Review: On Your Feet! starring Ana Villafañe
After seeing On Your Feet! I left the Marquis Theatre with the music still in my head and dancing in my feet. That is what this beautiful show will do to you. Starring Ana Villafañe who has been with the production since originating the role in Chicago, everything about this show makes for a standout Broadway musical.
Walking into the theater, I did not know much about what I was going to see. I knew that it was the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan and that was about it. As most people know their music, I knew some of the songs before seeing the show and the cast album is one of my favorites. But I didn't know that much about the story.
The show is presented as the "inspiring true story about heart, heritage and two people who believed in their talent—and each other—to become an international sensation: Gloria and Emilio Estefan." And it lives up to these claims and beyond. The performances from each and every actor on stage gives new life to the music and the story. Villafañe herself is a marvelous talent, and she look and sounds like Gloria.
While some people may have walked into the theater expecting a dance party, we got to see the painful side of their lives because of Gloria's father being sick, her not speaking to her mother for two years, and the difficult recovery after a tractor trailer crashes into their tour bus. There are emotional moments in the show that ground it in the real world and remind you that for the Estefans, this was what they went through.
The moment when Gloria performs at the American Music Awards a year after the crash is recreated as Ana Villafañe sings "Coming Out of the Dark". Her performance was stunning and she sings from the heart.
There are so many moments in the show that make the audience want to get on their feet and at the end of the show as they perform the "Mega Mix", the entire got up to dance along. It was one of the best things I've ever experienced at a show, and everyone stayed standing as the band continued to play after the cast exited.
As all good things must come to an end, this show closes on August 20th. If you can, run to the Marquis Theatre to witness this before it closes, or book yourself tickets for the upcoming national tour. It is not to be missed!