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Review Roundup: JUST JIM DALE Opens Off-Broadway

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Review Roundup: JUST JIM DALE Opens Off-Broadway

Roundabout Theatre Company presents Tony Award-winner, two-time Grammy Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Jim Dale in his solo show, Just Jim Dale, directed by Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. Just Jim Dale officially opens tonight, June 3, at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.

In Just Jim Dale, Jim recounts an unequaled lifetime in the theater and myriad irresistible showbiz tales - from a childhood performing on the British Music Hall stage, through his many Broadway triumphs in Scapino, Barnum and Me and My Girl, to his uproarious experiences narrating all seven Harry Potter audiobooks.

The creative team for Just Jim Dale also features Mark York (pianist and co-arranger), Aaron Gandy (music direction and co-arranger), Anna Louizos (sets), Rui Rita (lights) and Carl Casella (sound).

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Charles Isherwood, The New York Times: As Mr. Dale cycles through the varied byways of his career, we get a distinct sense of a man ever in motion, always chasing down a new challenge...His autobiographical show...is as much a display of the art of perpetual motion (and its health benefits) as it is a standard here's-my-story-in-showbiz tale...Mr. Dale, who wrote the show himself, tells his stories with humor and geniality, mostly keeping the mood light, lively and flecked with classic British self-deprecation. But as those who have watched his career know, Mr. Dale was never just a song-and-dance man with a good stock of jokes; he eventually evolved into a first-rate dramatic actor...Where, you wonder, will Mr. Dale himself head next? Not, you suspect and hope, offstage -- at least for a while. As this show illustrates, he still appears game and able to dart off in some surprising new directions. A triumphant return to the ballet stage seems unlikely, but I wouldn't rule out anything else.

Marilyn Stasio, Jim Dale" may be turning out to see the chap who gave voice to hundreds of characters as narrator of the entire series of Harry Potter audio books. But they leave the theater humming "Georgy Girl," the infectious film song that won the British star an Oscar nomination. In the interim, they are royally wooed, pursued, beguiled, enchanted and thoroughly captivated by this actor / singer/ dancer /acrobat / music-hall comic / voice artist / lyricist and raconteur - a one-man band who lives only to make you laugh." target="_blank">Variety: The audiences at "Just Jim Dale" may be turning out to see the chap who gave voice to hundreds of characters as narrator of the entire series of Harry Potter audio books. But they leave the theater humming "Georgy Girl," the infectious film song that won the British star an Oscar nomination. In the interim, they are royally wooed, pursued, beguiled, enchanted and thoroughly captivated by this actor / singer/ dancer /acrobat / music-hall comic / voice artist / lyricist and raconteur -- a one-man band who lives only to make you laugh.

Linda Winer, Newsday: Do not be fooled by the humble "just" in "Just Jim Dale." The showman -- raised on old British music-hall traditions and now an American citizen -- has been so many Jim Dales in so many surprising guises that they speed past in this charming, once-over-lightly 90-minute autobiographical solo...This is the kind of little show that makes one wonder how talent gets made...The end gets rambling and sentimental with a love song to his wife, but he's entitled. He may not always have the best taste, but he clearly has known how to get the best out of life.

Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News: You can take the boy out of the English music hall but you can't take the English music hall out of the boy. Jolly good thing for that, too...Dressed casually in two shades of gray, the 78-year-old is lithe and likable as he recalls his remarkable career and its curves and surprises. Woven throughout the 90 minutes are songs Dale created, including "Georgy Girl," which sold millions of copies and snagged an Oscar nomination...You'll be buying whatever Jim Dale is selling -- but the merchandise is first rate.

Check back in the AM for updates!

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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