Celebrating the Contrast of ‘SONG & DANCE’

3 mins read
Photo by Cory Weaver

Juxtaposition involves placing two contrasting things right next to each other.

Song and dance fit the ticket perfectly. The great composer Andrew Lloyd Webber picked up on that.

Webber’s “SONG & DANCE” is a two-act, rarely produced musical that uses the two art forms in contrast to one another, with one act told entirely through song and the next told entirely through dance.  

Music theater lovers have a unique opportunity to see “SONG & DANCE” brought to life at Music Theater Heritage in Crown Center through May 29.

“SONG & DANCE” premiered on Broadway in 1985. Webber composed “VARIATIONS” (now the dance portion) in 1978 for his cellist brother Julian. Although the Broadway version was rearranged for a full orchestra, MTH procured rights to the original cello and rock band composition, which is closely guarded due to its vigorous demands on the cellist performing.

In the contrasting acts of “SONG & DANCE,” we remember that the narrative of love, relationships and life can be interpreted differently depending on the lens we view from.

Webber’s productions often inspire reflection beyond the story presented on stage and this show is no different.

Stop and think about juxtapositions you’ve encountered. Often, we use literary devices to signal juxtaposition like “Beggars can’t be choosers,” “Better late than never” and “All’s fair in love and war.” Anything come to mind?

In Kansas City, juxtaposition is a part of our lives. Think about the wealth gap from East to West of Troost (between “rich” and “poor”). Think about the difference in access to the Arts in Wyandotte County and Jackson County. Or how about the snow removal in Olathe versus Waldo?

Of course, there’s juxtaposition in the Bible. Remember in Mark 1:11-12 when Jesus goes from basking in the Father’s love to being swept into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil?

We experience it in our day-to-day lives as well. We go from Sunday morning highs to Sunday afternoon post-blowout family meetings.

Life is lived in the juxtapositions.

So, as you enjoy the songs and dances at MTH, be sure to take note of the lessons living in the art.

“SONG & DANCE” runs through May 29. Tickets start at $35 and are available by visiting  www.MTHKC.com or by calling the box office at 816.221.6987. MTH no longer requires proof of vaccination. Masks remain optional.

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