On Your Feet – True Inspiration

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Review by Kathy Carpenter

Eduardo Enrikezas and Ariella Kvashny
Emilio and Gloria photo by Ken Jacques

Moonlight Amphitheater closes the summer season with “On Your Feet,” a new musical. The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan is directed by James Vasquez.  The Moonlight Amphitheater returned and is more glorious and confident in 2021 than in 2019. This show is an inspirational story of love, family, and beating the odds. It is filled with the beautiful music, and dancing,  and shows hos Gloria and Emilio were introduced to America. There is a cross between American and Latin music.

Ariella Kvashny as Gloria – photo by Ken Jacques

This story is inspirational in many ways. First, the tale as Latin Americans fighting for their dreams, to sing and share their music with the world,  especially in America, the place they live. Second , the strong bonds of family, and the pride that can stand in the way. Lastly, the romance, of fighting for what they want, and enduring through a tragic accident, which brought the pair even closer. The love that lasts a lifetime is rare in any occupation these days.

“On Your Feet”, starts with Gloria and Emilio’s meeting. Basically, love at first sight. When you know, you know. Emilio invites, a shy Gloria to come sing for his band, The Miami Boys, and the rest is history.

Eduardo Enrikezas Emilio – photo by Ken Jacques

It was not an easy rise to fame. When Gloria joined the band the name was changed to The Miami Sound Machine.

They played many weddings, Bar Mitzvah’s, and you name it, before becoming famous. They were pioneers of getting  their name out to the public before social media. Record producers did not want to take a chance on their new kind of music music which was a blend between Latin and American cultures. Some would say the music was too American, others too Latin. They had to bring the music to the people. Hitting the streets, radio stations, and clubs, themselves, the effort eventually paid off.

Ariella Kvashny as Gloria – as grandma
photo by Adriana Zuniga

Ariella Kvashny, is the formidable Gloria, and Eduardo Enrikez, plays Emilio, and the chemistry between the pair is off the charts. Portraying this legendary couple Catalina Maynard,, plays Gloria’s grandma, one of my favorite character’s, with such love and support of Gloria and her music. This was something Crissy Guerrero couldn’t get behind as her Mom. Crissy’s acting is strong, but her character, not so lovable. Crissy also has a beautiful singing voice, as Gloria’s Mom. She herself was offered a career of her own in Hollywood, but due to pressure from her father turned the offer down. Itzel Meza-Ruiz, plays, little Gloria, and displaying a fabulous voice, she was perfectly cast.

Of course, I love all the sparkle of the costumes, and was amazed to see they closely resemble the original Broadway costumes. Kudos to the costumers.

Twenty-six songs are included in the show, including, Conga, On Your Feet, and Rhythm is going to get you. Kvashny and Enrikez, sizzle. The orchestra rocks, and you are going to enjoy romance under the moon. Does life get any sweeter?

Moonlight Stage Productions

On your Feet

A new Musical

Moonlight Amphitheater

September 15 – October 2 7:30 pm,

Vista, CA



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