“I am speechless. Bringing this show back to Miami is so special,” said Miami’s own Gloria Estefan from the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts after Friday night’s opening show of her jukebox musical “On Your Feet.” The show, which ran on Broadway for two years, is now touring the country and its Miami debut was a nostalgic moment for Gloria and Emilio, who got to share their story with an excited crowd that knew all the songs and got all of the insider references (only locals of a certain age would recognize the names of ’80s DJs that make cameos).
The musical, a trip through the defining moments of the Estefans’ struggle to break into the music business while staying true to their own sound, is a real “made in America” story. After the show, Gloria explained, “This country is about dreams and we made those dreams come true and we have lived the American Dream and that dream is not dead.”
After thanking family and friends, Gloria ceded the microphone to her husband. “I guess I’ll let Emilio talk,” she joked.
“That’s the only reason we’ve been married for 40 years. She does all the talking,” said Emilio, whose character in the show always added comic relief.
As the Estefans spoke, Christie Prades, who starred as Gloria, and Mauricio Martinez who plays Emilio Estefan in the touring cast, were joined by several of the stars of the original Broadway show, who came to support the Miami opening night. “Look at all these Glorias!,” cried the real Gloria Estefan.
Of the 28 cast members, 16 are from the Broadway cast. Five of the original members of the Miami Sound Machine were playing in the band.
The touring company, which kicked off its two-year tour in Buffalo, NY, has a 31-show run ahead. The international production is set to debut next month. Gloria reported to People.com that she and Emilio would be heading to Holland to oversee the final details of the European tour.
But Friday was the Estefan’s chance to personally thank Miami for all the support throughout the years. The Estefan’s children Nayib and Emily were in the audience, as well as Latin media stars, the three popera hunks from Il Volo, who are currently working on a project with Emilio, plus New World Symphony Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Miami philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, the theater’s namesake, took the stage with the Estefans.
“We love Miami,” said Emilio. “When the hard times, the accident happened, you were there for us.”