“On Your Feet!” takes first steps at Oriental Theatre

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The “Conga” line on Tuesday morning led straight into the lobby of Oriental Theater as Emilio and Gloria Estefan greeted the press in preparation for the debut of their Broadway-bound musical, “On Your Feet!,” which begins previews in Chicago on June 2, runs through July 5, and is set to open in New York on Nov. 5.

The show is based on the life story of the seven-time Grammy Award-winning international superstar Gloria Estefan (who has sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide), and her husband, the legendary producer-musician-entrepreneur, Emilio Estefan. Cuban immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, and who fully realized the American Dream,the couple has been married for 37 years. And to watch them in action is to see a perfect synchrony of warmth, humor, joie de vivre and a work ethic in perpetual high drive.

“Yes, we’ve work hard,” said Gloria, “but it doesn’t feel like work because we love what we do so much, and every day is new.”

“On Your Feet!” chronicles the couple’s lives from their youth, to Gloria’s triumphant comeback just a year after a catastrophic tour bus accident in 1990 left her with a fractured spine that required the implantation of two titanium rods to stabilize her vertebral column.

The show, with a book by Alexander Dinelaris (Academy Award winner for the film “Birdman,” whose “The Bodyguard Musical” ran on London’s West End from 2012-2014), is being directed by Jerry Mitchell (Tony Award-winner for “Kinky Boots” and “Hairspray”), with choreography by Sergio Trujillo (“Jersey Boys” and “Memphis”). Starring as Gloria will be Ana Villafañe, who grew up in Miami and is of Cuban heritage, and will be making her Broadway debut. Villafane is the female lead in “Max Steel,” the new live-action feature film franchise based on Mattel’s popular “teen superhero” action figure. Josh Segarra (“Sirens,” “Chicago PD”) will play Emilio.

Among the songs to be used in the musical (sometimes as part of the story, and sometimes as performed in concert by Gloria) are such hits as “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “1-2-3,” “Get On Your Feet,” “Don’t Want To Lose You Now,” and “Coming Out Of The Dark,” with additional new music penned by the Estefans.

Tickets for “On Your Feet!,” at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, are on sale now. Call (800) 775-2000 or visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com. Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.

For more information, visit www.OnYourFeetMusical.com.

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