BWW Previews: CONTACT! at The Showroom At South Point
Michael Kessler and MeLinda Jackson of M&M American Dance Theatre is bringing their 30 year love story to the stage. The song and dance team will perform "CONTACT!" at the South Point's 400-seat showroom on May 21.
The show will feature the art of musical dance theatre where the couple began their international career including Broadway and the Las Vegas Strip. Kessler and Jackson starred in "The Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular," touring in over 80 U.S. cities and playing an extended run at the Flamingo Hilton [now Flamingo Las Vegas] on the Las Vegas Strip.
"CONTACT!" will include songs from the Great American Songbook as well as pop and country hits and original music composed by Kessler and musical director Keith Thompson.
"We create a storyline of a couple who are both 95 years old. We explore how they met and the musical soundtrack of their lives," Kessler told BroadwayWorld.com.
The couple actually met in ballet class in New York City and the show incorporates important aspects and milestones in their lives.
"It was an unusual meeting," he said. "Melinda as a beautiful young ballerina and I was a crazy, wild-looking guy with Everlast boxer shorts walking on my hands."
"At the time, this was really a theatrical meeting ground for all of the talent in town," Jackson explained. "Sometimes there were over 100 people in class and Michael would stand extra close to me. The teachers would also separate us. He was by far the cutest and most entertaining in class. But women flocked to him so I stayed away from him."
"There is one music scene that I pursue her in the show but it actually took years and it was worth it," Kessler laughed. Many of the couple's life events are performed in music and dance during the show as an entertaining and dramatic vehicle. Kessler and Jackson both admit they are blessed to be able to work together so well professionally as well as have a deep, intimate personal relationship.
"We have a wonderful career and have been mentored by so many great artists. At this stage of our career, along with sharing the love and tenderness we feel for our art form, we also love to mentor young people and expose audiences," Kessler stated.
"We want to be a beacon for young artists. You will grow and change, and if you are faithful to your craft, you will continue to express yourself. Expression should not end when you are in your 20s or 30s, but expression never dies," Jackson added.
Kessler and Jackson are both native New Yorkers and the couple's careers have included producing, directing, writing, choreographing and performing. The couple now lives in Las Vegas and created the nonprofit M&M American Dance Theatre Works. The organization is dedicated to promoting educational and cultural enrichment through exposure, mentorship and involvement in musical dance theatre. For more information, visit www.adtw.org and www.americandance.biz. For more info about the couple, follow them on social media including Facebook @MandMAmericanDanceTheatre, Twitter @M2Mdancetheatre @MichaelMelinda and Instagram @m2mdancetheatre.
M&M American Dance Theatre will present "CONTACT!" starring Michael Kessler and MeLinda Jackson at The Showroom at South Point on May 21. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale beginning at $25 at the South Point Box Office, by calling 702-797-8055 or online at the South Point website.