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Jul 2nd, 2019
Cuban born, Latin-music powerhouses Emilio and Gloria Estefan are the next music moguls to receive their own bio-musical in London's West End. After becoming a hit on Broadway in 2015 On Your Feet! has danced its way into the London Coliseum for a limited summer run.
Full of the duos biggest hits this colourful and loud (very loud) musical tracks Gloria and Emilio's rise to superstardom. From their childhood in Miami to the formation of their mega-band Miami Sound Machine and the tragic accident that left Gloria's career on the edge, On Your Feet! whistles through a twenty year period at an alarming rate - and therein lies the crux of the issue.
Peppered with iconic numbers like "Get On Your Feet", "1-2-3" and "Rhythm is Gonna Get You" On Your Feet! is a masterclass in bringing the fun of the '80s onto the stage. With brilliant choreography from Sergio Trujillo and an unrivalled energy from the whole cast, the songs are the stars of this show.
It is a shame then, that these wonderful hits are punctuated with quite a limp book from Alexander Dinelaris. The dialogue simply cannot live up to the high octane energy of the song that preceded it and misses out on some key elements within Gloria and Emilio's career. For example, the Miami Sound Machine's first record deal, and the death of Gloria's father and grandmother (two hugely important figures in her life) are completely missed and are only highlighted when we're greeted by a Sony exec and a strained call home between Gloria and her mother (her father just never returns to the stage).
The eclipse of these life-changing moments and dud script, paired with equally weak direction by Jerry Mitchell, means that when the trumpets die down On Your Feet! slows to an agonising pace, leaving you willing the next song to arrive.
If only the creative team behind On Your Feet! had the gift of foresight, they could have taken a leaf out of SIX's book and just allow the songs to do the talking. Estefan's songs are made for the stage and I, like the rest of the audience, was on my feet dancing and clapping along the ultimate mega-mix that accompanied the final bows. But unfortunately for me, the shoehorning of dull dialogue and pretty amateurish staging made the evening at the London Coliseum bittersweet.
View our show pages for more information about On Your Feet!, London Coliseum.
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