Discover his inspiration for the children’s story about a cheeky little fellow with big dreams of being in the spotlight.
Based on the lives of Latin crossover sensations Emilio and Gloria Estefan, On Your Feet! has brought the sound and spirit of Miami to London.
Boasting a book by Alexander Dinelaris, who won an Oscar for his screenplay of Birdman, the heart-warming musical premiered in Chicago in 2015. Shortly after, On Your Feet! headed to Broadway where it stayed until 2017, running for 780 performances. More recently the show has not only gone on a US tour, but also had a production in the Netherlands.
Now On Your Feet! is in the West End at the London Coliseum where it will be sharing its infectious story and score – full of the Estefans’ Cuban-fusion pop hits – all summer long.
What is On Your Feet! about?
The biopic On Your Feet! is a high-energy musical that tells the story of a husband-and-wife team who were born in Cuba and achieved the American dream. Coming from humble beginnings, Emilio and Gloria rose to superstardom, while spreading their music throughout Miami, across the US and all around the world.
The couple, who are also responsible for Latin pop group Miami Sound Machine, have 26 Grammys to their names. On Your Feet! showcases their impressive back catalogue on stage. Fans will hear all the smash hits including Conga, Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Don’t Want to Lose You Now, 1-2-3 and, of course, Get On Your Feet.
In addition, On Your Feet! captures the Estefans’ truly inspiring love story. While believing in each other and building a life together, they were able to overcome family problems, record industry prejudice and much more.
Who stars in On Your Feet!?
This show stars Christie Prades, reprising her role as Gloria Estefan from the US tour of On Your Feet!. Born in Miami from Cuban parents, Prades is a bilingual vocalist with a long list of singing and performing credits including parts in West Side Story and In the Heights. Prades actually served as the first cover for the role of Gloria when the show was on Broadway. While attending a promotional event in Miami, Gloria Estefan herself asked Prades to lead the touring production of On Your Feet! – and that’s led to her West End debut.
Emilio Estefan is portrayed by handsome Greek Cypriot George Ioannides. He’s had roles in Annie, Grease and MAMMA MIA!, and most recently appeared as Eduardo Cortez in An Officer and a Gentleman.
The multi-talented Madalena Alberto – from Evita, Aspects of Love, Cats and Les Misérables – shines as Gloria’s proud mother, Gloria Fajardo.
Theatre stalwart Karen Mann, who’s been in Sister Act, Fiddler on the Roof and Sweeney Todd (to name just a few) has the scene-stealing duties of Gloria’s sweet and funny grandmother Consuelo.
Completing the leading cast is Elio Lo Tauro as Gloria’s father, José Fajardo. Born in Sicily, Elio boasts lengthy theatre credits as well as an appearance in the film Skyfall.
On Your Feet! is directed by Jerry Mitchell, a two-time Tony Award winner for his work in Kinky Boots and La Cage aux Folles, while the choreography is by Sergio Trujillo, who just took home a 2019 Tony for Ain’t Too Proud and is revered for his flair on the international hit musical Jersey Boys.
What can audiences expect from On Your Feet!?
Fans may be surprised at just how many of the Estefans’ songs they know. This shouldn’t astonish though, because Gloria Estefan – as a solo artist and fronting the Miami Sound Machine – has scored 38 No.1 hits and sold more than 100 million records worldwide during the course of her career.
Melding Cuban rhythms with pop, On Your Feet! celebrates all of their music with a kaleidoscope of colour, sound and movement.
The choreography is particularly noteworthy throughout the show – mixing mambo and salsa steps with thrilling spins, lifts and jumps. Fans will be wowed by the cast’s furiously fast footwork.
These musical numbers weave into a touching storyline that tells the personal and professional journey of Emilio and Gloria as they rise to international stardom.
Instantly likeable, the musical follows their relationship as it develops – from when Emilio meets her mother and thinks it’s Gloria, to their awkward first kiss.
With her strong and stunning voice, Prades is perfect as Gloria. She gives a warm yet feisty performance, while sharing a very believable chemistry with Ioannides as Emilio, so much so these two make audiences swoon for their characters.
There are plenty of ups and downs too. From triumphant breaks, such as when their music starts catching on in the clubs, to tragedies like Gloria’s near fatal 1990 tour bus accident, On Your Feet! covers it all.
Full of positive, feel-good energy as well as a message about never losing hope, this show is a joy to watch. And with such an amazing score, fans won’t want the music to stop…in fact, true the show’s word, by the end the auditorium is joyfully on their feet.
What are the critics saying?
“The rhythm really does get you” ★★★★ – Guardian
“A glorious night out with Gloria” ★★★★ – Daily Mail
“Gloria Estefan musical almost blows the roof off the London Coliseum” ★★★★ – Attitude
“Exhilarating extravaganza. This show is all about a good time.” ★★★★ – Whatsonstage
“It’s Glori-ous!” ★★★★ – Daily Star Sunday
“It’s a candy coloured Conga-fest” ★★★★ – Mail on Sunday
“A lot of fun. If hits like Dr Beat and Get on Your Feet can’t make you dance, then, no rhythm is gonna get you.” – Time Out
What else do I need to know?
On Your Feet! is currently playing in the West End at the London Coliseum until 31 August 2019. The performance lasts two hours and 30 minutes, including a 20-minute interval.
On Your Feet! will embark on a UK tour from September 2019 through April 2020.
Tickets for the West End run and select UK tour dates are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.