Broadway Reviews: On Your Feet & Charles III

On Your Feet

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Official Blurb: ON YOUR FEET! is the new Broadway musical about two people who believed in their talent, their music and each other and became an international sensation. ON YOUR FEET! features some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter century, including “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “Get on Your Feet,” “Don’t Want to Lose You,” “1-2-3,” and “Coming Out of the Dark,” and the Broadway musical boasts a creative team to match its incomparable song list. Two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) directs, with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and an original book by Academy Award® winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman).

My Take: My first non technical gut review: its so much fun!! Its definitely a party on stage, and as a fan of Gloria Estefan how was I not going to love hearing her story on stage. The dancing is spectacular and there is no way you are not going to leave the theater with a smile in your face and dancing down the aisles. It just has infectious energy. I think it might be one of those shows that runs for a long time, as it appeals to young and old, and every nationality. Now for the technical:

What I liked:

  • Ana Villafane is a powerhouse. Her voice is spectacular, so similar to Gloria. i absolutely loved her
  • The songs, they are just to good and remind me so much of my childhood ( the conga line for conga is priceless)
  • The sets and costumes are on point – loved them!
  • There was a lot of Spanish spoken, which gave it a really natural feel and made me really proud to realize that could be on stage now.
  • The continuance of the diversity flag on Broadway. Emilio’s line about how this is the face on an american got rousing applause and it calls to the fact that immigrant stories are on the forefront of the social environment and very appropriately Broadway. Between this show, Hamilton and its immigrant story, the Japanese immigrant stories in Allegiance its being placed front and center in the conversation. Not to mention the other great minority shows opening this fall like Color Purple and Fiddler on the roof, its definitely a diverse great white way this fall, and i couldn’t be prouder
  • Emilio’s line about the q tips dancing – best line of the show!

what I didn’t like:

  • I was not a fan of  Josh Segarra as Emilio Estefan, his voice just was not up to par. He had the latin sexiness going on, but his voice next to Ana just paled in comparison
  • With the vast catalog of songs that Gloria Estefan provides, they really decided to make two new mediocre songs instead of rewriting some of the original ones (just change the lyrics a la mama mia). for example how was “there’s always tomorrow” not used in the hospital scene?
  • I think the story is a little formulaic, but then again that’s how jukebox musicals are. If its not a original story, they pretty much follow the same path, story up to a big achieving moment. The Hall of fame for Jersey Boys, The Grammy in Beautiful, and here the AMA performance. I just think cutting the story there left a lot to be explored (hell her daughter isn’t even born). Additionally it could have been explored their influence on the rest of the latin artists that followed them.

Charles III

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Official Blurb:  The Queen is dead. After a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles ascends the throne with Camilla by his side. As William, Kate and Harry look on, Charles prepares for the future of power that lies before him…but how to rule? Winner of the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Play,KING CHARLES III is the “bracingly provocative and outrageously entertaining” (The Independent ) drama of political intrigue byMike Bartlett that comes to Broadway following a sensational West End run. Directed by Rupert Goold and starring the “magnificent” (The Observer ) Tim Pigott-Smith in the title role,KING CHARLES III has been deemed “the most insightful and engrossing new history play in decades” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. This “bold and brilliant” (The Times of London ) production explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of Britain’s democracy and the conscience of its most famous family.

My Take: What an absolutely spectacular show, which although complete fantasy feels like it could be completely true and very predicting. Shakespeare for the modern times,and how do we need that!. Tim Pigott-Smith, who plays the title character is spectacular, giving true depth to his confused prince. I left not knowing whether to pity or admire him. Whether to think if he was super smart or super dumb. I really enjoyed also the portrayal of Princess Kate, a total astute player, who hides behind  a polished facade but is running the whole show, loved it!. t also makes you not only question the title character but the society in which such a character can stand. It does it also without being preachy, without telling you which side is right, just a natural observation on what it is to be a democracy, what is freedom and the reasons for a monarchic existence. It is clear why it won the Olivier for best play, and i think it might do quite a killing at the Tonys as well.

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