Kudos From Critics

Jon Spellman graphic sketh red“World-class!” LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Terrific. The audience had a ball…astonishing…a charismatic performer now playing to packed houses…enchanting…very funny…the best company imaginable…not to be missed.”          THE WASHINGTON POST

“A beautifully crafted, skillfully shared performance piece that weaves personal experiences, medical information, physical movement, and quotes from everyone from Herman Melville to Mark Twain to Miss Alabama in such a way that the whole audience gets to grapple with immortality and death and live to tell about it, all while laughing.” NUVO

“He becomes invisible, transformed to a well-tuned warm-singling instrument,….constantly living, focused, concentrated, he is remarkable.”
DAGENS NYHETER (Stockholm, Sweden)

“With warmth and personality, Spelman spellbinds his audience and makes us his relaxed listeners; together we float in a timeless magical communion.” SVENSKA DAGBLADET (Stockholm)

“An artist at the peak of his power, able to impress audiences anywhere, in theatres or art spaces.”             HIGH PERFORMANCE

“You become magically enthralled. Spelman gets you to feel like a child again as when you sneaked out of your bed in the late evening to hear the grownups who sat and told each other stories.”                                               SPILLEROM (The Theatre Magazine of  Norway)

A must-hear…animated leaps from character to character are crisply executed…richly crafted detail, yet an ease that suggests improvisation… presentation at its evocative best… with spellbinding skill, he draws on the audience’s imagination to build images more vivid than other theatrical formats might have yielded…Jon Spelman has something important to say and he has developed a fascinating medium for his message…an awesome demonstration of narrative art, a seemingly effortless verbal journey through time, space, and Mr. Spelman’s fertile brain.”                THE WASHINGTON TIMES

“In Washington, DC, a city where an infinite number of people vie for a limited number of microphones, Jon Spelman is one of the most listened-to people you will find…Do you mean he just talks and people listen? No. He tantalizes. He teases. He lifts the audience onto the stage and sends them laughingly back to their seats.”               THE REVIEW

“This contribution to the Palm Beach Festival boasts a cast of one in a week dominated by the New York City Ballet’s company of over 100. Yet, this is one of the most ambitious works of the festival… Spelman is poetic and provocative.”                PALM BEACH TIMES

“Remarkable…the action comes from Spelman’s rapid shifts in mood, from garrulous or teasing to anguished or haunted.”    PALM BEACH POST

“Jon Spelman is a giant of a man with a weathered, square face and bushy mustache. He combines down  to earth folksiness with off-handed parenthetical modernisms. At the National Festival, he adapted KING LEAR, CINDERELLA, and GENESIS into new stories and made them truly his own. He could make one bend forward with laughter one moment and slide forward in suspense the next.”     THE COLUMBIA FLIER

“The featured storytellers are the best from all over the world. Certain names, like Jon Spelman…are mentioned with reverence by veteran festival-goers.”                                  MODERN MATURITY

“He is tall and delivers his stories with a majestic overview that sparkles with a touch of Mark Twain.”      KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL

“The audience is hooked, and Spelman holds listeners of all ages in the palm of his hand.”                     MOTORHOME MAGAZINE

“Best bet. A great theatrical evening. Jon Spelman, that incredible performer at the National Portrait Gallery.”               WETA-TV

“One of the most remarkable events I have ever witnessed…ripples with authority, and Spelman’s stage presence is nothing short of riveting…immerses listeners in the experience more effectively than any movie, play, or television show I have ever seen. Spelman’s artistry is the equal of the very best writers to have emerged from the Vietnam war…”                    WD EHRHART   Author & Vietnam veteran

“All of the stories are joyful and many are hilariously funny… Spelman has written an unpretentious yet eloquent one man show which he performs with an exuberant yet homespun style.”                   SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE

“Jon Spelman is tall, dark, and funny, and has a voice that makes you want to follow him home.”                                    THE VILLAGE VOICE



“Storytelling as entertainment and as an art form in the midst of a revival, comes boldly to life…exceptional skill…neither the live audience at the taping,nor the video viewers can pull themselves away until the tale ends.”  The Washington POST

“Instead of exploding heads, this video is a man telling stories. It’s quite a concept; asking people to use their imaginations and make pictures in their minds instead of having every image spoon fed.” Atlanta JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION

“A blending of elements from Cinderella and King Lear, told informally, yet directly and lightheartedly. Employing contemporary idiom, Spelman’s style is refreshing and very entertaining. There is something in this telling for virtually every member of an audience, be it the familiarity of the basic tale, the interplay of classic folk and Shakespearean motifs, the humorous turn of a phrase, or the contemporary imagery with which Spelman recreates the Cinderella tale.”     The National Storytelling Journal