Latin Power: Mauricio Martinez Stars In 'On Your Feet!' At Bushnell

Mauricio Martinez may not be a major name in entertainment to some, but to others the Mexican actor and recording artist is muy caliente.

He is now touring in the musical On Your Feet! playing Emilio Estefan, husband of Gloria Estefan, in the dance-happy show based on their marriage and musical partnership. The musical runs at The Bushnell in Hartford June 19-24.

It’s a good time to be a Mexican artist performing in the U.S., says Martinez, who has recorded two pop music albums and is currently starring in NBC Universo’s original series El Vato (available on Netflix), Señora Acero 2 for Telemundo and several telenovelas for Univision.

“I remember years ago when I went to New York to study there were hardly any Latinos on Broadway, especially Mexican,” Martinez says. “Fast-forward to now and there are musical stories about us. People like Lin-Manuel Miranda definitely have changed the way shows are cast, too. Look at Hamilton, In the Heights and On Your Feet! which is the first Broadway musical to have 99 percent of the cast Latino. That’s a huge thing. Only one person in the cast during the run was non-Latino. That’s what Emilio and Gloria — who are the face of crossover Latin-American artists — wanted.”

As a Mexican, Martinez says he was especially thrilled about this year’s Oscars telecast with many Latino winners, nominees and performers involved in high-profile films such as The Shape of Water and Coco. “It was the most Mexican Oscar ceremony ever. So yes, it’s a beautiful time to be a Latin and to remind everyone that we are proud of who we are, of being an immigrant and living in this country. That’s why I relate to Estefan’s story in On Your Feet! It really hits home. I’m an immigrant from another country currently on a work visa and applying for my green card. I am living in the United States living my dream and starring in a Broadway musical. It’s a beautiful feeling.”