What's it about?
Gloria and Emilio Estefan reaching tremendous success worldwide while simultaneously breaking down barriers, overcoming family issues, and keeping the pride of their culture in their hearts.
What'd I experience?
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I just want to let you know that after seeing this show, I came back home with no edges, eyebrows, or hair on the nape of my neck...
I wanted to see this show so bad after seeing the cast perform at the NY New Year's Eve Bash, and it came true!
Emilio and Gloria Estefan really brought Latin life to the stage. It fired me up with so many different emotions, so much so that I decided to get up at the end to start dancing with the cast. Actually, EVERYONE was on their feet, vibing to the performance. Filled with the rich Cuban culture (which heavily involves music, lavish costumes, Spanish language, dance, and family), music, politics, romance, faith, pain, loss, and identity -- this show emphasized the journey of a human spirit.
Walking into the Marquis Theatre was quite confusing for me. I haven’t been to a Broadway show in forever so I was very overwhelmed with where to stand, or collect my ticket. It was very crowded outside the theatre, and inside on the lower level was a man yelling, “who’s here for the lottery?! Please step on this line.” And maybe my voice was too low (i doubt it), but each time I said excuse me for help, no one even noticed. It’s ‘iight tho, this is New York. But anyways, I took the escalator to the second floor and it was so beautiful. Red patterned colored carpet with glass cylinder shaped elevators that went up and down super fast. It looked like we could be in 2030, and it was less chaotic. I walked into the theatre, found my seat, and after about 10 minutes, the show starts. And this is where it got interesting….
The drums with the dancing and the live band playing (which was incredible 💃) sounded just like the traditional Nigerian Edo music that my parents play at home! It was so beautiful to hear some of my culture in the Spanish music and it made me feel very welcome. Even the chanting made me feel like I was back at home on a chill day listening to music while hanging out with my family or getting ready for a party.
Now the show, it starts with Gloria talking to her husband Emilio backstage before performing at a concert, then it moves all the way back to a young Gloria from Cuba. She had a very supportive Grandmother who helped force her out of her comfort zone to perform in front of people. However, because her mother had to sacrifice that same dream growing up, she despised the thought of losing her daughter too to this dream, and to Emilio. As a result, the mother was not supportive, until Gloria’s unfortunate bus accident.
From all of the amazing moments during this show, there is one that I MUST mention because it deserves a round of applause -- the “This is what an American Looks like” line. The couple with their band was struggling on how to sell their music in America, and they kept getting the “...it sounds too Spanish” sentence, which was very insulting. One of the heads of the record label told Emilio that he should pack up his things and go back to Cuba because his music does not belong here on American radios, in American clubs, in American restaurants… you get the gist. But then Emilio responded with a little background on his family. In his words, he states that his father fled Cuba during the dictatorship, and that he himself has stayed in America living, working, contributing to the country, and paying his taxes, so he is what an American looks like. When I tell you I caught the Holy Ghost… the whole audience went into an uproar of applause. This line was so beautiful, especially because it is directed towards the current unfortunate situation going on in America.
This show was like a show/concert in one and it was heartwarming to see people from different backgrounds come and see this performance. I loved seeing so many Hispanics at the show too! I was so happy that they felt comfortable listening to dialogue in their beautiful language. All in all, I am so honored to have gone to this show, and witness the magic of Broadway.
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What did you experience?
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