On Your Feet! is the true story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Directed by Jerry Mitchell, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo and book by Alexander Dinelaris. This musical features some of the most iconic pop songs of the 1980s.
A story about love and triumph over adversity. On Your Feet! starts at the height of Gloria and Emilio’s fame with foreshadowing of the tragic bus accident that’s yet to come and then leaps back in time to where it all started, from their humble beginnings in Cuba to when they first met and follows their meteoric ‘rags to riches’ rise to fame.
Francesca Lara Gordon played Gloria Estefan which was a change from her usual role of playing Rebecca. Her on-stage chemistry with Emilio played by George Ioannides was natural and you did get the sense of a young couple falling in love.
Hollie Cassar playing Consuelo was an exceptional performer providing comedic laughs and managing to convey the real warmth and love between grandmother and granddaughter.
Elia Lo Tauro playing Gloria’s father José had an excellent voice but some of his scenes felt disjointed and unnecessary.
The ensemble cast was brilliant and never missed a beat, providing a visual treat with bright costumes and intricate Cuban dance moves which were a real pleasure to watch. Sergio Trujillo as Choreographer did an outstanding job with this production.
The sets used were simple yet effective, which allowed for smooth and fluid transition between scenes, at times you felt like you were transported to the streets of Cuba with large shuttered windows painted white while the dancers and musicians created the hustle and bustle of the country. The lighting throughout helped set the mood and vibrancy of the production and added to the tension during dramatic moments.
The costumes and hair designs were on point and very reminiscent of the time. They managed to replicate Gloria’s outfits from many of her memorable tour and television performances over the years such as the stunning blue gown she wore at the American Music Awards, this was a standout performance in real life and in this production as this was when she made her comeback to the stage following the tragic accident which left her out of action for well over a year. This was a very poignant moment in the show and executed extremely well and showcased the vocal range of the understudy.
The show overall was a bop from start to finish, it included many of the evocative well known UK Hits such as, ‘Conga’, ‘1-2-3’, ‘Dr Beat’, ‘Get on your Feet’ and Rhythm Is Gonna Get You’. The sound was incredible throughout the show and had your foot tapping as soon as the curtain came down. By the end the audience were literally on their feet dancing much to the delight of the cast who seemed to thrive on audience participation. At the end of the 1st Act, which included a rousing performance of ‘Conga’ the cast came out into the theatre stalls and plucked members of the audience out of their seats to form a conga line which was a particular highlight of the show.