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Gloria & Emilio Estefan's Love Story Hits Broadway in Musical: Who Will Portray the Famous Couple?

First Posted: Apr 13, 2015 05:01 PM EDT
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 Gloria and Emilio Estefan

Photo : "On Your Feet!"/Facebook

For almost 40 years, Gloria and Emilio Estefan have brought the beats, the passion and the love not only for their Cuban-American culture and its music, but for each other. 

Now the power couple's story will unfold on the Great White Way with their Broadway musical, "On Your Feet!"

On TODAY, the happy couple were thrilled to reveal to Hoda Kotb who will be portraying them in the highly-anticipated, lively musical, which include Gloria's greatest hits, such the "Conga," "The Rhythm is Gonna Get You," "Words Get in the Way," "1, 2, 3" and the Oscar-nominated "Music Of My Heart," among many others.

Directed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, "On Your Feet!" will feature a book by Alexander Dinelaris. There will also be new music penned by the Estefans to help tell the story inspired by their life and musical legacy.

"I am thrilled. I am beside myself," said Gloria, who had the love of her life literally beside her.

"I think right now it's great timing," added Emilio. "I think our lives can inspire a lot of people - about dreams and about persistence."

Gloria, who rocked the world with her songs both in English and Spanish, recalled meeting her boss, Emilio when she was just 17 - he was only four years older. While Emilio had an "older girlfriend," according to Gloria, it wasn't before long that the two would connect and spend the rest of their lives together, making hit after hit and enjoying a 37-year marriage.

The dynamic duo's impressive professional record includes singer/songwriter Gloria's seven Grammy wins and musician and producer Emilio's 19 Grammy wins.

When asked if it was love at first sight, Gloria explained: "We don't believe in love at first sight - maybe lust at first sight - it took a while," said Gloria.

"He had a lot of respect for me," Gloria added.

"You think things change? Now she's my boss," Emilio laughed.

Who are the two lucky actors/singers who are taking on the coveted roles?

Broadway newcomer Ana Villafañe will portray Gloria and Josh Segarra will portray Emilio.

There's an ironic parallel with Villafañe and Gloria -- not only do they look alike, but she grew up in Miami and attended the same high school (Our Lady of Lourdes Academy) as Gloria!  Villafañe got an early start performing in musicals in Florida at the young age of nine and eventually went on to become a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. He screen credits include the web series "Los Americans," "Hiding" and the upcoming "Max Steel."

"I grew up performing her (Gloria's) songs at talent shows - and I went to her same high school," gushed Villafañe as she and Segarra joined the couple on TODAY.

Segarra made his Broadway debut in "Lysistrata Jones," according to Broadway.com.  His additional credits include "Dogfight" off-Broadway and "Sirens," "The Electric Company," "Homeland" and "Chicago P.D." on the small screen. This summer, he'll reportedly appear in the Judd Apatow feature film "Trainwreck."

The cast will also include: Andréa Burns ("In The Heights") as Gloria Fajardo (Gloria's mother), Alma Cuervo ("Beauty and the Beast") as Consuelo (Gloria's grandmother), Alexandria Suarez as Little Gloria, Noah Johnston as little Emilio, Karmine Alers, Yassmin Alers, David Baida, Natalie Caruncho, Henry Gainza, Linedy Genao, Carlos E. Gonzalez, Nina Lafarga, Genny Lis Padilla, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Hector Maisonet, Marielys Molina, Felix Monge, Doreen Montalvo, Liz Ramos, Eliseo Roman, Luis Salgado, Marcos Santana, Martín Solá, Brett Sturgis, Eric Ulloa, Tanairi Vasquez and Lee Zarrett.

The creative team includes: scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Emilio Sosa, lighting designer Kenneth Posner, sound designer Steve Kennedy, projection designer by Darrel Maloney and hair and wig designer Chuck LaPointe. With music direction by Lon Hoyt, orchestrations by the Estefans, dance arrangements and dance orchestrations by Oscar Hernandez, the "On Your Feet!" orchestra will include several members of Miami Sound Machine.

During the TODAY interview, Kotb inquired about a rumor that cocktails will be served during the musical.

"Of course!" Gloria said.

"We're going to have mojitos," Emilio added. "It's going to be great."

"We've got that Cuban thing going on from the beginning of the show," Gloria said.

"So get ready!" Emilio said.

"On Your Feet!" previews in Chicago on June 2 and on Broadway on October 5. Tickets went on sale on Monday.

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