London, West End Shows

On Your Feet on the West End Stage

It comes with an exclamation mark in its title. Infectious beats, an emotive story and music known all over the world, On Your Feet(!) finally debuted on the London stage this summer. For an extremely limited run from mid June to the end of August at the London Coliseum theatre, the production went from the West End stage to touring the UK and Ireland.

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One of the prettier London theatres from the outside

The show details the inspiring (and true) love story between Emilio and Gloria and the journey from humble beginnings in Cuba, out on to the streets of Miami and to eventual superstardom. As the story progresses you get to hear all of the classics you would expect, including Dr Beat, I-2-3 and Get On Your Feet as well as slower ballads which really help to illustrate the story and prove that life is not all about the Conga! It is seriously hard to write this post without making song title puns.

The cast features Christie Prades as Gloria Estefan and George Ioannides as Emilio, however as I went to the Thursday afternoon matinee performance, I saw Philippa Stefani in the role of Gloria, who was nothing short of a sensation in her own right.

Winner of almost 30 Grammy Awards, Gloria Estefan has sold over 100 million records across the world. The music in this show is the sort of sound that even if you think you do not know a single song, you will hear something and it will sound familiar; you know it, you just don’t know you know it!

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Perfect seats in my favourite place; the royal circle

Personally, I was really impressed with the vocals in this show which were incredibly strong across the board. I even found myself liking the performance by Madalena Alberto, who I had previously seen in Evita and Cats and really hated the sound of in those roles. Again, personal preference prevails and I felt Alberto was much better suited to the sound of this musical than the other, more classical roles, playing Gloria’s mother in On Your Feet!

Through a number of flashbacks, we start by seeing a young Gloria singing and dancing around her family home, spurred on by her grandmother. It is grandma who encourages the youngster to try for anything and everything music related and this eventually leads her to a meeting with Emilio Estefan, and the love story begins. With their shared passion for the music, and soon with each other, they become a force to be reckoned with in the music industry of the day.

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This was so good, I just had to include it. Dairy free, half time theatre treats for the win…

As they work on building their brand, they are relegated to Spanish venues and how they go about getting their own name out there is truly inspiring. I guess this would be comparable to an artist self promoting on social media in 2019. One of my favourite parts of the show was when they were going from door to door, performing at any wedding or bar mitzvah they could wrangle.

Like with any good story though, the success brings with it a plethora of personal issues and problems for the couple, from life on the road. A road accident then lands Gloria in hospital crippled. quite literally, by the possibility of never walking again, but she survived and made the come back of a lifetime.

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My Instagram story that the musical reposted

One of the reasons I think the show has been so successful is because it does not try to be what is isn’t. Many shows of artist stories can often become cheesy or cliche as the producers try to bend the story to fit the music or vise versa. This show simply tells the story of Gloria Estefan and reminds the audience that there are no guarantees in life and through the disappointments and let downs you survive because of the people you have around you.

Whilst I only got to see the show one time on the West End stage, I would love to see it again on its tour around the UK.

Does this show sound like one you would enjoy? Perhaps you have already seen it – what did you think? Let me know in the comments below. 

30 thoughts on “On Your Feet on the West End Stage”

  1. YES! I’d like to watch this musical. I ❤️ Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. I don’t know if they played Rhythm is Gonna Get You, but that’s one of my fave songs. And of course… You cannot resist dancing to the Conga beat! 💃 💃💃

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, your comment and your kind words. This one is such a feel good one to see, even if you don’t know all the songs (me) it’s got an infectious beat and it makes everyone in the theatre so happy! 💃😘

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    1. Ooooh, I haven’t seen Wicked yet? Is it as good as people say? I loved the Lion King so much, finally saw it this summer. This one though, it has such an infectious beat, it is impossible not to be happy when you leave the theatre. Definitely worth catching on the tour – I think I’ll be going again! x

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    1. It was amazing – the beats had everyone feeling so happy and dancing around! It can be hard on stage telling the story of an artist through their songs, but this one really works well. Thank you so much for reading and commenting ♥ x

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  2. It sounds really good, great review! I saw the Carol King musical in the West End and loved it, so would probably like this too, I imagine her music is so infectious live! I hope it tours my city! x

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    1. Thank you so much ♥ It was a fantastic show, I’d love to catch it again on the tour. Oh wow, I remember that one, people always spoke so highly of it, but I never go to it 😦 On Your Feet is so infectiously fun, it is impossible to leave and not feel like you have just been to a carnival!

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    1. It is brilliant – such an upbeat, happy show. Definitely check out the tour dates as it is going around I think for the next year or so, so you may be able to catch it! Thank you so much for reading ♥

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    1. Awww, that’s amazing. I would recommend getting tickets to the tour if that’s possible – I think it’s on the road for about a year now. I know I want to see it again for sure! X

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    1. I think it would be really hard not to enjoy this. Even if the music is not something you immediately think ‘omg i love this’, it is really hard not to smile and enjoy the show and be ‘on your feet’ by the end!

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  3. I’ve never heard of this show but it definitely sounds like something I’d enjoy. I saw Bat out of Hell the musical at the London Coliseum theatre, and it’s such a beautiful building. It looks like you had a great view of the stage from your seats too. Here’s hoping the musical goes on tour. 🤞

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    1. It is on tour for about the next year! That was the reason it had such a limited run as it went right on the road. Definitely have a look for it as it is well worth the ticket! There’s even offers and thing on sites like Travel Zoo for good deals ♥

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