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On Your Feet! is a jukebox musical that played on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre. Based on the lives and music of 26-time Grammy Award-winning husband-and-wife team Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the musical has a book written by Alexander Dinelaris and a score built around the Cuban-fusion pop music made famous by Gloria Estefan, such as "Get on Your Feet", "Conga", "1-2-3" and "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You." It also features an original song called "If I Never Got to Tell You," with lyrics by Gloria Estefan and music by her daughter, Emily Estefan. After playing on Broadway for two years, Gloria Estefan announced there are several international productions in the works. The Dutch adaptation was the first to launch. In the presence of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, a fully Dutch cast performed the musical for the first time in Utrecht, Netherlands on October 17, 2017. Also an international tour and sit down productions in Germany, Italy, Mexico, Japan and France have been announced.

After a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago in Summer 2015, On Your Feet! opened on Broadway on November 5, 2015. It opened to positive reviews and box office success. The musical received seven Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, three Drama League Award nominations and a Tony Award nomination for Best Choreography.

Production history Edit

Chicago (2015) Edit

The musical had its world premiere at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago from June 2, 2015, to July 5, 2015, directed by Jerry Mitchell and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo. The cast featured Ana Villafañe as Gloria and Josh Segarra as Emilio.

Broadway (2015-2017) Edit

Previews began on October 5, 2015, at the Marquis Theatre, with Mitchell and Trujillo as director and choreographer. The musical officially opened on November 5, 2015. The opening cast of 31 performers was led by Ana Villafañe as Gloria Estefan, Josh Segarraas Emilio Estefan, Andréa Burns as Gloria Fajardo, Alma Cuervo as Consuelo García, Alexandria Suaréz as Little Gloria and Eduardo Hernandez as Young Emilio. Designers include David Rockwell (sets), Emilio "Esosa" Sosa (costumes) and Kenneth Posner(lighting). In July 2016, Puerto Rican singer and actor Ektor Rivera replaced Segarra as Emilio. The production celebrated 500 performances on January 19, 2017. The production closed on Broadway on August 20, 2017 after 34 previews and 746 regular performances. The sets and props were shipped to The Netherlands and are currently used in the Dutch production.

Netherlands (2017-) Edit

The first production outside America started previews on October 17, 2017, in the Netherlands. The production is produced by Stage Entertainment and plays at the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht, with performances scheduled up to June 30, 2018. The songs are in their original language, while the dialogue has been translated to Dutch by Allard Blom. Vajèn van den Bosch stars as Gloria Estefan. Jim Bakkum and Tommie Christiaan have been cast as Emilio Estefan, Nurlaila Karim as Gloria Fajardo and Ellen Evers as Consuelo García.

U.S. Tour (2017-) Edit

A US tour began in the fall of 2017, premiering in Miami, Florida. The tour has stops in Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Durham, East Lansing, Greenville, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providence, Rochester, Saint Louis, San Antonio, San Diego, Schenectady, Tampa, and Washington D.C.. Emilio and Gloria Estefan announced the tour at a press event in Miami on February 6, 2017. Christie Prades, a Broadway understudy for "Gloria", has been announced to play the lead role on the tour. The tour will embark on an 80-week national tour, which will start in Buffalo on Sept. 22 and reach 60 other cities by 2019. Other stops on the tour include Miami, the Estefans’ hometown, with an opening on Oct. 5 and long engagements in certain cities.

West End (2019-) Edit

On Your Feet will open in the West End in June 2019 at the London Coliseum for a limited engagement prior to a tour of the UK and Ireland.

International Productions Edit

International productions of the show are in the works as well as a possible international tour. Sit down productions are planned for Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico and France.

Synopsis Edit

Act I Edit

A dance number from Gloria Estefan's dancers leads to backstage with Gloria, Emilio Estefan, and their son, Nayib before a concert in 1990 ("Rhythm is Gonna Get You"). In a flashback, Gloria is younger, playing the guitar and singing to send a recording to her father, José Fajardo, who is stationed in Vietnam. ("Cuando Salí de Cuba"). Gloria grows up in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, with her mother, Gloria Fajardo, and grandmother, Consuelo García. During the dance number, Gloria is shown as older ("Tradición"). As time progresses, Gloria is introduced to Emilio Estefan by her grandmother who is a part of a group, then called the Miami Latin Boys. Emilio invites Gloria to perform one of the songs she has written at their upcoming rehearsal. Gloria, who is studying to be a psychologist and spending most of her extra time caring for her father through his battle with Multiple Sclerosis, is initially resistant to the idea of performing. With pressure from her grandmother, she attends the rehearsals, despite push-back from her mother. She brings her sister, Rebecca Fajardo, mother, and grandmother the day of. Gloria performs and has her sister come with her on stage for "emotional support," ("Anything For You"). Despite initially being shy, and not wanting to be in the spotlight, she finds her place after being given advice from Emilio ("1-2-3"). Gloria realizes she is falling for Emilio, and Emilio is feeling the same way ("I See Your Smile"). Gloria's mother is initially not on board with Gloria joining the Miami Latin Boys, and when Gloria is frustrated that her mother doesn't like Emilio, Consuelo tells her that when her mother was younger she wanted to be a singer too. Gloria Fajardo was offered a contract with Twentieth Century Fox to be the Spanish voice of Shirley Temple, but her father forbids it. A flashback follows, of Gloria Fajardo performing in a club and finds out during the performance she learns she has to flee Cuba without her love, José Fajardo. ("Mi Tierra") Later Gloria and Emilio propose a new song to Phil, a record label executive, but he refuses to publish it because it is in English. Then, on July 4, Emilio and Gloria go on a date where Gloria kisses Emilio for the first time. ("Con Los Años Que Me Quedan"). They try to discuss the single, but Gloria is lost in Emilio, and her love for him ("Here We Are"). Gloria is spending time with her father, José Fajardo, and although he cannot speak, she wishes she could hear what he would say about Emilio. She imagines the advice he would give her ("When Someone Comes into Your Life"). Gloria then writes a song using the encores they played on tour in Holland, with all the lyrics in English. Chris is initially not backing it, and won't propose it to Phil, so they have to "bring Phil to the song," before they can release it. Gloria initially performs her new song at a Bar Mitzvah for a boy named Jeremy, and Phil refuses to attend. Then she performs it at an Italian wedding, and Phil still will not come. It is not until she performs it at a Shriner's convention in Las Vegas that Phil wants to attend ("Conga").

Act II Edit

Gloria and Emilio hit the top of the music charts and launch a worldwide tour ("Get on Your Feet"). Gloria is thankful for the fact that her grandmother had encouraged her to pursue a music career and even calls her grandmother on stage during one of her performances ("Live for Loving You"). However, Gloria also struggles with the exhausting schedule, and the fact that her mother has become estranged due to her disapproval (and potential jealousy) of Gloria's fame ("You'll Be Mine (Party Time)"). Even though Gloria is exhausted and wants to take a couple of days off, Emilio encourages her to take on one other concert in Syracuse. On the road, the Estefans' bus collides with a semi truck during a snowstorm ("Famous"). Gloria breaks her back in the accident, and is flown to NYC for emergency spinal surgery. Gloria's mother rushes to the hospital after hearing about Gloria's accident on the news and she and Emilio bond over their love for Gloria ("If I Never Got to Tell You"). Emilio worries Gloria might not survive the surgery ("Don't Wanna Lose You"). During her surgery Gloria imagines seeing her late father and her grandmother, who had passed away a couple of months before ("Wrapped"). They both encourage her to live. After coming out of surgery, Gloria finally reconciles with her mother. Doctors tell Gloria she may never walk again, but she dedicates herself to rehabilitation. Thousands of fan letters, and Emilio's steadfast determination, provide her the encouragement she needs to get back on her feet ("Reach"). Gloria makes a triumphant return to the stage with her performance of "Coming Out of The Dark" at the 1991 American Music Awards ("Coming Out of the Dark").

Musical numbers Edit

Act I
  • "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" — Gloria, Company
  • "Cuando Salí de Cuba" — Little Gloria
  • "Tradición" — Little Gloria, Gloria, Company
  • "Anything For You" — Gloria, Rebecca
  • "1-2-3" — Gloria, Company
  • "I See Your Smile" — Gloria, Emilio, Company
  • "Mi Tierra" — Gloria Fajardo, Company
  • "Con Los Años Que Me Quedan" — Guitarristas
  • "Here We Are" — Gloria, Emilio, Guitarristas
  • "Dr. Beat" † — Company
  • "When Someone Comes Into Your Life" — José, Gloria
  • "Conga" — Gloria, Company
Act II
  • "Get on Your Feet" — Gloria, Company
  • "Live for Loving You" — Gloria, Company
  • "You'll Be Mine (Party Time)" — Gloria, Company
  • "Oye Mi Canto" — Gloria, Company
  • "Cuba Libre" — Gloria, Company
  • "Famous" — Gloria
  • "If I Never Got to Tell You" ‡ — Gloria Fajardo, Emilio
  • "Wrapped" — Gloria, Little Gloria, José, Emilio, Company
  • "Don't Wanna Lose You" — Emilio, Company
  • "Reach" — Company
  • "Coming Out of the Dark" — Gloria, Company
  • "Mega Mix"
    • "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" — Gloria, Little Gloria, Company
    • "Oye" — Gloria Fajardo, Company
    • "Conga" — Consuelo, José, Company
    • "Turn the Beat Around" — Rebecca, Emilio, Company
    • "Everlasting Love" — Gloria, Emilio, Company
    • "Get on Your Feet" — Company

† Not included in the cast recording.

‡ Original song written for the show by Gloria Estefan (lyrics) and Emily Estefan (music).

Principal roles and casts Edit

Principal roles Edit

Character Original Broadway Cast (2015) First U.S. Tour Cast (2017) Current Dutch Cast (2017)
Gloria Estefan Ana Villafañe Christie Prades Vajèn van den Bosch
Emilio Estefan Josh Segarra Mauricio Martínez Jim Bakkum
Tommie Christiaan
Gloria Fajardo Andréa Burns Nancy Ticotin Nurlaila Karim
Consuelo García Alma Cuervo Ellen Evers
José Fajardo Eliseo Román Jason Martinez Frank van Hengel
Rebecca Fajardo Genny Lis Padilla Claudia Yanez Sky Lemmer
Little Gloria Alexandria Suarez Amaris Sanchez Éowyn Arts, Robin de Haas,

Billy, Idaila, Neeltje, Yuna

Fabi Aguirre Carmen Sanchez
Young Emilio
 

Nayib
Jeremy

Eduardo Hernandez Jordan Vergara Thibault van der Does,

Jeshian van Doorn, Luca Orlando,

Roemer Vonk, Ricardo Willems

Kevin Tellez

Notable Principal cast replacements Edit

  • Mauricio Martínez replaced Ektor Rivera temporarily in the role of Emilio on Broadway from July 10, 2017 to August 13, 2017. Rivera returned for the final week of the Broadway run.

Critical response Edit

In his review for The New York Times, Charles Isherwood wrote that "the recipe may be familiar, but the flavor is fresh in this undeniably crowd-pleasing musical." "Starring a vibrant Ana Villafañe as Ms. Estefan and a commanding Josh Segarra as her husband and musical collaborator, the musical neatly showcases the boppy dance-floor hits and swoony ballads that made Ms. Estefan and the band Miami Sound Machine a radio and MTV staple in the 1980s... 'On Your Feet!' roars through the up-tempo numbers, choreographed with swirling skirts and swiveling hips by Sergio Trujillo. The very air in the room seems to vibrate when the crackerjack band strikes up. But with an often mechanical book, moving through its rags-to-riches paces as if to a rigid percussive beat, 'On Your Feet!' ultimately falls somewhere in the middle of the hefty pack of jukebox musicals that have plugged in to Broadway's power strip."

David Rooney, in his review for The Hollywood Reporter, wrote, "Just try keeping the grin off your face when two massive human chains—of cast and audience members—flood the aisles of the Marquis Theatre... Charting the rise to international superstardom of Gloria Estefan, and her triumphant re-emergence after near-tragedy struck, On Your Feet! is an infectious account of the lives and careers of the Latin music crossover sensations... featuring a star-making lead performance from radiant newcomer Ana Villafane. It's impossible to deny the production's generosity of spirit.... the story is packed with heart, above all in its tender depiction of the couple's sustaining love. And there's such genuine joy — plus a refreshing suggestion of modesty — in the telling of this Cuban-American success story. The show's arrival at a historic point in the renewal of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. makes its timing serendipitous."

Peter Marks, in his review for The Washington Post wrote "The buoyant Estefan songs... are rolled out with carbonated flair by director Jerry Mitchell and choreographer Sergio Trujillo. In the guise, too, of actor-singers Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra, the redoubtable Estefans are evoked here with the requisite sexiness and effervescence; the book by Alexander Dinelaris...conveys vivaciously that theirs is a partnership in every sense....takes its place in the upper echelons of the jukebox genre..."

Before the Dutch version even started performing, the casting already faced some criticism. People found the casting of Dutch born caucasian musical actors in the major roles of Gloria, Emilio and Consuelo 'white washing'. " Producer Albert Verlinde responded by saying they used colourblind casting and eventually cast the best people that auditioned. The casting also was approved by Gloria and Emilio themselves. "


Box Office Edit

The New York Times reported, following the musical's first week of preview performances, "On Your Feet!, a jukebox musical about Gloria and Emilio Estefan, barrelled onto Broadway last week, grossing $970,013 in its first seven preview performances and suggesting that the show might be the first new hit since Hamilton." In December, the newspaper followed up with a report that the show was continuing to flourish at the box office in spite of a divisive presidential election season, "Immigration may be polarizing as a political issue, but on Broadway the immigrant stories are doing quite well...On Your Feet!, the new musical about Gloria and Emilio Estefan's journey from anonymity in Cuba to stardom in the United States, had its strongest showing yet last week, grossing $1,331,812. That production is now consistently among the top-grossing shows on Broadway, behind only Hamilton among works that opened this season."

Playbill noted, in the musical's first week in November 2015, " 'On Your Feet!' which won good reviews last week, saw a leap of $123,518 and played to houses that were at 96% capacity..."

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