theatre reviews u.s.a.

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comedians 1977
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comedians   2003   directed by scott elliot   beckett theatre, new york

theatre scene       jeannie lieberman

"dale is so good and smooth in comedians that it is a pleasure and a treasure to watch  this nobleman of theater as he attempts to guide his students to readiness for their performances. he is all music hall posturing, inimitable diction, and a face with just enough mobility to make you want more". 

new york times          ben brantley

"mr. dale gives a beautifully shaded performance as a man who has retired from comedy because he cares about it too much". 

the new york observer   john heilpern

 "comedians" is a terrific revival by the new group with jim dale leading what must surely be the best ensemble in town. you should see comedians if you can. anything with jim dale in it is good news, although the star still looks a wee bit too boyish 
for a battered, old time comic. but i learn with pleasure that when he was 17, he was, in fact, the youngest professional comedian to have worked in british music hall. no greater testing ground in humiliation ever existed; no wonder he's so good".   

nytheatre        martin denton

"mr dale is the quiet centre of "comedians". he plays eddie waters, a one time comedy performer, who could have been great. near the end of the play, waters relates the events that made him give up his own career, and dale makes the most of the moment, turning a speech that could be trite into a starkly honest and human confession. we're used to seeing mr. dale gamboling around the stage, inducing waves of audience laughter; here, as the benevolent eye of a hurricane of explosive would-be comedians, he is as compelling as ever". 


"tony award winner jim dale, as waters, offers a quietly powerful performance. yet he also reveals a gift for physical comedy when demonstrating an act in front of his class. while the role's idealism and didactic function could easily be overplayed, dale shows a welcome restraint. he makes you wish you had him as a teacher".

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