Ana Villafane and the cast of “On Your Feet!” on Broadway. Matthew Murphy Submitted photo
Ana Villafane and the cast of “On Your Feet!” on Broadway. Matthew Murphy Submitted photo

Entertainment

Gloria Estefan musical just closed on Broadway. But the rhythm is going to get you in Durham.

By Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

dvaughan@heraldsun.com

August 29, 2017 01:47 PM

UPDATED September 06, 2017 05:43 PM

NEW YORK, N.Y.

The final weekend of performances of a Broadway musical about Gloria and Emilio Estefan brought fans to their feet and sightings of the Estefans in the audience.

“On Your Feet!” just closed its Broadway run at the Marquis Theatre in New York City. It is launching a national tour that includes the Durham Performing Arts Center in January.

It’s a show that will surely please dedicated fans of the Estefans and Miami Sound Machine. It will also be nostalgic for everyone else who lived through the 1980s and celebrated their sound that reached far beyond Miami and the Estefan family’s origins in Cuba.

Its second-to-last show in New York brought out enthusiastic fans of the Estefans, whom multiple audience members said they spotted in the seats.

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Gloria Estefan posted on Twitter her appreciation for the woman who portrayed her on Broadway, Ana Villafane. “You were beyond anything I could have imagined!” Estefan tweeted.

You were beyond anything I could have ever imagined! I know you will be great at anything you do! Love you MUCHO! ❤️ https://t.co/v7Wr2mWR9V

— Gloria Estefan (@GloriaEstefan) August 21, 2017

In the Broadway cast, Villafane played Gloria Estefan as a teenager through her rise to stardom and recovery from a tour bus accident.

“On Your Feet!” shows when Gloria meets Emilio (Ektor Rivera in the Broadway cast) and joins his band in Miami, then as their romance progresses and careers take off.

While there are slower moments and serious scenes in the show, there are also high-energy dance numbers like “Conga,” “1,2,3” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You.”

The show begins and ends with lively dance numbers that get the audience revved up, but there is drama in between. In the Broadway cast, Alma Cuervo gave a strong performance as Gloria’s abuela, her grandmother, who supports her musical aspirations.

Will the beat of “On Your Feet!” on Broadway transfer to a tour? It should, given the widespread appeal of the Estefans and Miami Sound Machine’s music.

The Marquis Theatre in New York isn’t as big as DPAC, but the scenic design, sound and lights could easily adjust for that stage. With the bright rainbow of colors depicting Miami and Cuban culture, the feeling of the show should project to the rafters of DPAC.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563, @dawnbvaughan

GO & DO:

WHAT: “On Your Feet!”

WHEN: Jan. 1-7

WHERE: Durham Performing Arts Center

123 Vivian St., Durham

TICKETS: dpacnc.com

HOW TO BUY DPAC BROADWAY TICKETS:

Season seat membership sales for 2017-18 have ended, but you can still get tickets for individual shows this season at dpacnc.com or the DPAC box office at 123 Vivian St. in downtown Durham. In early 2018, the 2018-19 season will be announced. The Broadway smash “Hamilton” has already been announced as coming to DPAC in 2018 as part of that season.

Here’s the schedule of Broadway tours coming to DPAC:

“Circus 1903” Sept. 26-Oct. 1

“The Little Mermaid” Oct. 17-22

“Love Never Dies” Oct. 31-Nov. 5

“School of Rock” Nov. 28-Dec. 3

“On Your Feet!” Jan. 2-7

“Les Miserables” Jan. 30-Feb. 4

“RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles” Feb. 23-24

“The Phantom of the Opera” Feb. 28-March 11

“The Color Purple” April 3-8

“The Sound of Music” April 20-22

“Waitress” May 1-6