On Your Feet!

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On Your Feet!
The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan
Playbill cover for the original Broadway production
MusicEmilio Estefan
Gloria Estefan
Miami Sound Machine
LyricsEmilio Estefan
Gloria Estefan
BookAlexander Dinelaris Jr.
BasisThe life and music of Gloria Estefan
PremiereJune 2, 2015 (2015-06-02): Oriental Theatre, Chicago
Productions2015 Chicago
2015 Broadway
2017 US National Tour
2017 Netherlands
2019 West End
2019 UK tour

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 Jr. and a score built around the Cuban-fusion pop music made famous by Gloria Estefan. The songs featured include "Get on Your Feet," "Conga," "1-2-3," and "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You." The musical also features the original song "If I Never Got to Tell You" with lyrics by Gloria Estefan and music by her daughter Emily Estefan.[1]

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. International tours and sit down productions have also been announced for Germany, Italy, Mexico, Japan and France.

After a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago during the summer of 2015, On Your Feet! opened on Broadway on November 5, 2015.[2] It opened to positive reviews and box office success.[3][4] 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 – July 5, 2015 (directed by Jerry Mitchell and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo).[2] The cast featured Ana Villafañe as Gloria and Josh Segarra as Emilio.[5][6]

Broadway (2015-2017)[edit]

Previews began on October 5, 2015, at the Marquis Theatre with Mitchell and Trujillo as director and choreographer respectively.[7] The musical officially opened on November 5, 2015.[2] The opening cast of 31 performers was led by Ana Villafañe ("Gloria Estefan"), Josh Segarra ("Emilio Estefan"), Andréa Burns ("Gloria Fajardo"), Alma Cuervo ("Consuelo García"), Alexandria Suaréz ("Little Gloria") and Eduardo Hernandez ("Young Emilio"). Designers include David Rockwell (sets), Emilio "Esosa" Sosa (costumes) and Kenneth Posner (lighting).[8][9] 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.[10] The sets and props were shipped to The Netherlands and were used in the Dutch production.

Netherlands (2017-2018)[edit]

The first production outside America started previews on October 17, 2017, in the Netherlands. The production is produced by Stage Entertainment and played at the Beatrix Theater with performances until August 5, 2018. The songs are in their original language, whereas the dialogue has been translated to Dutch by Allard Blom. The cast features Vajèn van den Bosch ("Gloria Estefan"), Jim Bakkum / Tommie Christiaan ("Emilio Estefan"), Nurlaila Karim ("Gloria Fajardo") and Ellen Evers ("Consuelo García").[11][12]

U.S. Tour (2017-2019)[edit]

A US tour began in the fall of 2017 and premiered in Buffalo, New York. The tour has stops in the following cities:

  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Costa Mesa, California
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • East Lansing, Michigan
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Houston, Texas
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Rochester, New York
  • Saint Louis, Missouri
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Schenectady, New York
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Washington D.C.

Emilio and Gloria Estefan announced the tour at a press event in Miami, Florida, on February 6, 2017. Christie Prades, a Broadway understudy for "Gloria," had 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, New York on September 22, 2017, and reach 60 other cities by 2019. Other stops on the tour include Miami—the Estefans' hometown—with an opening on October 5, 2017, and long engagements in certain cities.[13][14][15]

West End (2019)[edit]

On Your Feet opened in the West End in June 2019 at the London Coliseum. This was a limited engagement from 14 June 2019 to 31 August 2019, before a tour of the UK and Ireland.[16] The cast features Christie Prades as Gloria and George Ioannides as Emilio.[17]

International productions[edit]

International productions of the show are in development, as well as a possible international tour. Sit down productions are planned for Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, France and Switzerland.[18]


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 by her grandmother to Emilio Estefan, 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]

† 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)[19] First U.S. Tour Cast (2017)[20] Dutch Cast (2017) West End Cast (2019)
Gloria Estefan Ana Villafañe Christie Prades Vajèn van den Bosch Christie Prades, Philippa Stefani
Emilio Estefan Josh Segarra Mauricio Martínez Jim Bakkum George Ioannides
Tommie Christiaan
Gloria Fajardo Andréa Burns Nancy Ticotin Nurlaila Karim Madalena Alberto
Consuelo García Alma Cuervo Ellen Evers Karen Mann
José Fajardo Eliseo Román Jason Martinez Frank van Hengel Elia Lo Tauro
Rebecca Fajardo Genny Lis Padilla Claudia Yanez Sky Lemmer Francesca Lara Gordon
Little Gloria Alexandria Suarez Amaris Sanchez Éowyn Arts, Robin de Haas,

Billy, Idaila, Neeltje, Yuna

Klaudia Gjergji,

Holly McDonagh,

Emilly Perra.

Fabi Aguirre Carmen Sanchez
Young Emilio
Eduardo Hernandez Jordan Vergara Thibault van der Does,

Jeshian van Doorn, Luca Orlando,

Roemer Vonk, Ricardo Willems

Santiago Huertas Ruiz,

Jonathan Naranjo,

Alejandro Puentes Motato.

Kevin Tellez
Notable Broadway replacements
  • 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.[21]

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."[22]

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."[23]

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..."[24]

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'. "[25] 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. "[26]

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."[3] 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."[4]

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..."[27]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2016 Tony Award[28] Best Choreography Sergio Trujillo Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award[29] Outstanding New Broadway Musical Nominated
Outstanding Book of a Musical Alexander Dinelaris Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Ana Villafañe Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Andréa Burns Nominated
Outstanding Choreographer Sergio Trujillo Won
Outstanding Costume Design Esosa Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Kenneth Posner Nominated
Drama League Award[30] Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Nominated
Distinguished Performance Ana Villafañe Nominated
Theatre World Award[31] Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance Ana Villafañe Won
Fred and Adele Astaire Award[32] Best Choreographer Sergio Trujillo Won
Best Female Dancer Ana Villafañe Nominated
Best Male Dancer Carlos E. Gonzalez Nominated
Luis Salgado Nominated
Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show David Baida, Henry Gainza, Linedy Genao, Carlos E. Gonzalez, Nina Lafarga, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Marielys Molina, Doreen Montalvo, Genny Lis Padilla, Liz Ramos, Eliseo Roman, Luis Salgado, Jennifer Sanchez, Marco Santana, Brett Sturgus, Eric Ulloa, Tanairi Sade Vazquez, Lee Zarrett Nominated


  1. ^ Dominguez, Robert (November 5, 2015). "Gloria and Emilio Estefan's triumphs and trials are told in new Broadway show". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Official Site". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b Paulson, Michael (13 October 2015). "'On Your Feet!' Off to Strong Start at Broadway Box Office". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  4. ^ a b Paulson, Michael (14 December 2015). "'On Your Feet!' and 'Fiddler' Are Strong at Broadway Box Office". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  5. ^ Oxman, Steven. "Pre-Broadway Review: Estefan Musical 'On Your Feet!' " Variety, June 18, 2015
  6. ^ Gioia, Michael. "Gloria Estefan's 'On Your Feet!' Packs Up Its Chicago Shoes; Broadway Is Next!" Playbill, July 5, 2015
  7. ^ "'On Your Feet!' Broadway" playbillvault.com, accessed November 2, 2015
  8. ^ Gioia, Michael. "'Get On Your Feet!' Gloria Estefan's Musical Hits Broadway Tonight" Playbill, October 5, 2015
  9. ^ Staff. "The Verdict: Read Reviews for Gloria Estefan's 'On Your Feet!' on Broadway" Playbill, November 5, 2015
  10. ^ "On Your Feet! Sets Closing Date on Broadway Feet! | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  11. ^ "Verhaal van On Your Feet!". www.stage-entertainment.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  12. ^ "Nurlaila Karim en Ellen Evers in On Your Feet!". www.stage-entertainment.nl.
  13. ^ Hirschman, Bill. "Estefans' 'On Your Feet' To Begin Tour in Miami, Broward Will Get Hamilton First in Region & Kravis Finally Hosts 'The Lion King' " floridatheateronstage.com, February 7, 2017
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew. " 'On Your Feet!' Will Launch 31-City National Tour" Playbill, February 7, 2017
  15. ^ "On Your Feet! Will Launch 31-City National Tour | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  16. ^ "On Your Feet to Get UK Premiere" londontheatre.co.uk
  17. ^ Daniels, Nicholas. "Full casting announced for Gloria Estefan bio-musical On Your Feet! at the London Coliseum" londontheatredirect.com, April 4, 2019
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew. " On Your Feet! Ends Broadway Run August 20" playbill, August 20, 2017
  19. ^ Gioia, Michael (July 5, 2015). "Gloria Estefan's On Your Feet! Packs Up Its Chicago Shoes; Broadway Is Next!". Playbill. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  20. ^ "ON YOUR FEET! Broadway | Cast & Creative | Official Site". On Your Feet! The Musical. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew (11 July 2017). "Mauricio Martinez Joins Broadway Cast of On Your Feet! July 11". Playbill.
  22. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Review: 'On Your Feet!' Rides the Rhythm of the Estefans", New York Times, November 5, 2015
  23. ^ Rooney, David (November 5, 2015). "'On Your Feet!': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  24. ^ Marks, Peter. "Emilio and Gloria Estefan musical 'On Your Feet!' is fleet and fun", The Washington Post, November 5, 2015
  25. ^ de Lange, Nils. "Moeten we ons druk maken om Jim Bakkum die een Cubaan speelt?", Vice, July 20, 2017
  26. ^ ANP. "Verlinde: geen whitewashing in On Your Feet", RTL Nieuws, September 6, 2017
  27. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Broadway Box-Office Analysis: Good Reviews Fill On Your Feet's Seats" Playbill, November 9, 2015
  28. ^ Viagas, Robert (June 12, 2016). "Hamilton Tops Tony Awards With 11 Wins". Playbill. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  29. ^ Viagas, Robert (May 9, 2016). "Bright Star and The Humans Win Top 2016 NY Outer Critics Circle Awards". Playbill. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  30. ^ Gans, Andrew (May 20, 2016). "Zachary Levi and Megan Hilty Host 82nd Annual Drama League Awards Today". Playbill. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  31. ^ Gans, Andrew (May 2, 2016). "Theatre World Awards Announce 2016 Winners". Playbill. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  32. ^ Viagas, Robert; Clement, Olivia (May 16, 2016). "Savion Glover and Jane Krakowski Among 2016 Astaire Award Winners". Playbill. Retrieved June 15, 2016.

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