On Your Feet, A New Musical, Review:
**** 4 Stars
“ Salsa Latin Fever and lets an enduring love shine”
Following a hit run in London and success across the Atlantic, On Your Feet is on the road around the UK and comes to Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre for a run.
Telling the story of Latin pop cross over superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio’s astounding success from the early days of Cuba to forming of the Miami Sound Machine to solo success. It’s a story of Cuban culture, true love and coming back from a horrifying coach crash.
Taking on the role of Gloria is Philippa Stefani who simply radiates charm and passion in equal measure especially in her vocals and she whips her way through the Estefan back catalog including Anything for you Conga, coming out of the dark and the mega hit, Rhythm is gonna get you. Her husband Emilio, played by George Ioannides during Act 1 and due to indisposition taken over by Sharif Afifi during Act 2, both actors brought a deep sense of truth to the part and brought to life the understated real life persona of Emilio but also let the truth of his passion for Gloria and there family shine through.
Alexander Dinelaris Book is detailed in charting the Estefan journey and never shines away from the lows that came amongst the most incredible high and deals with the pain of Gloria’s recovery from the horror crash with a great deal of truth and Humanity. However, that said it does feel slightly over long and some trimming may have served the show better.
Acclaimed west end and Broadway Director Jerry Mitchell brings his well developed and expertly executed touch to the show combined with Sergio Trujillo Latin infused Choreography which is truly the highlight of the entire production.
David Rockwell’s Scenic Design serves the show well however its heavily brought in on the Festival Stage to the point its completely surrounded in black clothes, however it does put Musical Director Danny Belton and his excellent 7 strong band on stage on a moving platform that allows them to blend with the action when needed and deliver the epic concert style finale with real style.
Kenneth Posner’s Lighting Design is truly epic, with enough lamps to light up Live Aid it’s a dazzling affair especially in the pacer numbers and its clear they have brought the west end on tour with this rig. It is also further boosted by Darrel Maloney’s inventive projection designs which are peppered throughout the show.
Ultimately, On Your Feet is more than just a normal jukebox musical thanks to its story that captures the life of a global superstar who until now has seen her journey undocumented, that’s all changed now with a production that’s filled with Salsa Latin Fever and lets an enduring love shine.
So get on your feet and conga to the box office for a night of musical joy.!
Jamie Wilson and Gavin Kalin Present, “On Your Feet”, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Runs until Saturday 12th October, UK Tour Continues for tickets go to: www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/on-your-feet