By Alison Baumgartner
There is so much to appreciate about singer Gloria Estefan. Her sultry voice and the instantly recognizable rhythms of her band Miami Sound Machine. The ruffle and rhinestones of her glorious costumes. Her life’s story where a hardworking immigrant becomes a superstar success. And you can share in it all in the all-new, exhilarating, Tony-nominated musical On Your Feet! coming to The Lincoln Center February 16–18.
“I love the rhythms, the instruments, the sound,” says Gaby Albo, who will be starring as Gloria herself in On Your Feet! “They immediately get me moving. Some of them on the outside and some of them on the inside.” Filled with hits like “Conga”, “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”, “Don’t Wanna Lose You” and of course, the eponymous “On Your Feet”, it’s not hard to see why.
While the music will get the audience moving, Albo says that it’s the story that’s really the heart of the show. The inspiring true story chronicles Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s life. There is a humanity to it because Gloria and Emilio aren’t caricatures of the rich and famous. “Seeing them as regular people with their own struggles makes people resonate with them,” says Albo. “A very important part of the show is when Gloria has an accident and almost gets paralyzed for life. And people didn’t even know she went through that.”
But there is an even more personal connection for Albo. “They opened the doors for so many other Latino artists that are huge nowadays,” she says. Emilio is credited for much of the Latin crossover boom of the late 90s, utilizing artists that he himself brought to the forefront of the US music stage, including Gloria, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Marc Anthony. “The story, for me, is very moving. For me, it is a show about compassion, dreams, representation, and believing in oneself. Everyone, no matter where you are from, can relate to it.”
Not only is the story profound and the music iconic, On Your Feet! is also lauded as a powerhouse dance musical. On Broadway, it was Tony-nominated for its energetic and vivacious choreography, and the new tour takes it to a new level. “Our director and choreographer is Luis Salgado. So, we have a different take on the show and that is why people that have seen it already can’t miss the chance of watching this version. It has more choreography, and it has a very spiritual and proud take on every number. But the world tour will always get the audience on their feet. Always!”
To Albo, On Your Feet! is more than a story full of incredible dance. “Whoever thinks that they will just go there to dance is wrong. They will leave the theatre deeply touched,” says Albo. “The audience will navigate all of the existing emotions.”
Take a journey with Gloria and Emilio Estefan as they persevere through trying odds while reveling in the rhythm of their music. Turn the beat around and get on your feet for On Your Feet! February 16–18 at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. Tickets start at $20 and are available online at LCtix.com or through The Lincoln Center Box Office.