"Just Jim Dale", or, a life story in ninety minutes

Look, this blog has been a little theater-heavy lately, I know. And I’ve got tickets to… three more shows in the coming weeks, so I can’t promise there won’t be more show posts. But, all of the shows I’m writing about should be relatively easy to get tickets for (at least compared to “Macbeth”and “Much Ado About Nothing”).

The one I want to tell you about today is called “Just Jim Dale”, it’s put on at the Laura Pels Theater through the Roundabout Theater Company (which means if you’re under 35, sign up for HIPTIX and you can get two tickets for $25 each), and it’s a one-man show.
Who is Jim Dale? Well, he has had a long and varied career – and the show is a testament to that – but for me I knew him as the guy who did all the Harry Potter audio books (which I’ve yet to listen to, but want to!), and as the narrator on the short-lived but wonderful show “Pushing Daisies”.
He is seventy-eight years old and he has more energy than I ever have had.
You might think I’m kidding, but I promise you, Jim Dale dances and sings and jokes his way through a ninety minute show, assisted only by a pianist, and it’s just one fun moment to the next – even when he’s performing the closing monologue from a very serious play.
It doesn’t matter that I didn’t know his work outside of the two things I’ve mentioned – he takes you through his career and hits a lot of hysterical high points, sometimes singing songs he composed or performed, sometimes showing pictures of his younger self, and always, always tying it back to his roots in the British music hall tradition, which was fascinating.
HIPTIX only requires that the person who purchases (and picks up) the tickets be under 35 – your guest can be any age, so I took my dad, and we both really enjoyed it. We also enjoyed talking about it afterward. I’ve gone to the theater alone before, and it’s fine, but going with someone and talking through what worked and what didn’t, what you loved and what you’d already forgotten, is a total bonus.
“Just Jim Dale” runs through August 10 – if you’re looking for an inexpensive but really fun night out (and you or someone you know qualifies for HIPTIX), I highly recommend it! In the meantime, I’ve got an itch to rewatch some “Pushing Daisies”…

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