BWW Review: ON YOUR FEET! at Music Hall At Fair Park

BWW Review: ON YOUR FEET! at Music Hall At Fair ParkI'm not sure that Broadway, or anyone for that matter, was asking for a jukebox musical about Gloria and Emilio Estefan's lives to take the stage in 2015, but after the success of musicals about Carole King (BEAUTIFUL) and recording industry legend Berry Gordy (MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL), I suppose you can't blame the pair (along with book writer Alexander Dinelaris) for trying. But, despite the handful of toe-tapping tunes, ON YOUR FEET! barely jumps off the page.

The musical chronicles the rise to fame of the eventual Cuban-American pop star Gloria Estefan whose early path is pointed toward psychology rather than the microphone. But at the nudging of her fiery grandmother, Gloria eventually joins forces with Emilio and the up-and-coming Miami Latin Boys, putting them on the map as Miami Sound Machine. As Gloria and Emilio make giant steps in both their personal and professional lives, they bang out hits such as "Conga," "Rhythm is Gonna Get You," and "Get on Your Feet." Everything changes when their tour bus is hit and Gloria is injured, putting a screeching halt to her career. But, as we all know, Gloria manages to overcome her obstacles and continue making her mark on the pop charts. Cue more dancing.

Leading the musical's national tour are Christie Prades and Mauricio Martinez, as Gloria and Emilio Estefan, respectively. Although the pair is somewhat less convincing between musical moments, their chemistry and charm arrive as the music swells. While Ms. Prades shines in the upbeat song and dance moments, Martinez soars highest on his eleven o'clock ballad, "I Don't Wanna Lose You." They are nearly outshined, however, by Amaris Sanchez and Jordan Vengara, who cheerfully steal the show as younger versions of the stars.

A thin plot and subpar acting abilities don't exactly elevate an evening in the theatre, but with an energetic ensemble and lively band, the audience on opening night couldn't help but deliver what the title promised: by the time the flashy finale had ended, there was hardly a person left in their seats.

ON YOUR FEET runs at Dallas Summer Musical through March 11th. Tickets and more information can be found at

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From This Author Kyle Christopher West

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