A lively stage production of the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan takes center stage at the Kravis in November. It features veteran Broadway actress Gaby Albo as Gloria Estefan and Samuel Garnica as Emilio Estefan.
On Your Feet! The Musical, led by led by Director and Choreographer Luis Salgado and Music Director Daniel Gutierrez features a world-class group of musicians and includes Grammy winners and nominees, multi-instrumentalists, and artists who have performed with pop and rock legends.
“We’re bringing a multicultural group of people to our national tour. I’m proud of this cast and of the musicians who are joining us from around the world: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Mexico, and everywhere in between. We are so proud of this dynamic company,” said Luis Salgado who performed in the original Broadway production of ON YOUR FEET! and was the Assistant Latin Choreographer of In the Heights on Broadway, which won four Tony Awards®.
The original musical based on the extraordinary life of Miami’s 26-time Grammy Award-winning husband-and-wife team Gloria and Emilio Estefan features a score made up of the most loved and iconic songs of the duo including “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “Get On Your Feet,” “Don’t Want To Lose You Now,” “1-2-3” and “Coming Out of the Dark.”
The show has received seven Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, three Drama League Award nominations, and a Tony Award® nomination for Best Choreography.
“The representation in our cast is truly a rainbow of possibilities. We mean it when we say, ‘This is what an American looks like.’ My heart is pumping with excitement that we are bringing this talented group of people across the United States,” Salgado added.
Mexican actress Gaby Albo made her stage debut in A Chorus Line in Mexico. Among her other Broadway shows are Aladdin, Cats, Mentiras, and the North American tour of West Side Story. Albo is a graduate of AMDA NY, and she was a semifinalist in La Voz (Spanish for The Voice), a Mexican singing competition television series.
“I’ve already had a small taste of how huge this show is – especially the quality and heart that Luis and the show demand – so I am getting physically and mentally prepared to take everything to the next level. I cannot wait to touch people’s hearts with the Estefans’ powerful story across the U.S.,” said Gabby Albo by phone from the rehearsals.
“The role is so demanding. It’s two hours long and I have one hour and 15 minutes of stage time. The only time I’m resting is in the hospital scene after she broke her back.” — On March 20, 1990, Gloria’s tour bus was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler truck during a snowstorm, leaving her with injuries that doctors said would leave her unable to walk or dance again. Her recovery would take four hours of surgery and months of recovery.
So, how does one prepare to play Gloria, a major star who will be watching her every move?
“I actually watched a lot of her, not just performing but random videos of her with Emilio to see how the dynamic was. She also gave me something she wrote, like a bible. In this, she explains her relationship with Emilio and her mom. This helps me get a better understanding of their relationship. That was helpful. Louis, our director, has a lot of contact with her, and he is very good at communicating the message of the show that they want.”
She says the music director was in the Miami Sound Machine, another authentic addition.
“He helps me with technical stuff like when Gloria is holding the note here or there, to make the essence as close as possible. She came to our show in Washington with her sister Rebecca and they were crying in one of the scenes. They couldn’t stop crying. But they were really excited. They said ‘Good job everybody.’”
“She actually commented that some of her fans approaching her said, Oh my God, I saw a picture of this girl Gaby, and she looks just like you. I thought it was you in a previous picture. When I got the role, I thought I was going to look like the short one but I realized that she just wanted my energy.”
While Gaby is excited to be playing in South Florida. “We’re going to be visiting around 70 cities all across the USA. There are more than 15 countries represented in our company, so that’s exciting. We have multiple Grammy winners too,” she says
When asked how she feels when the show is over each night she says she feels peace for some reason. “It’s all so dramatic and hard physically and emotionally. But in the end, it’s empowering and it’s hope. It takes hope, you know? I think hope can, and not just from the show, affect other aspects of people’s lives that are watching.”
ON YOUR FEET is at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts from November 15 to the 20th. Tickets are on sale now and are available at the Kravis Center Box Office and online at kravis.org