The Rhythm is going to get you at “On Your Feet, The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan” now at the Westchester Broadway Theater

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When you have a musical that is fun, high energy, and filled with a great and familiar score, you have an instant hit.   All those elements and so much more are present in Westchester Broadway Theater’s current production of “On Your Feet, The Story of Emilo and Gloria Estefan.    As the title states, you will be  On Your Feet because this dazzling musical will lift you up from your chair and have you dancing and swaying your hips as you leave the theater.

Those of you who remember the 1980s  will remember Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine (whose leader Emilio Estefan she married in 1978).  Their style of music merged Cuban based sounds with pop to create an infectious blend that thrilled the crowd at the WBT.   And if you are not familiar with their music  once the band and talented cast start rocking, you will be hooked.

The story uses a series of flashbacks we see Gloria as a girl (Isabella Preston) in Cuba, singing and dancing because that was in her spirit and heart. Her family fled to Miami after the overthrow of the Batista  government.  Due to their flight from Cuba, Gloria’s mother (Karmine Alers) abandoned her own dream of performing.  As Gloria (Maria  Bilbao) grows up she wants to follow her dreams of singing, but her mother does not support her dream.  We find that Gloria encounters Emilio Estefan (Jose Luaces) who invites her to join his band the “Miami Latin Boys”.  As Gloria emerges as the face of the band and its lead singer, the band changes its name to the Miami Sound Machine.  This also signals a change in creative direction.

Though the band  has a large following on the Spanish speaking music charts, they yearn to cross over and expand their appeal.  They break out of their niche in the 1980s with such hits as “Conga” “1-2-3”, “Get on Your Feet” and more.   Many of their hits are present in the two hour performance and are woven throughout the story.

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Maria Bilbao as Gloria Estefan

The musical also covers the near tragic tour bus accident that almost ended her career.  Gloria over comes this obstacle and returns to the stage.  The show wraps up with a rousing medley of high energy hits including ” Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” ,“Oye”,  “Turn the Beat Around” , “Get On Your Feet!”

The performances of the cast are first rate and what we have come to expect from the WBT.  Maria Bilbao really has you convinced during the performance that you are seeing Gloria Estefan live.  Brilliant.  Dance and choreography is essential to the show and the ensemble cast delivers a lively performance that transports the audience to a Miami club.

So get on your feet and get to the Westchester Broadway Theater.  The show runs through August 4th 2019

tickets: https://www.broadwaytheatre.com/

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza Elmsford New York

 

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Hot Flash! Menopause the Musical now at the Westchester Broadway Theater

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Now on stage at the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford is a musical comedy with an unusual topic.  Menopause the Musical is a 90 minute hilarious comedy that covers such topics as hot flashes, sleeping issues, short term memory loss, mood swings, loss of libido and weight gain.  Who would think these topics would make for a night of laughs?   Jeanie Linders did and 20 years ago as she stood in front of her open freezer door and sang “Hot Flash” to the melody of Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs”, she knew she was on to something and thus was born this show.

The musical takes place in Bloomingdales department store in New York City where we meet four women over 40, the Professional Woman (Donna J. Huntley), Soap Star (Debby Rosenthal), Earth Mother (Megan Cavanagh) and Iowa housewife (Roberta B. Wall).  The four over 40 women cross paths by accident in the store and begin to learn about each other and their struggles with “the Change”.

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Each musical number is based on an actual song from the 1960s, 70s and 80s with the lyrics changed to embrace the play’s topic.  The familiarity of the songs allows the audience to instantly embrace the music.  As the four women bond and make their way through the department stores floors, they belt out one musical number after another.  Famous songs like “Chain of Fools” becomes “Change, Change, Change“,  “Stayin Alive” becomes “Stayin Awake/Night Sweats”,  and “My Guy” becomes the very funny “My Thighs”.   This is just a sampling of the creative way that existing songs have been adapted to this comedy.

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The 90 minute show with no intermission rolls along as the ladies belt out one hit after the other.  The opening night audience appreciated the comedic timing and talented vocals of the cast.  The show allows women to bond over their common experience. The cast at the finale, invites women in the audience to join them on stage for the last number.

The actors, all member of Actors Equity Association,  have numerous stage credits to their names.  Megan Cavanagh (Earth Mother) has appeared in such films as ” A League of their Own” and “Robin Hood Men in Tights”.  She has been performed in this show since 2004.  Donna Huntley (Professional Woman) has Broadway, off Broadway, and television credits.  Debby Rosenthal (Soap Star) has performed in numerous regional theater productions and television.  Roberta B. Wall (Iowa Housewife) has appeared on Broadway in Sister Act, and Leap of Faith.  Her numerous credits include regional theater.

This play is great for a girls night out, though the numerous men in the audience appeared to fully enjoy the show as well.  The show runs through Sunday March 24th.

for tickets and information: https://www.broadwaytheatre.com/

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza Elmsford New York

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