MICHAEL KESSLER & MELINDA JACKSON
Directors - M&M American Dance Theatre
Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson, affectionately known as M&M, the husband and wife team and native New Yorkers who share 30 years of love with each and with the art of musical dance theatre. Jackson’s and Kessler’s love and charismatic, critically-acclaimed performances ignited a career together producing, directing, writing, choreographing, dancing and performing internationally from ballet to Broadway, the Las Vegas Strip, theatres and opera houses worldwide. Melinda is proud to be the great-granddaughter of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Bully! Michael is proud to be the great-grandson of Russian Cantor Yacov Sanzofsky. Shalom!
M&M were the starring song and dance team in “The Great Radio City Music Spectacular,” directed by Joe Layton touring over 80 U.S. cities and playing an extended run on the Las Vegas Strip at the Flamingo Hilton. They played the roles of the Blind Countess and the Gigolo in Tommy Tune’s Broadway Show, “Grand Hotel.” They played the roles of Ninotchka and Canﬁeld in Cole Porter’s, “Silk Stockings.” Michael & Melinda produced, directed, choreographed, wrote original music and starred with their company M&M American Dance Theatre in “Manhattan Moves” Off-Broadway at the American Place Theatre. “Manhattan Moves” premiered in Milano, Italy and toured over 40 European cities.
Their ﬁrst production, “Lost Luggage,” premiered in New York City, received a rave review in the New York Times and within ten months was playing to sold out houses and standing ovations throughout theatres and Opera Houses in the U.S. and Europe. Nine international tours followed. They were the Artistic Directors of Ballet Jazz de Paris. They directed and choreographed the 30th anniversary European tour of the hit rock musical, “HAIR,” and co-produced, directed, choreographed and starred in a National Tour of “That’s Cole!,” a Cole Porter dance musical revue.
M&M wrote, produced, directed, choreographed and performed “2 Life” at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. They created “Rock Carmen,” which had its world premiere with the Miami City Ballet. M&M were MC’s and writers of “Las Vegas Legends” at The Orleans.
They’ve appeared with the New York City Ballet, Monte Carlo Ballet, Geneva Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Harkness Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and have guested internationally with principal dancers from Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet and The Bolshoi Ballet among others.
M&M in most recent years have been performing their original shows, “Let’s Dance!,” “Dancin’ Feet,” “Dance With Me,” “Love 2 Dance,” “Gotta Dance!,” “Dancin’ Fools,” “The Not Holiday Show,” “The Leprecohen’s Lament,” “CONTACT!,” “Young People’s Guide To Broadway,” “Broadway Love Songs, Dances & Backstage Stories” on tour and also regularly at South Point & other venues in Las Vegas. Many of the shows include original songs composed by Kessler and their music director and composer Keith Thompson, co-writer of “IDAHO, The Comedy Musical” co-producer of “The Cocktail Cabaret,” co-founder/host of the “The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas,” musical director of “Jersey Boys” and numerous Broadway credits.
M&M have choreographed the Winter Olympics, the U.S. Pro Gymnastics Classic at Madison Square Garden, special material for “The Great Radio City Music Spectacular,” as well as for artists ranging from comedienne Marilyn Michaels to principal dancer and director of American Ballet Theatre Kevin McKenzie. They have had the pleasure of working with such great artists as the late Sammy Davis Jr., Gwen Verdon and Maya Plissetskaya. M&M serve on the Advisory Board of the Las Vegas Academy. Melinda serves on the Managing Board of Directors of the New York City based Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® Foundation.
Michael & Melinda in 2014 proudly formed M&M American Dance Theatre Works, a non-proﬁt dedicated to promoting educational and cultural enrichment, through exposure, mentorship, collaboration and involvement in musical dance theatre.
“We are part of the ever-changing culture,” says Melinda. “We’ve been inspired and mentored by great artists of the past, and we’re committed to mentoring artists of the future.”
Michael Kessler states, “Our philosophy is an inclusive approach, welcoming & blending a rainbow of artists of many different backgrounds, disciplines, ages & sizes all connected by the love of dance.”
M&M American Dance Theatre Works recently returned from a successful tour of South Florida. For more information or to make a donation, visit the website www.adtw.org.
M&M’s Publicist/Booker Contact:
Shelley (Mansholt) Thomas
Jensen Beach, FL