Musical Review: “On Your Feet” is fabulous at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre

Mauricio Martinez as Emilio Estefan and Christie Prades as Gloria Estefan and company. Photo ©Matthew Murphy

DETROIT — The Detroit debut of “On Your Feet” performance at the Fisher Theatre played to a packed audience on Wednesday May 2.  The triumph and  tragedy musical runs now until May 13.

“On Your Feet” is the story of the life of Gloria Estefan.  The musical begins with little Gloria (played by Carmen Sanchez) playing the guitar and singing in 1966.  Her father was in the service in Vietnam at the time and called her often.  She sang to him over the phone.

People started noticing her lovely voice.  At 17 years old, Gloria (played by Christie Prades) was invited to Emilio’s place.  Emilio Estefan (played by Mauricio Martinez) had a band called Miami Latin Boys.  As you know, they would change their name to Miami Sound Machine.

It was July 4, Gloria and Emilio were getting to know each other at a table with wine and candlelight.  Emilio said it was his birthday on July 4 but America is older.   (laughter)   He wanted a birthday kiss, but she said no —  but finally gave in.  Then he admitted his birthday is in March.  And so the romance began……

Getting back to the music.  To get Gloria’s name out, her family passed out her record to clubs and radio stations.  She would also perform at bar mitzvahs, weddings and the Shriner’s Convention in Las Vegas for free.  Then, when she finally made it big, eventually went on tours around the world.

You will also see how Gloria and her mother, Gloria, (played by Doreen Montalvo) didn’t get along much and sometimes didn’t speak to each other.

Suddenly, tragedy occurred and the world wondered if Gloria would be ok.

There were flashback scenes from little Gloria and little Emilio (played by Jordan Vergara) throughout the play.

With music direction by Clay Ostwald, Estefan same some of her smash hits such as:  “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”, “Turn the Beat Around”, “Here We Are” and “Conga.”

I thought “On Your Feet” lively and great.  It made you want to get on your feet and dance.  There was some fog and colorful lights featured during the performance.  The costumes were sparkly and represented the Cuban era at the time.  There was also a 15-minute intermission between the two Acts.

Performance times for “On Your Feet” appearing May 1-13, 2018 at the Fisher Theatre, located at 3011 West Grand Blvd, in Detroit are:

  • Tuesday through Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday evening performances at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
  • Special open captioned performance on Friday, May 4 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $39 (includes facility and parking fees) and can be purchased online at or, by phone at 800-982-2787 and at the Fisher Theatre box office.

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