The story of power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan, “On Your Feet!” premiered Oct. 6 at the Arsht center to a sold-out audience, including 25 residents of UM’s Mahoney-Pearson Residential College.
Now captivating locals after its premier at the Adrienne Arsht Center, the show chronicles the Cuban-born Miami artists’ rise to fame.
Mahoney-Pearson residents were treated to dinner and a show, receiving free tickets to see “On Your Feet!” and a Cuban-inspired dinner of arroz con pollo, or chicken and rice, Cuban coffee and sweet plantains.
Oscar Vazquez, the area director for the Mahoney-Pearson Residential College, organized the outing and attended the play with the students.
The entire night was funded by alumni Robert and Judi Prokop Newman, a couple who heavily support the arts. The Newmans donated funds to the school to pay for transportation, catered dinners and tickets for events such as this.
Students who attended the musical found it entertaining and relatable.
“’On Your Feet!’ was very fun and vibrant compared to other dramas I’ve seen,” student Sara Gomes said.
Cuban-American Broadway actress Christie Prades played the seven-time Grammy-award winner Gloria Estefan, and television actor Mauricio Martinez played her husband, 19-time Grammy award-winner Emilio Estefan.
The show featured a mix of original songs and popular Latin classics, such as “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “1-2-3” and “Mi Tierra.” The show also included an original song written by Gloria Estefan and her daughter, Emily Estefan.
While full of music and dancing, the story did not shy away from the obstacles the Estefans faced in their journey to fame. The plot tackled their choice to leave Cuba to look for a better future in an unknown country.
The audience was in for a surprise when, at the end of the show, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, along with their entire family, came on stage to surprise the cast with flowers and give a speech.
“Our music is the way it is because we grew up here,” Gloria Estefan said. “And we are who we are because we grew up here. We want to share that with the world, and we thank you so much.”
The heavy representation of Cuban culture onstage excited UM students in the crowd. Madison George, a Mahoney-Pearson resident, said she was happy to see the Estefans make an appearance.
“I enjoyed seeing a piece of Cuban culture on stage,” George said. “Having Gloria Estefan come out on the end made me feel like I got the true Miami experience. I really appreciate the efforts of my residential college in trying to get students off campus to do something in the local community.”
Keep an eye out for fliers posted around Mahoney-Pearson Residential College if you’re interested in attending a school-funded event like the “On Your Feet!” outing.
Tickets to “On Your Feet!” are available through the Arsht Center Box located at 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, by calling 305-949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org.