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Alan Dale

(1861—1928)


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(1861–1928), critic. Born in Birmingham, England, he first became a New York drama critic for the Evening World in 1887. Later he moved to the Journal and then to the American, where his often vitriolic notices helped sell papers and so won the backing of William Randolph Hearst. They did, however, alienate producers and theatre owners, who often tried to ban him from theatres. Whereas the Dramatic Mirror once noted, “When he takes pen in hand the playhouses throughout the land tremble upon their foundations and the faces of actors burn white with fear,” Who's Who in the Theatre observed, “His criticisms probably carried more weight than any others in New York,” but his precise position on the theatre was often unclear. Dale was Jerome Kern's earliest and for many years only advocate. But he could also dismiss a lesser Shaw play, John Bull's Other Island, as “a thick, glutinous, and imponderable four-act tract.” He also wrote several books on theatre.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.


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