long — 2 hours, 45 minutes with intermission — the time just flew by. The story and the presentation were so engrossing it drew us in; we left thinking this was the best drama we have seen to date in 2018*. Just like our favorite show of 2017 (This Land at Company of Angels), it touched upon an area we love; it also got the facts right and made us think. It left us talking about the show and its ideas, and wanting to strongly encourage others to go see the show. It took a complex issue and made it understandable and entertaining. It showed the power of theatre."

sweet - Daniel Faigin - CA Highways - ...read full review


"Recommended - a strong, compelling production. Although Rogue Machine is a small theatre company, it's always punching above its weight class and generally achieving whatever artistic challenges it sets for itself. Oppenheimer is an impressive achievement and a promising debut for Rogue Machine's new home in Venice."

sweet - Terry Morgan - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"A vibrant experience on pretty much every level. A cause for celebration. Ultimately, the production's unimpeded flow, Brechtian overtones, smart choices and the play's deep dive into the complicated man who said he needed physics more than he needed friends, prove irresistible. It's a thrilling ride."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


"Written by the British playwright Tom Morton-Smith and first produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2015, the play tackles Oppenheimer's life in a bold, full-frontal way: sweeping story, huge cast, video projection, dance numbers, complicated sound and lighting effects. L.A. has rarely seen such a generous production in an Equity-waiver theatre like the 75-seat Electric Lodge."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


"The American premiere of Oppenheimer is a dramatic tour-de-force... In a nutshell, Rogue Machine Theatre's production of Oppenheimer is simply one of the best plays I've ever seen."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"It's hard to overstate just how much of a feather it is in Rogue Machine's cap to give Oppenheimer its first American staging since its 2015 Royal Shakespeare Company debut. That this U.S. Premiere represents Los Angeles membership theater at its most vibrant and indispensable gives L.A. audiences even more reason to cheer."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


"Liebman cleverly balances Oppenheimer's social unease, his brilliant mind and his sexual appetite. He is supported by a talented, hard-working cast who all deliver impressive performances. There are no slouches on stage. Every actor has a moment to shine... John Perrin Flynn's fluid direction keeps the lengthy piece moving at a good clip. I especially welcomed the staging of a wild, ritualistic dance number in the second act, based on the Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Richard Feynman's bongo playing. It's a climactic, tension busting moment that celebrates the success of the Manhattan Project, allowing the cast to cut loose while also giving the audience a moment of much needed levity... Oppenheimer is absorbing and powerful. It should not be misssed."

sweet - Peter Foldy - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"And while a lot of the scientific language during the 3-hour play is daunting at best to fully comprehend, BWW Review: American Premiere of OPPENHEIMER Initiates Rogue Machine Move to Venicewe are forewarned at the beginning by Oppenheimer himself, expertly portrayed by James Liebman, that he will be able to "make it clearer, but not simpler" to understand. The play is brutally intense at times and highly entertaining at others, with playwright Tom Morton-Smith explaining, "Anyone who knows anything about the Manhattan Project or Oppenheimer has an opinion on it, and him. I wanted to show you the other side... to take a character who seemed so aloof in the history books and show him as a human being. His journey from idealism to cynicism...eventually kind of betraying his younger self.""

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


"Director John Perrin Flynn stages the fast-paced scenes well, and he allows the actors the space to explore their characters' numerous psychological and emotional conflicts... Matt Richter's lighting design is as on-point as ever — he really is a theatrical treasure in Los Angeles — and sound designer Christopher Moscatiello gets it just right."

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"Last night was the opening night of Oppenheimer, as well as being the opening night for Rogue Machine Theatre (FB) at their new digs at the Electric Lodge (FB) in Venice, and it was that — electric. Although the show was long — 2 hours, 45 minutes with intermission — the time just flew by. The story and the presentation were so engrossing it drew us in; we left thinking this was the best drama we have seen to date in 2018*. Just like our favorite show of 2017 (This Land at Company of Angels), it touched upon an area we love; it also got the facts right and made us think. It left us talking about the show and its ideas, and wanting to strongly encourage others to go see the show. It took a complex issue and made it understandable and entertaining. It showed the power of theatre."

sweet - Daniel Faigin - CA Highways - ...read full review


"Recommended - a strong, compelling production. Although Rogue Machine is a small theatre company, it's always punching above its weight class and generally achieving whatever artistic challenges it sets for itself. Oppenheimer is an impressive achievement and a promising debut for Rogue Machine's new home in Venice."

sweet - Terry Morgan - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"A vibrant experience on pretty much every level. A cause for celebration. Ultimately, the production's unimpeded flow, Brechtian overtones, smart choices and the play's deep dive into the complicated man who said he needed physics more than he needed friends, prove irresistible. It's a thrilling ride."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


"Written by the British playwright Tom Morton-Smith and first produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2015, the play tackles Oppenheimer's life in a bold, full-frontal way: sweeping story, huge cast, video projection, dance numbers, complicated sound and lighting effects. L.A. has rarely seen such a generous production in an Equity-waiver theatre like the 75-seat Electric Lodge."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


"The American premiere of Oppenheimer is a dramatic tour-de-force... In a nutshell, Rogue Machine Theatre's production of Oppenheimer is simply one of the best plays I've ever seen."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review