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The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan

Photo by Matthew Murphy
Ektor Rivera & Ana Villafañe in On Your Feet!
Ektor Rivera & Ana Villafañe in On Your Feet!
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Yes, folks! It's time to conga down to the Marquis Theatre one last time as this week is your final chance to experience On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan on Broadway! The beloved bio-musical, brimming with that iconic back catelogue of hits, plays its final performance at the Marquis on August 20, 2017, and so we're once again celebrating it as our #ShowOfTheWeek! If you still haven't seen On Your Feet!, then get a move on and be sure that the rhythm is gonna get you!

Directed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell and featuring a book by Alexander Dinelaris, On Your Feet! tells a story of love between two Latin American pioneers and the phenomenal success their union brought about. The Estefans' impact on pop culture, defying those in the music industry who told them that their Latin rhythms would never succeed in the mainstream, will go down in history. Their biography lends itself perfectly to musical theatre. Not only are the hits already in place - an onslaught of songs that cry out for perhaps the most energetic and joyful choreography on Broadway (Thank you, Sergio Trujillo!), but the twists and turns in Gloria and Emilio Estefan's lives themselves are perfect catalysts for a book filled with dramatic tension. Of course, the tragic coach accident in 1990, where Gloria suffered a fractured spine, and her triumphant comeback just a year later at the American Music Awards in 1991, are events that hand over a bona fide happy ending on a plate. Gloria's fraught relationship with her mother and its consequent resolution offer another interesting arc for the musical and the idea of integration of Latin Americans in U.S. society, especially within the current political climate, is as relevant now as ever. There is certainly enough meat on the bone of the Estefans' story to warrant it being told on the Broadway stage.

Ana Villafañe has been a delight to watch as Gloria, with an uncanny resemblance to Ms Estefan herself and triple threat skills that deliver one of the most demanding performances on Broadway night after night. As an added bonus, returning to the production this week is the gorgeous Ektor Rivera as the ever dependable but fiercly entrepreneurial Emilio.

I suppose the main reason why audiences have kept On Your Feet! alive at the Marquis Theatre is to hear the music played live and I agree, that factor alone is worth the price of admission. The hits include everything from "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" to "Coming Out of the Dark," "Reach" to "1-2-3," "Dr. Beat" to "Don't Wanna Lose You," "Mi Tierra" to "Anything for You," and of course "Conga" and "Get on Your Feet." The list goes on and on. You forget how many glorious hits Gloria Estefan has released over the years of her career. Broadway's On Your Feet! has been a perfect opportunity for a perfect reminder!

In these times where cultural and racial segregation is turning more and more into a sad reality, let us show unity during this final week of the production and celebrate the passion behind latin music and a story which beautifullly defines the true American dream!

Click here for tickets to On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, which is booking through to August 20, 2017 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre.

- by Tom Millward

Production Details
Venue: Marquis Theatre
Genre: Musical
Previewed: 05 Oct 2015
Opened: 05 Nov 2015
Book: Alexander Dinelaris
Music & Lyrics: Emilio & Gloria Estefan
Director: Jerry Mitchell

Synopsis: On Your Feet follows the story of two people who­through an unwavering dedication to one another and their pursuit of the American dream­showcased their talent, their music and their heritage to the world in a remarkable rise to global superstardom. Set to Gloria Estefan's songs such as 'Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,' '1-2-3,' 'Mi Tierra,' and 'Conga,' in addition to new music penned by the Estefans.

Cast: Ana Villafañe (Gloria Estefan), Ektor Rivera (Emilio Estefan), Doreen Montavlo (Gloria Fajardo), Alma Cuervo (Consuelo), Madison Elizabeth Lagares/Amaris Sanchez (Little Gloria), and Eduardo Hernandez/Kevin Tellez (Nayib/Young Emilio)




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