ON YOUR FEET! by Carol Kaufman Segal
On Your Feet! is a musical that tells the true story of the gifted musical star Gloria Estefan and her equally talented husband, Emilio Estefan, now playing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. The production opened on Broadway November 5, 2015 and was an instant hit receiving seven Outer Critic Award nominations, three Drama League Award nominations, and a Tony Award nomination for Best Choreography. It played on Broadway for two years. In 2017 an 80-week tour throughout the United States began. This production is the Road Company’s stop in Los Angeles that began in the fall of 2017and will have included 60 cities by 2019.
Gloria (Christie Prades) and her family immigrated to Florida from Cuba when she was young as did Emilio (Mauricio Martinez) and his family. They met when she was 17-years old. Emilio was the leader of a band, and after hearing Gloria sing, he hired her to be his lead singer. They fell in love at first sight. Gloria’s mother (Nancy Ticotin) had some success as a singer in Havana, but not so following her move to America.
After the death of her father (Jason Martinez), Gloria tried to have a close relationship with her mother, but her mother objected to her relationship with Emilio and what her plans were for her life as a singer. However, her grandmother, Consuelo (Debra Cardona) gave her the incentive to strive for what she wanted. Gloria’s relationship with her mother became strained.
Emilio renamed the band to Miami Sound Machine and he and Gloria married. Through diligence and business acumen, they became big successes in the music world. Meanwhile, Gloria’s mother refused to speak with her. In 1990 Gloria, Emilio, and the band were on tour to perform a concert when their tour bus had a serious accident. Gloria suffered a spinal injury that threatened her career. Fortunately, after a long period of convalescence, she was able to undergo surgery. With the help and love of Emilio and her entire family, she was completely restored to health. Emilio was embraced by Gloria’s mother when she realized what he meant to her daughter’s life.
The story is beautiful, and it is depicted beautifully in this theatrical extravaganza with book by Alexander Dinalaris, and directed by Jerry Mitchell. The cast consists of 28 performers, 13 of which were members of the Broadway production. Christie Prades as Gloria and Mauricio Martinez as Emilio are superb in every aspect, as singers, dancers, and actors. The entire show rates accolades for everything about it from the exceptional cast, the stupendous dancing (choreography by Sergio Trujillo), the magnificent Scenic Design (David Rockwell) outstanding Lighting Design (Kenneth Posner), and Projection Design (Darrel Maloney), fabulous Costumes (Emilio Sosa), music, lyrics, and orchestrations by Gloria and Emileo Estefan, and marvelous Music Direction (Clay Ostwald). I can’t rave enough about all 28 cast members, all of the dancers, all of the musician, and every singer who brought all 26 wonderful songs to life, as well as everyone behind this fantastic production.
On Your Feet! plays Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM, and Sundays at 1 PM and 6:30 PM, through July 29, at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles. Tickets are available online at HollywoodPantage.com or Ticketmaaster.com, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, in person at the Theatre Box Office (opens daily at 10 AM), and all Ticketmaster Outlets.
On Your Feet! will open at Segerstrom Center For the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA, August 21, and play through September 2. Performances will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 1 PM and 6:30 PM, through September 2. Tickets are available online at SCFTA,org, by phone at 1-714-556-2787, or at Segerstrom Center For the Arts, Segerstrom Hall box office.