With the news that the Broadway musical On Your Feet, which chronicles the life and love story of two of the world’s biggest Latin popstars, is set to run at the London Coliseum next summer, we look at the couple, their careers and what we can expect from the UK premiere.
The pair are two of the biggest names in Latin music with a string of hits, and have sold over 100 million records across the world, but their story has humble beginnings which saw them rise to the top of the charts and become household names.
Gloria Estefan was an aspiring psychologist who was training at the University of Miami, but also cared for her father who became ill after returning from the war in Vietnam, and also worked as an English/Spanish/French translator. She was introduced to Emilio Estefan, who had founded the band Miami Latin Boys, and who invited Gloria to rehearsals with the group. Emilio was so impressed, Gloria and another female singer joined the band, which subsequently changed its name to Miami Sound Machine.
Emilio and Gloria fell in love, marrying in 1978, and the ‘80s saw the band’s popularity grow on the world stage. They had hits like “Conga”, “Prisoner of Love”, and “Words Get in the Way”. As they travel the world to perform for millions of adoring fans, the touring culture begins to wear on Gloria, but she is convinced to perform one more show by her husband. But tragedy strikes before they reach the final venue, and Gloria is left fighting on the brink.
What are the songs?
On Your Feet will feature some of the most recognisable songs in Latin music. They include “1-2-3”, “Conga”, "Con Los Años Que Me Quedan", “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” “Get On Your Feet” and “Turn the Beat Around”.
Is it any good?
Very. The show ran on Broadway back in 2015 at the Marquis Theatre and ran for over 700 performances, opening to some very positive reviews. Here’s a taste of what the American critics had to say.
Our partner site New York Theatre Guide gave the musical a four-star review saying “On Your Feet will make you understand on a visceral level that Estefan is a national treasure.” Click here to read the full review.
Who is in it?
Casting for the production is yet to be announced, but it’s been said of the Broadway version that the lead role of Gloria has real star-making potential. It was played by Ana Villafañe on Broadway, who was described as “a knockout in the leading role” by Marilyn Stasio in Variety. Villafañe was cast in the role following a nationwide talent search for the show’s star, which saw her beat off thousands of hopefuls to take centre stage on Broadway. Perhaps there’ll be a similar appetite for an open casting call when the show hits London?
On Your Feet is directed by Jerry Mitchell, whose credits include Kinky Boots – another musical that transformed its lead actor Matt Henry into a big theatrical name. It has choreography by Sergio Trujillo, who was nominated for a Tony Award for his work on On Your Feet.
How can I get tickets for On Your Feet in London?
Tickets for the UK premiere of On Your Feet at the London Coliseum are now on sale for performances from 14th June 2019 to 31st August 2019. Click here to buy On Your Feet tickets.