The story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan which is encapsulated in a new musical entitled On Your Feet opened at the big Marquis Theater on Broadway the other night. It’s more or less in the same category as a jukebox musical of which there have been many. This one, however, has a slightly different flavor and certainly will cater to a very different crowd. The music, as it should be, is decidedly Spanish and Cuban and if you're a fan of Gloria and Emilio then you will be dancing in the aisles with the rest of the terrific cast.
On Your Feet is in fact a depiction of the life story of our two entertainers and will take us from their childhood days all the way to the horrible bus crash in 1990 in which Gloria was so seriously injured that her doctors were scared for her life or at least were sure she’d be paralyzed from the neck down. She surprised those doctors, however, and worked her way back into shape through months of exercise and came bouncing back to entertain again.
The show of course features many of her hit songs (7 Grammys) including “When Someone Comes Into Your Life”, “ Party Time”, the title song of this show ”Get On Your Feet” and of course “Conga” which puts the audience into a frenzy. Gloria and Emilio are played by two perfectly cast newcomers (almost) Ana Villafane and Josh Segarra. They are so good that if you close your eyes you will actually think they are, in fact, the stars themselves.
There’s lots of dancing to keep the simple story moving at a brisk space and the always in motion cast even makes a couple of forays into the audience where, if you're lucky, they might snatch you out of your seat and have you join in the celebration.
Now I’ve always said that if the only reason you are going to a show is to just listen to the music that you would be better off to get a good pair of earphones, crank up your stereo and just have a good time without spending too much money.
But for this show forget staying home. On Your Feet will most likely get you on your feet and that’s a good thing. Ole.