The Woman Who Brought Back The Conga

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Have you ever been in a conga line? Probably, but do you know the story of the woman who turned the conga into a hit in the 80s?

This new musical, “On Your Feet,” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, tells the story of Gloria Estefan (Christie Prades), and her husband Emilio (Ektor Rivera). Although the show seemed to drag on in a couple of scenes the show was fun, exciting, and a good representation of the Estefan’s life.

Gloria was born in 1957 to Gloria Fajardo and Jose Fajardo. Gloria’s mother was an amazing singer and would sing all the time before their family left Cuba, and her father served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Growing up Maria loved to sing and play guitar and when she was 17 she was invited by Emilio to join the Miami Latin Boys, which would later become The Miami Sound Machine, and then Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine. In 1984 their group really started to gain attention, and that year they had 3 Top 100 Hits: “Conga”, “Words Get In The Way”, and “Bad Boy”. Then, in 1989 the group’s name was dropped and Estefan has been a solo artist since.

During the play there were amazing lighting effects and fog, also they had parts where the actors came into the audience and danced with us. Although, because of the lights and fog the theater was very strict about no photos in the theater, that was no big deal just a visit tip. When the actors came off the stage it was a lot of fun since it was during the 2 major dance scenes. They also had an actor come out from the audience and onto the stage to start an act, which was a really cool surprise. There were a few scenes during which it was like Gloria Estefan was performing an actual concert, and we, the audience, were the audience at a concert instead of a musical.

Overall the play was a great representation of the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Although, at some points, the scenes seemed to drag on a little bit, and some of the fights felt very scripted and like the actors weren’t very into it.

But it was a this fun interactive show, so make sure to get tickets soon since it only plays in Denver from August 8th-19th.