Beatrix Theatre – Utrecht – 20:00
On Your Feet
A cold wind is blowing, while I slowly walk down the stairs of Utrecht Central Station. In the distance I see the flickering lights of the billboard that promotes the musical On Your Feet. The closer I get to the theatre, the more I can distinct chatter of people and the first sounds of Latin pop. A warm feeling of excitement floats through me, while I am wondering what is awaiting me.
On Your Feet is the newest addition of Stage Entertainment to the collection of Dutch musicals. This show is based on the true story of how Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio gained their success. The production features all her famous songs, like ‘’Conga’’, ‘’Rhythm is gonna get you’’, among many others. On Your Feet already proved its success on Broadway, but still has to steal the hearts of the Dutch audience. After the trials, this musical will premiere on the 29th of October with Gloria Estefan and her husband as honoured guests. Vajèn van den Bosch plays the leading role. She debuted in 2015 as Sandy in the musical Grease. Also known from Grease is Tommie Christiaan, who is now her opponent player Emilio. These two young performers are carrying the whole storyline with their Latin spirit. It is pleasant to see the chemistry between them since it is not the first production they perform together. The ease of getting along is convincing for the love story between Gloria and Emilio.
The musical starts off with an incredible light show. The dancers are flick flying all over the stage and represent different dance styles from Cuba. This jukebox musical has a high level of energy. The ensemble is working their ass off to keep the salsa sparkle alive and kicking. Although Vajèn is not a bad dancer and is most of the time keeping up with the professional dancers, you notice that she does not have the Latin moves. Nevertheless, her voice is tremendously mature and developed. You almost forget the fact that she is nearly nineteen years old. A major task to endeavour the queen of Latin pop, but Vajèn hits the right notes. It is also nice to notice that Emilio puts his soul and emotions in the ballads. The show is filled with up-tempo Cuban-fusion music accompanied with lots of salsa. For the balance, it is a good thing they incorporated also ballads and slower music without all the spectacle. In this way, the music embraces the storyline, which is moreover reflecting on harder times.
The way to reach the top is not always easy. It is about making sacrifices, having doubts and conquer fears. The storyline, as well as the songs, represent these topics in a realistic way. The rhythm will lead you through the show together with the Cuban vibes that make you want to go dancing. Get out of those comfortable seats and let the music move your feet.