I always enjoy Des Moines Performing Arts opening night, date nights with my wife. We usually grab a quick bite to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant and then head downtown for the show.
On Your Feet! The Emilio & Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical is the latest show we’ve been invited to and it was the perfect date night. It’s fast-paced and fun with lots and lots of great singing and dancing.
Throughout the roughly two hour performance, the audience was taken on a musical journey through the life and songs of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Going into it I knew very little of their history and could only come up with two Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine songs off the top of my head.
I left with a greater appreciation for their story… and music. Song after song was an “Oh, yeah! I forgot about that one!” moment.
As a radio guy, I found it interesting how hard of a time they had trying to get some of their songs played on the radio… and how they went around the system to get them played anyway.
Christie Prades does such a good job channeling the look, sound, and dancing of Gloria Estefan that you’ll quickly forget you’re watching an actress instead of Gloria herself. I’ve never actually been to a Gloria Estefan concert but can now say I feel like I have.
The rest of the cast and ensemble is equally talented… but I’d like to give a special nod to Debra Cardona in the role of Consuelo (Gloria’s grandmother). Her stage presence and comedic timing led to some of the funniest moments of the night.
Going into the show I expected the music to be outstanding (it was) but what I didn’t expect is that it would be equally matched by the dancing. It rivaled and surpassed the dancing of any Des Moines Performing Arts show I’ve seen. There were some lifts, turns, and choreography that I’d love to see again. The dancing was that good.
The band should also get special recognition, too. They don’t just recreate the sound of the Miami Sound Machine… they become them for a couple of hours. I loved seeing them on stage at various times throughout the performance.
If you’re looking for a great date night show… or one for a night out with friends, On Your Feet! is definitely it. Catch it at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines through Sunday, February 25, 2018.
You can learn more about On Your Feet! The Emilio & Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical, get tickets and see all the upcoming Willis Broadway Series events here.
***Disclaimer: I was provided press night tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.