THEATRE star George Ioannides had to audition in front of singer Gloria Estefan and her husband-manager Emilio to land a lead role in their bio-musical On Your Feet!

The talented stage actor plays Emilio in the show which will run at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow until Saturday. It tells the story of the first lady of Latin music and her rise to stardom which gave the world hits including Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Get On Your Feet and 1-2-3.

And the bio-musical was guided by the superstar couple from start to finish who picked each and every cast member. 

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Glasgow Times:

“It was the most bizarre thing auditioning for Emilio in front of him because both of them were part of the auditions. They choose the cast one by one,” the 24-year-old said.

He continued: “Gloria more than Emilio was also part of the rehearsals.

“She stayed in the UK with us whilst we were preparing the show.

“She was a service to us, she was there helping us, allowing us to understand a bit more because I think they were after the story being as truthful as possible. They wanted to be part of the process.”

Cypriot George has been based in the UK for almost eight years with roles in a number of popular musicals including Annie, Mamma Mia! and An Officers and a Gentleman.

As a child he grew up listening to Gloria Estefan - his mother was a fan - so the part appears to be one he was destined for.

He beamed: “I have been Gloria fan from a younger age only because my mother used to play the songs all the time.

“She was the most beautiful person. We went for dinner because I was given the opportunity to meet her and ask her any questions I had about Emilio.

“Any question I had she answered so beautifully. I didn’t feel like anything was off the table, she was so transparent and so kind.

“You could see the love that Emilio and Gloria have for each other.

“They have been together for so many years and the way she talks about him, you can just see that they are still besotted with each other which is really beautiful to see.”

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Glasgow Times:

While the love story between Gloria and Emilio is at the heart of the show, it is the music that doesn’t sound quite like anything else that makes On Your Feet! unique.

“There is no way that anyone will come here, hear that music and not move a little bit.

“The lyrics say it themselves the rhythm does get you.

“There is no way you cannot get infected by that rhythm," he laughed.

He added: “We are so lucky to have the band on stage.

“On stage, they are just as much part of the show as everybody else because the music at the end of the day is the forefront of everything else.

“Gloria never did anything for any other reason other than for the love of the music.”

Glasgow Times:

A love of music is something that the Glasgow crowd can resonate with especially when it comes to appreciating touring productions like this, which is something George has experienced himself.

He said: “I have been to Glasgow with An Officer and a Gentleman. I love Glasgow.

“The audience is amazing. They are always so giving to us.

“That just makes such a difference as well because sometimes it makes everything worthwhile when you feel that response from the audience.

“In Glasgow, they have always been so generous with that.”

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

For tickets, visit