Gloria, Emilio Estefan's new musical 'On Your Feet' brings entertaining, timely message to Pantages Theatre

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Gloria and Emilio Estefan's new musical will not only get you "On Your Feet" but also offers a timely message about the immigrant community's contribution to America. (KABC)

Gloria Estefan has sold more than 100 million records and topped Billboard charts for more than 30 years.

She and her producer-musician husband, Emilio, have won 26 Grammy awards. Their music aims to make you get up and "On Your Feet." And that's the name of a musical just opening at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

It chronicles the Estefan's hard-fought road to success and their struggles to achieve the American dream as immigrants.

"We've lived it. So we know it can be had," Gloria said. "Now, is it easy? No."

Most of America was introduced to "Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine" in 1985 with their first mega hit "Conga." But this band was no overnight sensation.

"The overnight is usually a 10-year overnight," Gloria said. "But I'm glad because I used to be so shy that every one of those performances from '75 to '85 really got me ready for what was to come."

What came was huge success in the music business. And then in 2015 - a Broadway musical!

"On Your Feet" is the true story of how Gloria and Emilio worked tirelessly, while staying true to themselves, their music and their heritage.

"That's what we love about the show, people come and they get so many surprises about things, about things that they never even know" Emilio said. "What we have to do at the beginning just to make it to the first single, second single, third single."

The show is about much more than just their music. As Cuban-Americans, the Estefans feel their message of inclusion resonates now more than ever.

"Anybody that wants to go to dance and have fun, they're going to get that, but we wanted to reach beyond that and give people something to take home with them," Gloria said. "I think at this particular moment it's very necessary to feel the pride for an immigrant and also to celebrate the freedoms of this country that are vast and are still there - believe me."

"This show is about minorities, about dreams," Emilio added. "That we live in an incredible country, that we have respect for everybody's decision about politics, but in the long run, I don't believe in parties, I believe in America."

"On Your Feet" chronicles the highs and lows the Estefans endured, including the tour bus accident in 1991 that left Gloria severely injured. She shared a story of watching the musical in the audience, and eavesdropping on the couple in front of her.

"The man says to his wife, like, after the accident, 'Oh my gosh, do you think she's going to be okay?' And I tapped him on the shoulder and said don't worry she makes it," Gloria said, with a laugh.

"On Your Feet" is playing at the Pantages Theatre through July 29. It moves to the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa starting August 21.
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