On Your Feet – Westchester Broadway TheatrePublished: Friday, June 14, 2019 By: Kristen Weyer. Source: The Theatre Guide
An energetic and entertaining evening of theatre awaits all who attend Westchester Broadway Theatre’s production of On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. With a book by Alexander Dinelaris, it features music produced and recorded by Emilio and Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine. Directed here by Donna Drake and choreographed by Rhonda Miller, On Your Feet is alternately fun and humorous, and emotional and touching.
This biographical musical takes us on the uplifting and heartwarming journey of the Estefans; how they met and fell in love, through the initial disappointments and failures which ultimately led to success and international stardom.
I find this show inspiring, for multiple reasons. Did they go from humble beginnings, work hard, believe in themselves and achieve success? Yes. And is this inspiring? Of course, it is. But for me the most inspirational aspect of this story is love. And not the fuzzy feeling, great while the going is good kind either. I’m talking about the never give up, keep trying, not leaving no matter what happens kind. The love of a mother for her children, a sister’s protective love for her sister, and the true love of a husband and wife; it’s a refreshing portrayal of unconditional love from multiple angles. Spoiler alert: there’s a happy ending.
Maria Bilbao and Jose Luaces give fabulous performances as Gloria and Emilio. Maria’s vocal ability is incredibly impressive and she does all the justice to these famous songs you could hope for. She and Jose have nice chemistry together and play off one another well. Jose’s characterization is unflagging with charming humor, and excellent vocals and accent. Sandy Rosenberg makes a delightful Consuelo, and the adorable Isabella Preston has a marvelous voice as young Gloria.
One of the favorites though has to be Karmine Alers, reprising her Broadway and 1st National Tour role as Gloria Fajardo, Gloria Estefan’s mother. She completely embodies her powerful character and impresses not only with her portrayal but her fantastic vocals. Her duet with Luaces in the second act entitled “If I Never Get to Tell You” is simply beautiful.
The orchestra led by director Bob Bray gives an outstanding performance, guaranteed to leave your toes tapping and possibly the urge to get up and dance!
Set design by Steve Loftus was minimal but adequate. Colorful and sparkling costume design was by Keith Nielsen. Despite the timing feeling somewhat rushed at points, it was a wonderful performance and all-in-all a fun and lively evening of theater.
On Your Feet is an exciting and moving show full of great music! Just try and leave this production without a song stuck in your head!