Salsa dance at your seat with On Your Feet! at the Lyceum
Shy, retiring types, steel yourselves now - or at least make sure you’re sitting safely mid-row.
Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet! will have you conga-ing in the aisles with the cast, and salsa-dancing at your seats in a fiery fiesta of infectious Latin beats.
Before there was J-Lo, before Shakira, Gloria paved the way, and the show tells the true story of the life of the singer and her producer husband Emilio, from humble beginnings in Miami as children of Cuban immigrants to reigning power couple of the crossover Latin music scene.
There are highs - shy songwriter talent-spotted to join a band, takes the world by storm and falls in love along the way. There are lows - incredibly, given their phenomenal success, in the early days the couple had to battle bigotry to get their songs heard, “too Latin” for America and “too American” for Latin audiences - and then in 1990, at the very height of her fame, Gloria came close to being paralysed in a horror tour bus crash.
And there’s the music. Hits that provided the soundtrack for the late 80s and early 90s, irresistible dance tunes Rhythm is Gonna Get You, Get on Your Feet, Oye Mi Canto, 1-2-3, Turn the Beat Around and ballads Don’t Wanna Lose You and Here We Are.
Three bouts of illness on opening night in Sheffield meant understudies took on three of the lead roles - those of Gloria, her sister Becky, and their grandmother Consuelo - but you’d never have guessed they weren’t the principal stars.
Francesca Lara Gordon was glorious as Gloria, perfectly portraying her transformation from modest student to global megastar, and the ensemble of dancers was dazzling.
On Your Feet! is like stepping from the cold street outside and opening the door into a sexy, steamy salsa club.
So down a measure or two of Havana rum and prepare to come on shake your body baby, do the conga... because the rhythm is definitely going to get you.
On Your Feet!
The Lyceum, Sheffield, until Saturday