Potted Reviews


Sample reviews for Jim from London, Broadway and Off Broadway

"As Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream - as Costard in Love's Labours Lost - 
as Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice and Autolycus in The Winter's Tale,
Jim Dale is God's gift to Shakespeare comedies."

Lord Olivier
British National Theatre, Old Vic Theatre, London 1972

   Directed by Joe Layton   St. James Theatre    New York 1981

" Jim Dale is Toast of Broadway, 
his performance was a display of consummate showmanship"

Reviewer  Michiko Kakutani    “New York Times”

"Jim Dale is a one-man, three-ring, four star circus. 
He is a knockout, a great performer. 
Many comedians pratfall, but
Dale freefalls!"  

Clive Barnes   
New York Post”

Is there anything that Jim Dale can't do? 
Last night he roared into town in this new musical 
and showed off enough tricks to make all but a
Houdini dizzy. 
He transforms a gargantuan circus of a show into his own joyous playground."
Reviewer    Frank Rich     New York Times

 Directed by Frank Dunlop - Circle in the Square,
New York 1974

"In Scapino, Jim Dale is one of the five or six funniest comedians I have ever seen, 
and if I should be granted a dying wish, it would be for a command performance by him - 
so I could die laughing!”

Reviewer   John Simon   “New York  Magazine”

Dale, actor, singer, dancer, acrobat, vaudevillian, composer 
may very well be one of the most talented and certainly 
the funniest comedians in the annals of the theatre. 
Special trains should be put on to bring people into New York
from all over the country just to see Dale

Myron Galloway
Montreal Star”

"Jim Dale is the most brilliant lunatic on Broadway since Bert Lahr, 
and his star-billing in "Scapino" merely reflects the finest review of any season, any time!"
"New York

"The National Health"    
 Directed by Michael Blakemore  National Theatre, Old Vic, London 1971   

"As the play began, a curly-haired scarecrow of an actor danced out onto the stage 
and proceeded to do an outrageous vaudeville routine about cadavers and bedpans, 
about doctors and death. Wearing an oversize orderly's smock he darted all over the set, 
pinching nurses and twirling hospital carts, 
lobbing his lines like hand grenades into every pocket of the theatre.
And improbable as it sounds he made his macabre spiel seem funny. 
In a matter of minutes a grim National Health ward started to look like a circus. 
The audience knew that it was in the presence of a galvanic talent. 
His name - I committed it to memory at once - Jim Dale"
Reviewer   Frank Rich  New York Times
"Then there is the incomparable Jim
Dale as Barnet, 
I'm not sure Mr.
Dale isn't the best comic actor Britain has." 
Reviewer  B.A. Young , London Financial Times

"The Comedians"   
  Directed by Edward Perone  Mark Taper Forum, L.A.

 “And it is actor Jim Dale's garishly physical, socially assaulting semi-mime and wholly private, 
demon-fed performance of a talent so individual and brilliantly frightening 
that momentarily bedazzles this otherwise ensemble production"  
Reviewer   Ray Loynd    L.A. Herald Examiner” 

"Jim Dale's galvanic stage presence as the most gifted of the students Gethin Price, 
reaches it's climax in the second act. It begins humorously, ends violently, and is throughout brilliant."

Patricia Burr        “South Pasadena Review”

"Joe Egg"   
   Directed by Arvin Brown  Longacre Theatre, New York

"Performers are supposed to appreciate fine acting more than civilians, 
so I'd advise you to beg, borrow or steal any available ticket to "Joe Egg". 
Jim Dale and Stockard Channing are giving the best performances of their career. 
Their performances are a lesson and example to actors of every caliber."
Reviewer   Michael Sommers       "Backstage" 

 Welcome the arrival of "Joe Egg" 
starring the spectacular duo of Stockard
Channing and Jim Dale. 
I have seen many people play the role of Bri, but no one has quite encompassed its range, 
from rage to impotence, from mockery to despair, like
Dale .
He is matched at every point by the wonderful loving
Miss Channing. 
You won't see better performances than these two this season."
Reviewer  Clive Barnes      New York Post

  “Privates on Parade”   
ected by by Larry Carpenter  Roundabout

"Given a vital actor like Jim Dale, and an audience will know instantly 
that it is experiencing theater  -  in the best and most magical sense of the word. 
For however long we've been dutifully going to the theater, 
hoping and hoping (and failing) to see the real thing, we recognize it at once when it appears. 
Mr. Dale 'Privates on Parade' is an acting coup......"  

Reviewer Laurie Winer "Theater"

"Travels With My Aunt" 
ected by Giles Havergal  Minetta Lane NY

"Only Mr. Dale plays the lustful Aunt Augusta
In a virtuoso performance that matches in economy of gesture and power of suggestion, 
Mr. Dale, with a tilt of the chin, a brush of the hand, a precise inflection, 
is conducting a master class in performing art."
Reviewer     Alvin Klein      “New York Times”

" Oliver!
Directed by
Sam Mendes         London Palladium

"What a 24-carat asset Jim Dale is to the show. 
 rueful Fagin is a masterpiece - a feast of theatricality."  
Reviewer     Jack Tinker        Daily Mail

***************************************************** ******

"It was Jim Dale's show, and for once the standing ovation - 
the sine qua non of most first night's - actually felt genuine." 
Even if you have to pick a pocket or two, 
get hold of a ticket to see Jim Dale's triumphant return to the West End stage.
has inherited the part of Fagin 
and this production has unquestionably leapt in stature as a consequence. 
Reviewer Neil Smith "Theatre"

   Directed by
Scott Elliot    Beckett Theatre, New York

 "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". 
Reviewer  Jeannie Lieberman   "Theatre Scene"       

 “Threepenny Opera”  
ected by Scott Elliot , Studio 54, New York

“But the performance of the night and surely one of the performances of the season – 
Dale as Mr. Peachum”.  
Reviewer    Clive Barnes   New York Post  

“It takes a theatrical pro to illustrate what the show could have achieved. 
Playing Peachum with a highly entertaining, loose limbed oiliness, 
Jim brings down the house" 
Reviewer    Hollywood    Reporter

"The Road to Mecca"
Directed by Gordon Edelstein

"Dale almost steals the show - 
if it wasn't for Rosemary Harris up there, too, he'd sneak home with the play."

Reviewer Mark Kennedy AP Drama Writer

"But Dale was a revelation to me. His Marius is crystal clear every step of the way. 
Dale slowly reveals layers and layers to deepen our understanding of this man."

Reviewer Michael Giltz, Huffington Post 

"Dale, a great treasure of the theater, is deceivingly brilliant as Marius."
Reviewer Hollywoodsoapbox.co

Here is one of the very best reviews any actor could possibly receive.
John Simon 
New York theatre critic, 5th. June 2014

"Just Jim Dale"
Directed by Richard Maltby

What a relief to come to the marvelous “Just Jim Dale,” as good a solo show as you will ever see, 
and which I cannot commend and recommend highly enough. 
Jim Dale may just be the most charming farceur to tread the boards, 
while also triumphing on both the big and little screen and in music, 
to say nothing of his brilliant recorded readings of the seven Harry Potter novels, 
in which he manages a different, equally splendid voice for all two hundred plus characters.
But let’s get back to charm. 
This usually comes with high comedy a la Noel Coward or Cary Grant,
 or, more Gallicly and bedroomily, by Charles Boyer. 
It almost never comes with unabashedly low or middle-range farce, 
dazzlingly elevated to the heights attained by Jim Dale, 
as he holds you in his palms, his feet, his whole body for two uninterrupted hours, 
leaving you wallowing in laughter but perfectly game for any number of hours more.
Delightfully accompanied by Mark York on the piano—and a bit beyond—
Dale sings and clowns, dances and jests with delicious patter, 
and moves with an anthology of comic walks, gestures, and even the odd pratfall, 
right onto your funny bone and into your heart. 
And when I say funny bone, I don’t mean merely that spot on your elbow, 
but every bone and muscle making you shake with laughter to make the rafters ring.

The show is essentially Dale’s telling and reenacting of his life and stage story, 
and how a boy from a working-class suburb of London, with working-class parents,
worked himself up through hard training to the summits of showbiz, 
to Britain’s beloved Music Hall and beyond it to every possible medium, 
including Shakespeare and Molière, displaying matchless movement , 
terrific timing and those oodles and oodles of charm 
which only inborn talent and hard work lightly worn can attain.

Richard Maltby, Jr. has contributed skilled direction, 
and Anna Louizos a handsome backdrop. 
But mostly it’s the genius of just Jim Dale. 
He has “forged in the smithy of his soul” (phrase by James Joyce) 
not just “the conscience of his race” (Joyce again), 
but also the conquest and conveying of the summits of comedy.
It is impossible to impart all this through mere printed words; 
you must catch “Just Jim Dale” and experience it firsthand. 
What you see and hear will stay with you as a touchstone
 for as long as you are capable of joyous remembrance.

The “Just Jim Dale” team is directed by Tony-Award winning director 
Richard Maltby, Jr.  
Pianist Mark York 
Musical Director Aaron Gandy.  

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