story & photos
by Tony Schillaci & Don Church
In a spectacular opening show, May 23-25, world-renown singer Gloria Estefan gave her fans what they came to see – an electrifying performance at the new 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater.
From the moment Gloria appeared onstage in a black lace gown with a red flower in her hair, her strong clear voice and heart-warming personality won over the adoring audience.
The sold-out shows deserved a venue as beautiful and audience-friendly as the MGM Grand Theater at the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The sight lines are great from every seat, and even the balcony seats are closer to the stage than in other theaters.
This was a rare US appearance – her only one this year. Gloria spends her time appearing in Latin America and will leave soon for Europe.
The show consists of some of Gloria’s hits, including “Conga.” She sings many of her songs in Spanish, and “for the benefit of the Anglos in the audience,” an English translation was projected upon the three colossal screens in the theater.
A highlight of the 90-minute show was Gloria’s “Where The Boys Are” homage to legendary singer Connie Francis. Gloria is working on a screenplay in which she’ll portray the sometimes tragic life of the Italian-American pop singer.
Gloria was born in Cuba, but has lived in Miami since she was a baby. Her music is true to its roots.
An exciting salsa show-band, a group of talented back-up singers and a troupe of Latin dancers added to the rhythmic pulse of the action onstage. Gloria gets her energy from daily Pilates and resistance training combined with a healthy diet.
Before a costume change, Gloria Estefan introduced her musically gifted and charming 13-year-old daughter, Emily, who played the drums and did a guitar duo that deservingly brought down the house.
The finale found the audience rushing in great numbers to the stage, dancing in the aisles, and giving a standing ovation to one of America’s and the world’s most popular performers. Viva la Diva, Gloria!