Verdict: Four stars. 

WITH most jukebox musicals, the songs are the selling point of the show.

On Your Feet! however, smashes this stereotype by offering a narrative that completely transports the audience into the lives of Latin superstars Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

Their story of struggle and success is at the heart of the show - and is only complemented by a soundtrack that doesn't quite sound like anything else that has graced the musical theatre stage

The musical, which made its Broadway debut in 2015, began its run at the King's Theatre in Glasgow on Monday night. It tells the story of the 26-time Grammy Award-winning husband and wife team Emilio and Gloria Estefan. 

The audience is introduced to a young Gloria, played by Olivia Kate Holding, who is living in Miami with her family where they fled as a result of the Cuban revolution. There she meets her future husband Emilio who instantly recognises Gloria's talent and pushes her to be the best version of herself she can be.


Teenage Gloria played by Philippa Stefani is taken under Emilio's wings. Through his guidance and vision, the singer slowly becomes the biggest star in Latin music before she crosses over to the American charts. She also becomes the biggest star in his eyes as they both fall in love and marry.

The journey to success, however, is not an easy one for the couple. For Emilio, played by George Ioannides, is not accepted by Gloria's mother, played by Madalena Alberto. He also has a fight on his hands to change music industry perceptions about their Latin sound and stand-up to the racist views of record label bosses. 

Their success is also marred by tragedy with the story showing Gloria's father battling Multiple Sceloris and the singer herself overcoming the injuries caused by her tour bus crash.

But the ups and downs are comforted by the true love that exists between the central characters - something that Stefani and Ioannides execute beautifully. Their chemistry on-stage makes you fall in love with the Estefan's love. They mixed humour and vulnerability with ease and showed the audience what real love should look like. 

Romance aside, the stand-out star of the show is Gloria's grandmother, played by Laura Friedrich Tejero. Her comedy routine had the audience in stitches and she lightened the mood throughout. She was a dream to watch in every scene. 

The ensemble cast enhanced the show with Latin flavoured choreography that really celebrated the Cuban culture.

Gloria herself was also celebrated through her music. A decision to have the live band on stage worked beautifully for this production with some of Gloria's biggest hits 1-2-3, Conga and Dr Beat sounding electric in the theatre. 

On Your Feet! is musical theatre at its best. The music, acting, choreography combined celebrates one of Latin music's biggest stars and shows how her legacy paved the way for a new generation of singers.

Catch On Your Feet! at the King's Theatre until Saturday.