Broadway 2016 - The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan
On Your Feet! the Musical - PLOT SYNOPSIS
A dance number from Gloria Estefan's dancers leads to backstage with Gloria, Emilio Estefan, and their son, Nayib before a concert in 1990 ("Rhythm is Gonna Get You").
In a flashback, Gloria is younger, playing the guitar and singing to send a recording to her father, José Fajardo, who is stationed in Vietnam. ("Cuando Salí de Cuba"). Gloria grows up in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, with her mother, Gloria Fajardo, and grandmother, Consuelo García. During the dance number, Gloria is shown as older ("Tradición").
As time progresses, Gloria is introduced by her grandmother to Emilio Estefan, who is a part of a group, then called the Miami Latin Boys. Emilio invites Gloria to perform one of the songs she has written at their upcoming rehearsal. Gloria, who is studying to be a psychologist and spending most of her extra time caring for her father through his battle with Multiple Sclerosis, is initially resistant to the idea of performing. With pressure from her grandmother, she attends the rehearsals, despite push-back from her mother. She brings her sister, Rebecca Fajardo, mother, and grandmother the day of. Gloria performs and has her sister come with her on stage for "emotional support," ("Anything For You"). Despite initially being shy, and not wanting to be in the spotlight, she finds her place after being given advice from Emilio ("1-2-3"). Gloria realizes she is falling for Emilio, and Emilio is feeling the same way ("I See Your Smile").
Gloria's mother is initially not on board with Gloria joining the Miami Latin Boys, and when Gloria is frustrated that her mother doesn't like Emilio, Consuelo tells her that when her mother was younger she wanted to be a singer too. Gloria Fajardo was offered a contract with Twentieth Century Fox to be the Spanish voice of Shirley Temple, but her father forbids it. A flashback follows, of Gloria Fajardo performing in a club and finds out during the performance she learns she has to flee Cuba without her love, José Fajardo. ("Mi Tierra")
Later, Gloria and Emilio propose a new song to Phil, a record label executive, but he refuses to publish it because it is in English. Then, on July 4, Emilio and Gloria go on a date where Gloria kisses Emilio for the first time. ("Con Los Años Que Me Quedan"). They try to discuss the single, but Gloria is lost in Emilio, and her love for him ("Here We Are"). Gloria is spending time with her father, José Fajardo, and although he cannot speak, she wishes she could hear what he would say about Emilio. She imagines the advice he would give her ("When Someone Comes into Your Life"). Gloria then writes a song using the encores they played on tour in Holland, with all the lyrics in English. Chris is initially not backing it, and won't propose it to Phil, so they have to "bring Phil to the song," before they can release it. Gloria initially performs her new song at a Bar Mitzvah for a boy named Jeremy, and Phil refuses to attend. Then she performs it at an Italian wedding, and Phil still will not come. It is not until she performs it at a Shriner's convention in Las Vegas that Phil wants to attend ("Conga").
Gloria and Emilio hit the top of the music charts and launch a worldwide tour ("Get on Your Feet"). Gloria is thankful for the fact that her grandmother had encouraged her to pursue a music career and even calls her grandmother on stage during one of her performances ("Live for Loving You"). However, Gloria also struggles with the exhausting schedule, and the fact that her mother has become estranged due to her disapproval (and potential jealousy) of Gloria's fame ("You'll Be Mine (Party Time)"). Even though Gloria is exhausted and wants to take a couple of days off, Emilio encourages her to take on one other concert in Syracuse. On the road, the Estefans' bus collides with a semi truck during a snowstorm ("Famous").
Gloria breaks her back in the accident, and is flown to NYC for emergency spinal surgery. Gloria's mother rushes to the hospital after hearing about Gloria's accident on the news and she and Emilio bond over their love for Gloria ("If I Never Got to Tell You"). Emilio worries Gloria might not survive the surgery ("Don't Wanna Lose You"). During her surgery Gloria imagines seeing her late father and her grandmother, who had passed away a couple of months before ("Wrapped"). They both encourage her to live. After coming out of surgery, Gloria finally reconciles with her mother. Doctors tell Gloria she may never walk again, but she dedicates herself to rehabilitation.
Thousands of fan letters, and Emilio's steadfast determination, provide her the encouragement she needs to get back on her feet ("Reach"). Gloria makes a triumphant return to the stage with her performance of "Coming Out of The Dark" at the 1991 American Music Awards ("Coming Out of the Dark").
Read more: On Your Feet! the Musical Lyrics
Synopsis to On Your Feet the musical Plot