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Edited and Published by Robert W. McDowell

August 11, 2022 Issue
PART 2 (August 10, 2022)

A FREE Weekly E-mail Newsletter Covering Theater, Dance, Music, and Film in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill/Carrboro Area of North Carolina Since April 2001.


The (Latin) Rhythms Are Going to Get You: Get On Your Feet!,
Now Through Sunday, Aug. 14th, via NCT's Latest Hit Musical

Iliana Garcia and Dhanny Burgos star as Gloria and Emilio Estefan in On Your Feet! (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

The (Latin) rhythms are going to get you. I promise that you will salsa up the aisles on the way to your car. So, buy your tickets today to the North Carolina Theatre's latest hit musical, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, which plays now through Sunday, Aug. 14th, in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, the Miami Sound Machine, and Alexander Dinelaris' 2015 Broadway and 2019 West End jukebox musical, On Your Feet!, opened its six-day, eight-performance run on Tuesday, Aug. 9th, to fervent applause and closed the evevening with a lengthy and standing ovation.

(Be forewarned: this show is chock-full of earworms, such as "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" (1987), "Anything for You" (1988), "1-2-3" (1987), "Dr. Beat" (1984), "Conga" (1985), "Get on Your Feet" (1989), and "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)" (1989). You'll be singing the lyrics and humming the tunes for weeks to come.)

On Your Feet! stars Iliana Garcia as Gloria Estefan and Sydia Cedeño as her abuela Consuelo (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

NCT, which has proved the Triangle with an invigorating assortment of home-grown Broadway-caliber musicals and plays since 1984, is dancing to a Latin beat with its exuberant production of On Your Feet!, which features imaginative direction and caffeinated choreography by Julio Agustin and zesty accompaniment by music director/conductor Edward G. Robinson and a fabulous 10-piece onstage orchestra.

Speaking of fabulous, this show features crackerjack characterizations by Iliana Garcia as fiery Cuban-American contralto Gloria Estefan and Dhanny Burgos as visionary musician/producer Emilio Estefan. Whether performing first with the Miami Sound Machine or later -- after Gloria goes solo -- their irresistible Latin pop songs and dance beats provided the backbeat for Generation X's Wonder Years

NCT's production On Your Feet! stars Iliana Garcia as singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Including flashbacks, the show chronicles milestone moments from the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan from the time that they met in 1975, when she was 17 and he was 21; through the growth of the Miami Sound Machine from local band to international pop sensation with Gloria eventually going solo; through the catastrophic March 20, 1990 tour-bus accident, near Scranton, PA, that nearly killed Gloria; through Gloria's year-long rehabilitation and triumphant comeback performance, when she sang "Coming Out of the Dark" at the 1991 American Music Awards.

Dhanny Burgos and Iliana Garcia not only bring their characters fully to life, but sing beautifully alone or together. They receive strong support from Sydia Cedeño as Gloria's feisty, ever-supportive abuela (maternal grandmother) Consuelo Garcia; Shadia Fairuz as Gloria's mother Gloria Fajardo, who is still bitter about the thwarting of her own girlhood dreams of embarking on a professional singing career; and David McClutchey as skeptical record-label executive Phil, who at first resists Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine's crossover dreams.

Dhanny Burgos stars as musician/producer Emilio Estefan in NCT's production On Your Feet! (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

This NCT presentation's production values are all A-Number-One. TROIKA Entertainment of Rockville, MD provides David Rockwell's soaring sets, Emilio Sosa's flamboyant costumes, and Charles G. LaPointe's period-correct wigs; and Broadway Media Distribution, Inc. of Salt Lake City, UT provides the original scenic projections by Darrel Maroney, which smoothly and briskly transport the NCT audience from Cuba to Miami to New York City, among other places.

Shadia Fairuz stars as Gloria Estefan's mother, former nightclub singer Gloria Fajardo (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Local theater artists who also contributed to making this show another must-see musical for NCT include: technical director Bill Yates Jr., costumer LeGrande Smith, hair & wig coordinator Angella Fraser, lighting designer Charlie Morrison, and sound designer Elisabeth Weidner.

David McClutchey (center) and Iliana Garcia (right) and Dhanny Burgos star as record-label executive Phil and Gloria and
Emilio Estefan in the North Carolina Theatre's Aug. 9-14 presentation On Your Feet! (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, the Miami Sound Machine, and Alexander Dinelaris' ON YOUR FEET! THE STORY OF EMILIO & GLORIA ESTEFAN (In Person at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-14), directed and choreographed by Julio Agustin and starring Iliana Garcia as Gloria Estefan and Dhanny Burgos as Emilio Estefan (North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh). VIDEOS: NCT NEWS RELEASE: 2021-22 SEASON: THE PRESENTER:,,,,, and THE VENUE:,,,, and DIRECTIONS/PARKING: NCT HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES: THE SHOW:,,,,,!, and NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show's 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13th, performance. TICKETS: $23 and up, plus taxes and fees. Click here to buy tickets. GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-831-6941 or INFORMATION: 919-831-6941 or DONATE TO: North Carolina Theatre.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert W. McDowell has written arts and entertainment articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, Triangle Arts and Entertainment, and Triangle Review, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill/Carrboro area of North Carolina. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing and typing SUBSCRIBE-TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE-FFL in the Subject: line.)


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