Potted Reviews


, Broadway and Off Broadway  

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

"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."


 Directed by Frank Dunlop - Circle in the Square,
N. Y. 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”


"Jim 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 just to see Dale”

Myron Galloway
Montreal Star”


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

viewer  "New York


   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

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 sh
into his own joyous playground."

Reviewer    Frank Rich     New York Times

"The National Health"
 Directed by Michael Blakemore  Nat 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.
isn't the best comic actor Britain has."
Reviewer  B.A. Young , London Financial Times

"The Comedians"   

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  Long Acre 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 
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
You won't see better performances this season."

Reviewer   Clive Barnes      New York Post

  “Privates on Parade” 

  "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 Reviewer Laurie Winer

"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, 
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"

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. 


Directed by


"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, J
im 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

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, 
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 
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.

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, 
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 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.  

    Awards  Jim's Biography  Audiobook Reviews  Home