Sometimes people say nice things about my work...
Aron Woldeslassie, MN Playlist: “As I mentioned, Joel Liestman plays Emma’s husband Philip, but Liestman also plays a variety of different people on stage. It’s sort of fun to watch, but he really does shine the most when playing Chief of Staff Eric Willson. His West Wing styled bravado and quick takes really move the play along at a faster tempo.”
Arthur Dorman, Talkin’ Broadway: “Joel Liestman is excellent playing Emma's husband Jeffrey, the politico Wilson, and also a native Greenlander handyman who befriends Emma, creating three very different men, all of whom try to mold Emma to their idea of her, and all of whom she resists.”
Mari Wittenbreer, How Was the Show?: “Joel Liestman deftly delivers three roles: Emma’s husband, the senator’s chief of staff, and a Greenland carpenter. (I swore he became four inches taller in his part as Malik, clothed in down-filled garb in Greenland, than in his two other roles.)”
Karen Bovard, Broadway World: “It's delightful to watch Joel Liestman embody three very distinct men with different rhythms, different physicality, and different vocal habits as he plays Jeffrey and Wilson and Malik. Due to his considerable charm, all three are likeable.”
Matthew A. Everett, Single White Fringe Geek: “Joel Liestman digs in to all three of his roles, as the late lamented Jeffrey, senatorial chief of staff Wilson, and even a bit role as one of Emma’s Greenland co-workers on the ice, Malik. Jeffrey’s face is never far from Emma’s life, past or present.”
Payton Mansfield, The Oracle: “Liestman is the most entertaining of the cast, as he rotates between three different roles during the show. Besides playing Emma’s husband, Liestman appears as Emma’s yappy manager Wilson, as well as Malik, Emma’s guide during her three-month stay in Greenland.”
Lisa Brock, StarTribune: “She’s ably complemented by Joel Liestman, who alternately portrays her dead husband Jeffrey, a Senate aide, and, in an odd plot divergence, the amorous Greenlander.”
The View From Here:
Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press: "...[one] of the Twin Cities' most talented singer/actors." (A Pioneer Press "Best Entertainment Bet." - The View From Here)
Tom Weber, Rochester Post Bulletin: "...the format of one person doing all the singin, dancing and dialog depends first of all on having a performer with incredible energy. Secondly, that actor has to create a character the audience is willing to follow for 90 minutes...In Joel Liestman, [Director Ben Krywosz] found that right actor. Liestman has a nice-guy quality that immediately invites us to empathize with a Midwesterner who has come to rough-and-tumble New York City to find a publisher for his novel.
Susannah Schouweiler, Knight Arts/MNArtist.org: "Our writer, played persuasively and with real heart by Nautilus regular Joel Liestman...[audiences} have the delight of discovering its unexpected depths and emotional textures...[of] this soulful, cleverly told, beautifully performed bit of musical theater."
Cherryandspoon.com: "The main characher is played by the consistently excellent Joel Liestman...Joel sings it beautifully, as well as portraying the range of emotions that this character goes through."
Ed Huyck, City Pages: "...a turn that makes for a breathless final 20 minutes, as our character strips away the delicate lies he has told himself and reveals the truth beneath. All of that puts a lot of pressure on the play's sole performer, Joel Liestman, as he has to run the gamut of emotions until the draining finale. Until this point, Liestman's performance has been like the play - light and naive, with a growing sense of despair and anger - until it explodes with the truth.
A Christmas Carol:
Jay Gable, thetangential.com: "...as the Ghost of Christmas Present Joel Liestman is jolly (and loose-robed) just as Dickens wrote him."
Jill Schafer, Broadwayworld.com: "Joel Liestman is also a newcomer to the show as the Ghost of Christmas Present, with a big booming voice both laughing and singing."
The Great Debate:
Anita Gates, New York Times: "Joel Liestman manages a touching moment at the end of one, musing quietly...'The Great Debate' could have used many more thoughtful moments like that."
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat:
Brad Richardson, Minnesota Examiner: "Joseph’s villainous brothers prove a comedic riot. In particular, Joel Liestman’s take on Rueben is country and western swagger, especially when he drawls out “One More Angel in Heaven.” For characters that have just committed an atrocious deed, it’s remarkably difficult not to be swept up in hoedown exuberance."
Jean Gabler, TC Daily Planet: "The ensemble of actors who portray the 11 brothers are all very strong. In particular, I enjoyed Joel Liestman as Reuben with his country rendition of 'One More Angel in Heaven,'"
Michael Anthony, Star Tribune: "Joel Liestman [was a] standout in a fine cast."
The Grand National:
Quentin Skinner, StarTribune: "Liestman carves out his lead character with a cocky sense of humor, raw-nerve sensitivity, and the depressive's stubborn refusal to seek help...Liestman's performance becomes increasingly befuddled and hollo wed out."
The Broadway Songbook:
Jill Schafer, Cherryandspoon.com: "Highlights include the Joel's beautiful version of the ballad 'How Deep as the Ocean.'"
Jill Schafer, Cherryandspoon.com: "Joel sincerely and hilariously sang "I Believe" from...'The Book of Mormon."
King of Hearts:
Elizabeth Weir, Talkin' Broadway: "Likeable Joel Liestman as American soldier Johnny...delightful and very funny."
Steven LaVigne, Puple Circuit: "Joel Liestman as Johnny and Stacey Lindell as Jeunefille are beautifully matched..."
Michael Reinbold, SJA Event Report: "[Liestman] invests genuine charm and earnestness while singing a strong tenor range."
Graydon Royce, StarTribune: "Joel Liestman has a fine singing voice."
Baseball, Sex, and Other Facts of Life:
Les Cutman, CurtainUp.com: "The more-than-earnest Joel Liestman has a fine, interesting voice and good comic instincts..."