BWW Review: The Rhythm is Gonna Get You ON YOUR FEET! at Broadway Sacramento
In a time of national uncertainty and division, it is refreshing to witness a story of what America means to me-unlimited possibilities for everyone, regardless of race, gender, or creed. It used to be known as a land of refuge and hope, and the rags-to-riches story of Cuban immigrants Gloria and Emilio Estefan gives me hope that we will return to a place that welcomes the tired and poor huddled masses while, at the same time, celebrating our diversity in a melting pot of the free and the brave. Because really, what is braver than leaving a country that you know to set upon an unknown shore with only a promise of opportunity?
On Your Feet! is a jukebox musical, yes, but one with heart and flair. Starting with Gloria's roots in Miami taking care of a younger sister and disabled father, the story follows her through meeting the determined Emilio Estefan, who was then in a band called Miami Latin Boys, to their breakthrough into the English-speaking market with Gloria as the lead of the now-named Miami Sound Machine. Add in an estranged mother and a life-threatening accident and the story becomes a testament to the power of family and perseverance.
The pastels of Miami and the glitz of the stage provide the perfect backdrop for such hits as, "Conga," "1-2-3," "Anything For You," and "Turn the Beat Around." Alumni from the Broadway run join this cast to make it a show-stopping, crowd-pleasing dance spectacular. Christie Prades (Gloria Estefan), Ektor Rivera (Emilio Estefan), and Alma Cuervo (Gloria's grandmother, Consuelo), all hail directly from the Broadway cast. Gloria's mother is played by the arresting Nancy Ticotin, whose prolific resume includes Broadway runs in West Side Story and In the Heights.
The most powerful aspect of this show is, inarguably, the band. Purists from the 80s and 90s will appreciate the perfect pairing of horn and percussion as the veterans play flawlessly alongside the newcomers. In several numbers, they mesmerize us with flying hands and limitless energy as they take the stage. When the rhythm gets you, which it will, you have no choice but to be On Your Feet!
On Your Feet! plays at the Sacramento Community Center Theater through November 4. Tickets may be purchased at the Convention Center Box Office at 1301 L Street, Sacramento, or by calling (916) 808-5181. They may also be obtained at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office at 1419 H Street, Sacramento, or by calling (916) 557-1999. In addition, tickets may be purchased online at BroadwaySacramento.com or Tickets.com.
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy