Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews


ON YOUR FEET/The story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan

Jamie Wilson, Gavin Kalin and Associates , Wales Millennium Centre , October-21-19
ON YOUR FEET/The story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan  by Jamie Wilson, Gavin Kalin and Associates One of the greatest joys of this very captivating Cuban swaying evening was the singing and acting of Philippa Stefani, there was a moment when I thought I was watching Gloria Estefan herself. We feel for her and her husband, a warm-hearted performance from George Ioannides as they battle against the ‘big boys’ in the recoding industry to get their music played. The close relationship between them is very convincingly drawn. His singing voice needs a little more rounding and strengthening.

The performers are all given excellent support from Danny Belton’s band with some very lively moments from James Gorman’s Bongos and Matt Yardley’s Flugelhorn. They turn their sound up a few notches as they get the audience up on its feet at the curtain call as we all stand, sway and clap this wonderful feel-good show to its wonderful close.

But a lot happens on the way. Madalena Alberto is very strong; she sings with a beautiful voice and not without a good degree of sensitivity as she and Gloria care for her sick father. Alberto also thrills with her powerful singing.

The wild Conga fills the auditorium as we reach the end of the first half. We all sway our way to the bars!

Sad to say that David Rockwell’s set design did little for the show with random panels being flown in at no particular point in the action. However Kenneth Posner did a great job with the lighting.

The stage seemed to get even brighter each time the wonderful dance ensemble leapt into action.

Of course Gloria and Emilio did become hugely successful in the music industry, not long afterwards she suffered a bus crash on tour and became very ill.

That had to be a great recovery! This is brilliantly staged and we are all gunning for Gloria as she lets us know in song she is ‘Coming Out of the Dark’. She and all the company on the stage with her, with a magnificent huge sound assure us that they are all coming out as well.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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