Review: ON YOUR FEET at The Miracle Theatre

The Estefan's ON YOUR FEET raising the roof at Miracle Theatre

By: Mar. 01, 2022
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Review: ON YOUR FEET at The Miracle Theatre

Andy Señor Jr.s' Direction of Gloria Estefan's and Emilio's life story ON YOUR FEET is sexy, flashy and flawless. Get On Your Feet and run to the box office to secure your seats, because the "Rhythm is Gonna Get You".

Andy has long been a favorite Broadway talent since his work in RENT, along side Neal Patrick Harris. I was lucky enough to witness his outstanding performance at La Jolla Playhouse. Since Andy Señor Jr.s' has come full circle, he brought RENT to Cuba as director, went on to be Associate Choreographer for ON YOUR FEET on Broadway, and is directing this production that has audiences raving. His direction is sure to be Carbonell Award nominated.

The book seamlessly jumps from the Estefan's true life story, to full concerts with exhilarating choreography and tight harmonies. This epic cast sound as if they are singing in a recording studio. The sound has never been better, some thanks to The Miami Sound Machine. The production lighting is more intricate in this elaborate musical, with the use of smoke it helps to amplify the Cuban inspired movements and rhythms played flawlessly by the live band, that includes "five of the original Miami Sound Machine members". This musical is the American Dream, It teaches us to dream big, and see obstacles as stepping stones to freedom and success.

Actors' Playhouse supporters are bound to have In The Heights, West Side Story, Next To Normal in their top favorites, but ON YOUR FEET is going to be your top favorite of all time. The musicianship, flawless direction, intricate latin choreography and Broadway credited talents, all make this production arguably the Best Musical produced by Actors' Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre.

Claudia Yanez' (Gloria Estefan) is pure perfection, from duplicating Gloria's iconic vocals, to capturing the sizzling, passionate, relationship with Jason Canela (Emilio Estefan). And Jason's portrayal of Emilio is sexy, aggressive, humorous. We witness their journeys as children coming to America, uniting as artists, and dealing with various obstacles from getting their records played on radio stations, to crossing over from the Latin Spanish music market, to english vocal market.

Outstanding performances come from Eileen Faxas (Gloria Fajardo) playing Gloria's Mother with heart and soul. Her mother is also a gifted singer and when Emilio comes to their home looking for a gifted singer, she assumes he is looking for her. Of course Emilio is looking for her daughter, and when he says "I thought you would be much younger looking", the audience is laughing hysterically. The relationship with Gloria's Mother starts off a bit rocky from this moment, and we don't witness her trust in him and acceptance of her daughter's relationship until the second act, after Gloria's horrific bus accident. Eileen shines along with the book and score, with her solo that captures her true feelings of Emilio and Gloria's success.

The grandmother played by Alma Cuervo (Consuelo) captures the endearing love for Gloria and her talents, along with her accepting the obvious chemistry she sees between Gloria and Emilio. Alma has some of the most memorable comedic moments in the show. Her portrayal is award worthy. Hope the Florida Carbonell Award judges, take note of her outstanding performance.

Katerina Morin (Little Gloria) is spot on playing Gloria in some of the most dramatic moments of the show, where Gloria is taken out of Cuba. Zachary Roy (Nayih/Young Emilio/Jeremy) also shines in his dramatic moment of Emilio being sent to America, and then plays a Jewish boy dancing to Gloria's Conga at his bar mitzvah, getting rousing applause as his moves capture the love of Estefan's hit music, that soon became every DJ's playlist for weddings, Birthday parties and special events. This is the moment we see the Estefan's music go viral, before the world had smart phones. The entire group of Miami Sound Machine, dancers and staff had developed a fan base that would call the radio stations requesting the Estefan's hits, a turning point where Latin music and pop music had captured a global audience, while embracing Latin rhythms and english lyrics.

The entire Ensemble achieve spectacular vocals and award winning movements; Alexander Blanco (Ensemble), Natalie Caruncho (Associate Director/Choreographer/Ensemble), Michel Alejandro Castillo (Ensemble), Emma Sofia Caymares (Ensemble), Elvis Collado (Ensemble), Henry Gainza (Ensemble), Adriel Garcia (Jose' Fajardo/Ensemble), Teresa Garcia (Ensemble), Henry Julian Gendron (Swing), Lauren Horgan (Ensemble), Rebecca Kritzer (Swing), Alessandro J. Lopez (Ensemble), Amanda Lopez (Ensemble), Hector Maisonet (Dance Captain/Ensemble), Alejandra Matos (Ensemble), Claudia Mulet (Ensemble), Jeremey Adamrey (Ensemble), Alexis Semevolos-Valazquez (Ensemble), Seth Trucks (Ensemble).

The musical had its world premiere in Chicago in the summer of 2015 before moving to Broadway where it played from October 2015, until August 2017, to full theaters and rave reviews and subsequently touring throughout the world. The Miami set is based on the original set design by The Rockwell Group, costumes are based on the original costume designs of Emilio Sosa, and wigs are based on the original wig design by Chuck LaPointe, keeping the production true to its original roots and providing audiences with the Broadway-caliber experience.

Cuban-American actor Jason Canela (Emilio Estefan) is brilliant as Emilio. Audiences embrace his struggle pronouncing english and feel his dedication to Gloria's vocals, creative suggestions to take their latin beats to a pop level. Jason represents a new generation of bilingual Latinx actors, Canela can currently be seen in a recurring role in ABC's The Rookie. Prior to this role, Canela was the first Latinx contracted role on The Young and the Restless in its 45 years on CBS, he was featured in the Netflix's Always Be My Maybe opposite Ali Wong and Randall Park, he has held a recurring role in FOX's Pitch, and a supporting role in the Josh Waller directed indie Camino. His Spanish language credits include Telemundo's Donde Esta Elisa, and Univision's Cosita Linda and Ruta 35. "Having been born and raised in Miami, and growing up following Gloria and Emilio Estefan, being part of this production is one of the most important roles of my life. I can't wait to get this production started and share it with my community."

Gloria Estefan has sold over 100 million records and sold-out stadiums around the world. Emilio and Gloria Estefan together have won 26 GRAMMY Awards - but their music is only half of the story. From the heart of Havana to the streets of Miami came a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the music industry had ever seen. An emotionally-charged celebration of the Estefan's greatest hits, ON YOUR FEET! features some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter-century, including "Rhythm is Gonna Get You," "Conga," "Get On Your Feet," "Don't Want To Lose You Now," "1-2-3" and "Coming Out of the Dark."

On Your Feet has just been extended to March. Showtimes are Wednesdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through March 13th. Ticket prices range from $55 to $85 and are selling quickly. Tickets are available by contacting the Actors' Playhouse Box Office at (305) 444-9293 or by visiting www.actorsplayhouse.org.

Actors' Playhouse Health & Safety Policies

The health and safety of patrons, staff and artists inside our venue are top priorities for Actors' Playhouse. Based on the guidelines required for our artists from the Actors' Equity Union and health officials, and with feedback from our vast number of audience members and subscribers, masks and proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test are required for entry. Guests may volunteer proof of vaccination in lieu of a negative test. We will also maintain increased sanitation procedures and air filtration upgrades. Any policy changes will be sent directly to ticket holders and updated regularly ata??www.ActorsPlayhouse.org.



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