★★★★ | On Your Feet! The Story Of Emilio & Gloria Estefan – “ is a feel-good, fun evening at the theatre ”
Where: London Coliseum
Review date: Thursday 27th June 2019
About the Show:
Her Voice. His Vision. Their Story.
On Your Feet! tells the true love story of Emilio and Gloria and charts their journey from its origins in Cuba, onto the streets of Miami and finally to international superstardom.
Encore Rating Factor:
Standing Ovation: ★★★★★
On Your Feet! is a feel-good, fun evening at the theatre. This is a new musical with a book by Alexander Dinelaris that tells the story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. Directed by Jerry Mitchell, this joyous production takes you back to the beginning, meeting a young Gloria.
Although On Your Feet! is billed as the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, at times it feels the production is weighted more towards Gloria’s story. We learn a lot about Gloria’s family; her father José Fajardo, her mother Gloria Fajardo and their struggles during the Cuban Revolution. We also learn the key role Gloria’s grandmother Consuelo played in both Gloria’s career and meeting Emilio.
I feel it is only during the second act in a Miami airport that we truly understand Emilio’s past.
Christie Prades is a powerhouse vocalist that gives a wonderful performance in the title role. Prades creates a charming contrast and dynamic throughout the show, superbly playing her struggles and strength. She plays the simple moments where Gloria was singing to her father beautifully, but it was when holding a microphone in hand, belting a classic Estefan hit, that her vocals truly shone. Her performance was a joy to watch.
Goerge Ioannides as Emilio Estefan is everything you expect from a leading man; this show showcases Emilo’s determination and passion for music as well as his love for his family. Madalena Alberto as Gloria Fajardo (Gloria’s mother) gives a wonderful performance, especially during ‘Mi Tierra’; she is protective and strong and teaches us a lot about her past. I also feel a special mention should go to Karen Mann in her performance as Consuelo, a cheeky, endearing and loveable grandmother.
Every member of the On Your Feet! ensemble fills the stage and glides through the stunning and complex choreography by Sergio Trujillo. I applaud all the creatives of On Your Feet! as the show transitions beautifully from scene to scene which really keeps the story flowing.
On Your Feet! has all the ingredients of a wonderful evening at the theatre. At times the story could be a little more balanced between Emilio & Gloria, however, if you are looking for a fun-filled, visually stunning evening, this could be the show for you.
As a Gloria Este-fan, I laughed, I smiled and was dancing in the isles. I am sure no matter what, you will leave the theatre tapping your feet and humming away because we all know the rhythm is going to get you!