Play emphasizes life of scientist

In 1941, J. Robert Oppenheimer was recruited into the atomic bomb project. The renowned scientist who graduated from Harvard, studied at Cambridge and obtained his Ph.D. in Germany was soon named Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project. As he watched the first successful explosion at the Los Alamos laboratory, Oppenheimer realized that he had inadvertently become one of the most powerful men in the world.

When Oppenheimer met with President Truman in 1946, he famously uttered, “Mr. President, I have blood on my hands.” It is this issue of a lifetime of remorse that playwright Carson Kreitzer explores in his play, “The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” now in its final weekend at Evanston’s own Next Theatre in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes Street.

The show that ironically premiered in 2003 amid America’s first bombings of Iraq introduces a new character into Oppenheimer’s life: Lilith. Lilith is a mystical figure who appears in portions of the Judaic Talmud. She is theorized to have been Adam’s first wife who was ultimately expelled from Eden as she refused to lie with him.

Lilith joins Oppenheimer at Los Alamos’ successful A-bomb test. She becomes part of his consciousness, staying with him as he withdraws his support of atomic projects in the 1950s for the rest of his life.

You don’t want to miss out on this thought-provoking show that has received rave reviews throughout Chicago.

“The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer” is playing through Sunday. Ticket prices range from $20 to $31 for general admission and from $10 to $15.50 for students. For showtimes and further information visit

— Rachel Wolff