Review Roundup: What Did The Critics Think of ON YOUR FEET in Miami?
ON YOUR FEET! is a jukebox musical following the life of the 26-time Grammy Award-winning husband and wife team Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The show chronicles Gloria's life, from her childhood to her international success as a singer and songwriter.
The cast features Christie Prader as Gloria, Mauricio Martinex as Emilio, Nancy Ticotin as Gloria Fajardo, Aima Cuervo as Consuelo, Jason Martinez as Jose Fajardo, Amaris Sanchez as Little Gloria, Carmen Sanchez as Litlle Gloria, Kevin Tellez as Nayib/Young Emilion/Jeremy, and Jordan Vergara as Nayib/Young Emilio/Jeremy.
The cast also includes Karmine Alers, Akizzo Arnedillo, David Baida, Danny Burgos, Sam J. Cahn, Natalie Caruncho, Sarita Colon, Adriel Flete, Jennifer Florentino, Devon Goffman, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Hector Maisonet, Claudia Mulet, Jeremy Adam Rey, Joseph Rivera, Maria Rodriguez, Arianna Rosario, Shani Talmor, and Claudia Yanez.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Christine Dolen, Miami Herald: Led by Prades and Martinez, charismatic singers with a sizzling chemistry, the cast is loaded with talent. Alma Cuervo, reprising her role from the Broadway production, brings warmth and a touch of mischief to Gloria's abuela Consuelo. Ticotin conveys the diva who might have been as she sings "Mi Tierra" in Havana before Gloria Fajardo's life is forever altered. Carmen Sanchez (alternating with Amaris Sanchez) shines as Little Gloria, the girl who can't stop singing, and Jordan Vergara (alternating with Kevin Tellez) is a dancing powerhouse as the bar mitzvah boy Jeremy, the Estefans' son Nayib and Young Emilio. Jason Martinez is a moving presence as José Fajardo, who never got to see his daughter and son-in-law's dazzling success.
Rod Stafford Hagwood, SouthFlorida.com: It could be that "On Your Feet" feels like more than it is because of the very real and palpable connection between Miami and the musical-comedy's undercurrent theme of Cuban-Americans ascending to the American dream... For Emilio, crossing over on the charts is a cinch compared to crossing over into her good graces, even with the deft assistance of Gloria's grandmother Consuelo (Alma Cuervo), the genuinely hysterically funny comic relief for "On Your Feet." The mother-in-law's intransigence and Gloria's 1990 bus crash, which left her physically broken, are the seemingly insurmountable conflicts in a story that is warmed from within by the romance between Gloria and Emilio.
Jamie Moses, ArtVoice: Christie Prades and Mauricio Martinez are sensational as Gloria and Emilio. There is wonderful chemistry between these two charismatic performers. Prades approximates the timber of Gloria's much adored voice, and is lovable in her every scene. Martinez, a Mexican musical theater star with a terrific voice, projects magnetic charm. We yearn for this couple to get together. We crumble when their happiness is threatened.
Bill Hirschman, Florida Theatre On Stage: The other standout facet is Trujillo's choreography and his knife-sharp dancing ensemble. With flashing skirts and swirling bodies, his work is an encyclopedia of Latin-influenced salsa as viewed through rock concert and clubbing sensibilities. The visual work of set designer David Rockwell, lighting designer Kenneth Posner and costumer Emilio Sosa recreate not so much the real Miami, but the Miami of the mind, complete with pastel sunsets. The unsung power behind the show is a 10-member band including seven original members of the Miami Sound Machine as well as music director Clay Ostwald and esteemed South Florida master Emmanuel "Manny" Schvartzman as associate music director.
Photo: Matthew Murphy