To start your FREE subscription to the Triangle Review, click

Edited and Published by Robert W. McDowell

August 11, 2022 Issue
PART 4 (August 13, 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.


North Carolina Theatre's On Your Feet! Delights and Inspires

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

Musical biographies are big in the theater world right now. And, judging by the North Carolina Theatre's production of On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, directed and choreographed by Julio Agustin, it's easy to see why. This fast-paced musical is jam-packed with eye-catching choreography, humor, and heartwarming moments.

Complete with sweeping musical numbers and creative costumes, it tells the inspiring story of Emilio (Dhanny Burgos) and Gloria (Iliana Garcia ) and their struggle to reach the top of the music charts. Viewers get to see this lively pair at all stages of life, thanks to adorable sibling duo, Aaron and Alondra Azcona, who play the younger versions of the title stars.

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

Theatergoers are also treated to an up-close-and-personal look at Gloria's female-led family. It includes the hilarious and endearing Sydia Cedeño as Gloria's pushy-but-well-intentioned abuela (maternal grandmother) Consuelo Garcia and a stern-faced Shadia Fairuz as Gloria's mother Gloria Fajardo. The strong cast brings Gloria's family to life and helps provide further insight into the star and her motivations.

And, speaking of stars, Iliana Garcia makes for a perfect Gloria. She is both soft and fiery, and she has the curls and the pipes to make for a believable Gloria Estefan. Likewise, Dhanny Burgos is incredibly charming and dashing as Emilio Estefan and adds an air of fun and lightness to every scene. He also nails Emilio's accent perfectly.

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

Viewers will cheer along as they witness Gloria and Emilio's growing chemistry and camaraderie and their ability to overcome every surprising challenge life throws their way. Each song moves the action along and aligns perfectly with the mood.

NCT's rendition of On Your Feet! is a bit of a roller-coaster ride. It's an emotional journey, but ultimately one that feels celebratory. It celebrates music, love, and the human spirit. It never shies away from the challenges that Gloria and Emilio Estefan face as they try to reach success in a white-washed America, but its overarching message is that dreams are possible. So, while you might go for the glorious music, you're bound to leave with something else: inspiration.

Iliana Garcia and Dhanny Burgos star as Gloria and Emilio Estefan in 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 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13th and 14th), 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. Robert W. McDowell's Review.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh's Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read more of Susie Potter's writings, click,, and


WHAT: Triangle Review is a FREE weekly e-mail performing-arts and film newsletter, edited and published by Robert W. McDowell since April 2001.

TO SUBSCRIBE: To start your FREE subscription today, sign up in the subscription box at the beginning of this e-mail; or e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE-TR in the Subject: line. TO UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail and type UNSUBSCRIBE-TR in the Subject: line.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? E-mail all questions, comments, and Letters to the Editor to For Letters to the Editor, please include a daytime telephone number in your e-mail.

COPYRIGHT: Editorial content in all formats © 2022 Triangle Review and the author of each article. Reproduction in any form without authorization of Triangle Review and the respective authors is prohibited. Triangle Review maintains an archive of past issues. To request copies of past articles and/or issues, e-mail