Song and Dance

Song and Dance

Song and Dance is a musical entertainment comprised of two acts, one told entirely in "Song" and one entirely in "Dance", tied together by a love story.

The first part is Tell Me On A Sunday, with lyrics by Don Black and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, about a young British woman's romantic misadventures in New York City and Hollywood. A one-woman tour-de-force written specifically for Marti Webb, it was presented at the Sydmonton Festival in the summer of 1979, subsequently recorded, and was aired as a one-hour television special by the BBC the following January.

The second part is a ballet choreographed to Variations, composed by Lloyd Webber for his cellist brother Julian, which is based on the A Minor Caprice No. 24 by Paganini. It was recorded in 1978, and nearly became incorporated into Cats. (The opening sequence was utilized as the theme music for London Weekend Television's South Bank Show). Producer Cameron Mackintosh proposed the two pieces be combined under the umbrella title Song and Dance to acknowledge the primary aspect of each act.


The show had its world premiere on March 26 1982 at London's Palace Theatre, where it ran for 781 performances. Marti Webb returned to perform the Song half; she subsequently was succeeded by Sarah Brightman, Gemma Craven, Carol Nielsson, Lulu, and Liz Robertson. The Dance portion was choreographed by Anthony van Laast and featured Wayne Sleep and Jane Darling.

Director/lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. was approached to adapt the first act for an American audience, adding more plot. After seventeen previews, the Broadway production, choreographed by Peter Martins, opened on September 18 1985 at the Royale Theatre where it ran for 474 performances. Bernadette Peters starred in Song for nearly thirteen months; she was succeeded by Betty Buckley for the final four weeks. Dance featured Christopher d'Amboise, Charlotte d'Amboise, and Gregg Burge. Singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester starred in a subsequent US national tour of the show. The production received eight Tony Award nominations, with Peters winning as Best Actress(Musical).

Synopsis (London edition)

An English girl, newly arrived in New York, stumbles upon her wasted boyfriend, Joe, in her apartment. She confronts him and decides to break up. She writes to her mother in England about what happened, and that she has met a new man, Sheldon Bloom, with whom she travels to California. Bloom is a Hollywood producer and lives in a mansion named La Bohème. Days pass and the girl finds out how uneventful Hollywood is. She realizes that Sheldon has only been using her as a trophy, and she ends things once and for all. Los Angeles becomes a quick disappointment for her.

The girl meets yet another man, this time a younger one who she finds more fulfilling. Soon, however, it is time for the younger man to go away to work. The girl can't bear to let him go. Her friend later comes over to tell her about the man's infidelity, and she asks him for the truth. The girl walks through the streets of New York, very depressed. This time, she has met a married man. She reflects that the affair is wrong. The married man comes by to confess his love, and she realizes that she has been using him. In the end she decides that it wasn't the end of the world to have no one.

Act Two is the examination of one of the men (presumably the younger one), through the music of "Variations", in a series of dances. At the end, the man sees the girl, and they make up, joining both in Song and Dance.

On Broadway

The revised Broadway musical follows the London version; the girl is named "Emma" and is an aspiring hat designer. Through each of the men Emma becomes involved with she undertakes an emotional journey and learns something about herself. Although she has fallen in love with "Joe", he is unable to commit, and after he leaves her, she takes up with "Paul", the married man. Ultimately she realizes that she has started using men, as they had used her, and, in the final song, sings: "I'll be Emma again, If it means being hurt, I'll be hurt, But I'll like myself then..." (What Have I Done')

Emma is alone on stage in Act 1, and the conversations she has with others and her out-loud musings take place with off-stage or imaginary characters. Act 2 belongs to Joe and tells his story through the "Dance" portion; he and Emma finally unite at the end, as Joe matures and realizes that he is in love with Emma.

Song list

London Production

  • Overture
  • Let Me Finish
  • It's Not the End of the World
  • Letter Home to England
  • Sheldon Bloom
  • Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad
  • You Made Me Think You Were In Love
  • Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad (Reprise)_
  • It's Not the End of the World (If He's Younger)
  • Second Letter Home
  • The Last Man in My Life
  • Come Back With the Same Look in Your Eyes
  • Take That Look Off Your Face
  • Tell Me on a Sunday
  • I Love New York
  • Married Man
  • I'm Very You, You're Very Me
  • Let's Talk About You
  • Let Me Finish (Reprise)
  • Nothing Like You've Ever Known
  • Let Me Finish (Finale)

Broadway production

  • Overture/Take That Look Off Your Face
  • Let Me Finish
  • So Much to Do in New York
  • First Letter Home
  • English Girls
  • Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad
  • You Made Me Think You Were in Love
  • Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad (Reprise)
  • So Much To Do in New York (II)
  • Second Letter Home
  • Unexpected Song
  • Come Back With The Same Look In Your Eyes
  • Take That Look Off Your Face (Reprise)
  • Tell Me On A Sunday
  • I Love New York/So Much to Do in New York
  • Married Man (included on Original Broadway Cast recording, not performed on stage)
  • Third Letter Home
  • Nothing Like You've Ever Known
  • Finale - Let Me Finish (Reprise)/What Have I Done?/Take That Look Off Your Face (Reprise)

Broadway awards and nominations

  • Tony Award for Best Musical (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Peters, winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (d'Amboise, nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Original Score (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Costume Design (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Lighting Design (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Choreography (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Peters, winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Burge, nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music (nominee)
  • Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Show Album (nominee)

See also


External links

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