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Review: ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Dynamic Musical Portrait

Review: ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan at Paper Mill Playhouse

Review: ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Dynamic Musical Portrait

"I'm not going to let anyone else decide our future." By Emilio Estefan in On Your Feet!

Once again, Paper Mill Playhouse brings thrilling musical theatre to Millburn with their production of On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. The show features marvelous direction and dazzling choreographies by Alex Sanchez, a captivating book by Alexander Dinelaris, and superb music direction by Andrew David Sotomayor. The show made its debut on Broadway in November of 2015 and played for two years. With a dynamic cast, Paper Mill Playhouse's production is enthralling from the first number to the last. We attended the opening night when the enthusiastic audience was on their feet during the curtain call.

On Your Feet! recounts the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan's humble beginnings as Cuban immigrants. When Gloria was in her late teens, her extraordinary musical talent came to the attention of Emilio, the leader of a local Miami, Florida band. They soon fell in love and began working together on their music. It took great fortitude to promote their Latin beat songs and have them cross over to American mainstream pop. Even as Gloria's fame as a singer developed, she had to overcome personal obstacles including her father's debilitating illness, her mother's disapproval of her career, and a life-threatening tour bus accident. The show is a finely crafted depiction of family ties, Gloria and Emilio's affection for each other, and their handling of the music business and success.

Review: ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Dynamic Musical Portrait

The company makes On Your Feet! shine bright on the Millburn stage. Leading the cast is Linedy Genao as Gloria who was a member of the original Broadway cast; Brandon Espinoza as Emilio; Francisca Muñoz as Gloria Fajardo; Yajaira Paredes as Consuelo; Olivia Andrade-Marin and Natalia Artigas will share the role of Little Gloria; and Carlos Carreras and Joshua Garcia will share the role of Nayib/Young Emilio/Jeremy.

Rounding out the multi-talented ensemble cast are Christopher Alvarado, Jonathan Arana, Mike Baerga, Brigitte Beach, Arthur Joseph Cuadros, Nicholas Cunha, Rubén Flores, Gabriela García, Diego Guevara,Rachel Josefina, Kyle Laing, Ángel Lozada, Risa Nicole, Vincent Ortega, Alexa Racioppi, Janina Rosa, Stefanie Renee Salyers, Vanessa Sierra, Luis Villabon, and Sarah Waite.Review: ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Dynamic Musical Portrait

The characters portray their roles wonderfully. There are memorable scenes such as Little Gloria attending to family laundry; Gloria's grandmother, Consuelo encouraging teen-aged Gloria to pursue a musical career; Gloria's tender moments with her father, Jose; Emilio and Gloria's playful romantic encounters; Emilio presenting new songs to people in the music industry; Gloria's mother, Gloria Fajardo and her affection for Gloria in the hospital; and Gloria's determination to make a miraculous recovery after the tour bus accident.

The lively choreographies complement chart-topping musical hits produced and recorded by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine that include "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Conga," and "1-2-3." The show has other vibrant songs and ones that will touch your heart such as "Cuando Sali de Cuba" by Little Gloria and Jose; "I See Your Smile" by Emilio and Gloria; "Mi Tierra" by Gloria Fajardo and Ensemble; "When Someone Comes Into Your Life" by Jose & Gloria; the "World Tour Medley" by Gloria and Ensemble; "Wrapped" by Gloria, Little Gloria, Jose, Emilio and Ensemble; "Reach" by the Ensemble; and the "Finale Megamix by the Company.

Review: ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Dynamic Musical Portrait

The Production Team for On Your Feet! has done a fabulous job of bringing the show to life with scenic design by David Rockwell; costume design by Tony nominee Emilio Sosa; lighting design by Charlie Morrison; sound design by Matt Kraus; projection design by Darrel Maloney; costume coordination and additional design by Antonio Consuegra; and hair and wig design by Marcus Lopez. Jeffrey Rodriguez is the Production Stage Manager. Casting is by Bass/Valle Casting.

We congratulate Producing Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee and Managing Director, Mike Stotts for opening the Paper Mill Playhouse 2022-2023 Season with On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. It is a show with universal appeal that is sure to be a highlight of your fall entertainment schedule. Gather your group and see it while you can.

On Your Feet! will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse through November 6th. The show runs for 2.5 hours with one intermission. Tickets start at $35 may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org. Groups of 10 or more may receive up to a up to 30% discount on tickets and should call 973.376.4343. Students may purchase $20 tickets. Patrons under 30 years old may purchase tickets for $30 to any Wednesday or Friday performance. Three show, 4 show and 5 show Subscription packages are also available starting at just $111. For their complete and latest COVID protocols, please visit https://papermill.org/reopening-guidelines/.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel




From This Author - Marina Kennedy

Marina P. Kennedy's writing career led her from freelancing opportunities in New Jersey and New York to writing for Broadwayworld.com where she covers entertainment, the culinary scen... (read more about this author)


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