The Broadway musical “On Your Feet”, based on the lives and success of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, returns to the stage again this Wednesday and does so at home with the promise of sounding “100% Miami” and connecting in a special way with an audience that knows them like nobody else.
Written by Alexander Dinelaris, winner of an Oscar for the screenplay for “Birdman”, by the Mexican Alejandro González Iñárritu, “On Your Feet” narrates through the actors Claudia Yanez and Jason Canela the obstacles that a famous couple of origin went through Cuban during his career, his arrival in the United States and his success with the iconic band Miami Sound Machine.
A good part of the artistic team of this new version was part of the original Broadway production and the national tour of this musical, which now has several musicians from the Miami Sound Machine, who will once again play well-known songs such as “Conga” or “1-2-3”.
Those great hits, added to others like “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”, “Don’t Want To Lose You Now” or “Get on your feet” , are what connect the public with this bilingual show of high emotions, dance, and Lots of Cuban flavors.
And the laughs. Laughter is an important part of a musical that is nowhere better understood than in Miami, where the expressions that are part of the script feel like their own.
And all this at the charming Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, in the Miami area of Coral Gables, where the stars are sure that the Estefans’ Latin rhythms will sound different until March 6, when the season will end.
It is a “more intimate” version of the musical, where “nostalgia” plays a great role and everything will have greater “meaning”, as its two protagonists explained to Efe.
“It’s a Cuban cast telling a Cuban story,” affirms Canela, who emphasizes that the actors did not have to receive explanations about specific details of the script: “It is something that is in our veins, it is our culture. “
One of the keys to this new representation is the closeness of the public, both physically, as it is a room with 600 seats, and emotionally, since the music of “On Your Feet” is somehow the soundtrack of Miami.
In his own life experience, Canela highlights “Conga” (1985), which reached the top positions on the Billboard Hot 100, the main list of musical popularity in the United States, and which for him represents, like few other songs, what Miami is.
In his younger years, when “Conga” began to play in his dances with quinceañeras, “everyone got up and it was just a party,” recalls Canela, who made his debut in a musical with “On Your Feet. “
The brother of fellow actor Jeancarlos Canela showed up at the auditions for the musical on Broadway without luck, but now he feels proud to be able to be part of the project and be the first Cuban to play Emilio Estefan.
Yanez is not Cuban, but, like many in Miami, she emigrated to this Florida city as a child and grew up surrounded by the rhythms of the current world capital of Latin music, a city that took steps in precisely that direction with the Estefans. , joint winners of 26 Grammy Awards.
The actress, who was a backing vocalist for another mythical Miami-based Cuban singer, Jon Secada, and was part of the Off-Broadway cast of musicals like “Mamma Mia!” and “A Chorus Line”, her role is well known, since on more than 80 occasions she was the replacement for the actresses who played Gloria Estefan during the national tour of this musical, which began in Miami.
The musical premiered in Chicago in the summer of 2015 before moving to the Broadway stage, where it ran from October 2015 to August 2017, the year in which it began a world tour that toured more than fifty US cities. The USA and abroad.
But Yanez explains that this new performance will be a “completely different experience”, something that he cannot specify but that lies in the “swing” (feeling) of the cast and the “emotional connection” that they will establish with the public when, as Canela says, bring to the stage the “perfect example” of the so-called “American dream” that the Estefans embody.