On Your Feet!
Music & Lyrics by: Various Artists
Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I was a kid, my brother and I were very into the music of the times. One band we particularly enjoyed was the Miami Sound Machine. I remember walking home from the local bowling alley, the two of us belting out songs from Primitive Love and Let It Loose, not caring who heard us.
Years later, I love all kinds of music, but I still enjoy listening to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. I was ecstatic to hear that a new musical was being made about the band’s founders Gloria and Emilio Estefan, featuring music from their vast repertoire. I was even more excited when I was given the opportunity to review the soundtrack.
On Your Feet! is the story of Gloria and Emilio, their dreams of getting their music out to the public and the love that helped them make it past every hurdle they came across. It begins with a very young Gloria and ends with her comeback performance at the American Music Awards after the horrible tour bus accident that left Gloria Estefan with a broken back.
The Original Broadway Cast Recording of On Your Feet! features Ana Villafañe as Gloria Estefan, a perfect choice as she has a very similar speaking and singing voice. Josh Segarra is extremely believable as Emilio, though his vocals are not quite as strong as those of Villafañe. The album, made available on April 29, 2016, features both the songs of the musical and vocal excerpts. Recorded live, the listener is awarded the full experience of the event minus the visuals. We laugh along with the audience at the bits of sarcasm and quick wit present in the dialogue and clap along with the audience at every musical performance.
When I saw promos for the Broadway musical, I wondered whether On Your Feet! would be as much fun as advertized. After listening to the On Your Feet! Soundtrack, I definitely believe it is all that and more. After listening to the album, I am inspired to see the musical in person. This is a terrific story with enjoyable songs from my youth, like Conga, 1-2-3, Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Get On Your Feet and Anything for You , and new ones created just for the show like If I Never Got To Tell You. I can't wait to see On Your Feet!, but for now, I can enjoy the Original Broadway Cast Recording, picturing the show in my mind's eye until I get there!