Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s Broadway Musical Plays at the Kravis Center

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When the national Broadway tour of “On Your Feet! The Emilio & Gloria Estefan Story” is coming to West Palm Beach, the cast will include three South Floridians.

The jukebox musical takes place at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts from November 15-20 and on stage will be Miamians Adela Romero, Madelin Marchant and Lauren Danielle Horgan.

“On Your Feet” chronicles singer Gloria’s rise to pop stardom against the backdrop of a romance with husband, producer, and Svengali, Emilio. The production weaves in songs made famous by the Estefans – who are Magic City Majesties themselves – including the chart-topping “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”, “Don’t Wanna Lose You”, “Conga”, ” 1-2-3″ and “Come out of the dark.”

The show opened on the Great White Way in 2015 and ended two years later after 780 performances. At the Tony Awards, he was eclipsed by the “Hamilton” juggernaut.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel had the opportunity to speak with Romero, Marchant and Horgan. Below are excerpts from these questions and answers.

(Rebecca Fajardo, Gloria Estefan’s sister and Gloria Estefan’s stunt double)

Q: Your favorite SoFlo places?

A: Some of my favorite SoFlo places have to be Bougie [Bougainvillea’s Old Florida Tavern], oh my god I love it there on a Wednesday for ladies night…Wynwood is also one of my favorite places to go dancing and having fun with my friends. You can always find me at Planta in Coconut Grove.

Q: You worked with Gloria Estefan on tour, didn’t you? What do you remember from these concerts?

A: I worked as a backing vocalist for Gloria Estefan very recently, this year in fact. I was very lucky to do ‘On Your Feet’ in Miami under the musical supervision of Clay Ostwald, who is an original member of the Miami Sound Machine. After working with him for about seven weeks, he really vouched for me and I was able to join the band for this gig. It was such an amazing experience to be able to sing with an iconic woman and an iconic band. The most memorable moment for me was singing the harmony “Mi Tierra” with Gloria, which broke my heart.

Q: Tell readers about your TikTok videos with the “Why is everyone asking me if I’m Latina?” theme. How did it happen?

A: This sound is from one of my favorite shows, [HBO’s] “Euphoria.” This line is spoken by Alexa Demie and I loved her boldness and attitude. It was just a moment of pleasure.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the show, or something that draws you in every time?

A: It’s so hard because I have so many favorite parts, but I think “Wrapped” is one of my best. This song, the lyrics, the music, the choreography makes my heart race every time. I have such an attachment to this number, and I look forward to it every night.

Q: Have you performed in any regional theaters in South Florida?

A: My first professional contract was “Evita” at the Actors’ Playhouse in 2017 under Dave Arisco, to whom I owe so much. I was still in college and he gave me a chance to work professionally at 19. I’ve done many shows there and consider it a huge boost in my career. I also worked at the Wick in Boca Raton. I was very lucky to work at the Slow Burn Theater Co. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, another theater that feels like home.

(Consuelo, Gloria Estefan’s grandmother)

Q: Your favorite SoFlo places?

A: I think what I like the most is Art Basel and the art galleries. And, of course, the performing arts; I love them all, especially opera, theatre, concerts and movies.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the show, or something that draws you in every time?

A: My favorite part of the show is the song Jose sings to Gloria when she falls in love with Emilio, “When someone walks into your life.” Also, the choreography of “Tradición”. From Consuelo, I love the moment when she encourages Gloria to follow her dream.

Q: Is there a part of the show you’d like to draw the audience’s attention to (maybe something small they might miss or something you think is cool)?

A: I think a very special moment that means a lot to us is the end of Emilio’s speech, about what an American is, when we all take the stage and show the audience what an American looks like. I hope people will understand exactly the huge significance of this moment for us as Latinos.

Q: What prompted you to emigrate from Venezuela?

A: My decision to come to the United States and to Miami was made after a few events. One of them was my divorce; I have been destroyed. The other, I was harassed and sued by the government. Since 2002, I was their target because of my position against the government. As a public figure, it was more difficult. In 2004, after an event in which, during a raid, I was the victim of mistreatment and abuse by the Bolivarian National Guard of Venezuela… I understood that he was going to be impossible to work or live in my country… I won a scholarship for writers at Telemundo Miami. I paid my debts, took a plane ticket, my suitcase, the money I had left and here I am.

Q: What can you tell readers about your upcoming books?

A: My next books are in preparation. One of them concerns my experiences and beliefs during my journey as a performing artist, dancer and actor trainer. My other book project is about my life in the United States, my journey over the past 17 years. I was a 43 year old woman who decided after a divorce and a chaotic country situation to immigrate to this country alone [in 2005 from Venezuela] with a suitcase and $4,000. It tells my story from the day I decided to move to this country and my 27 homes, the 27 places where I lived according to my dreams and my happiness, sometimes struggling but never giving up. It also includes my happy love moments and my melancholy…but always in a comedic tone and laughing at myself.

Gloria Estefan, Madelin Marchant and Emilio Estefan at the GALA Hispanic Theater in Washington, DC, for the Spanish language premiere of the Broadway jukebox musical

(Set/Consuelo Lining)

Q: Your favorite SoFlo places?

A: Any beach that has a lighthouse or anywhere I can kayak or boat. A day at the beach is a day at the spa in my book. Of course, I love doing happy hour at different places with a relaxed atmosphere but a great atmosphere and good music. Personally, I love Tap 42 and Pisco Y Nazca.

Q: West Palm Beach favourites?

A: I LOVE Downtown West Palm Beach. I appreciate it [West Palm Beach GreenMarket] Saturdays. Clematis Square and St are always bustling – fun to people watch and shop. I’ve seen shows at the Kravis Center, but this is my first time on stage.

Q: You were on “Miami Vice,” so what’s your strongest memory of filming that TV show?

A: I had my first line in the series in episode 5, serving drinks to the two leads. And when the show aired, they cut my line. It’s business. It only kept me going and eventually it paid off.

Q: What can you tell us about your appearance in the upcoming 10-episode Apple TV+ series? “Bad Monkey,” which is written by fellow South Florida native Carl Hiaasen?

A: I have a recurring guest as Ines, the mother of the Campesino family, and I play a Cuban. I loved how Bill Lawrence asked me how Cuban mothers usually talk to their kids and I replied, “Mostly in Spanish.” And he said, “That’s exactly what I want when you talk”…to my daughters. It was a great experience filming with Vince Vaughn. He is naturally funny. It was great to have all kinds of philosophical conversations with the actors waiting on set. Truly blessed and reserved, as they say.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the show, or something that draws you in every time?

A: My favorite number on the show is “Tradición”, which is the entire cast celebrating our heritage and traditions. It’s our first big group dance number in the show, and the music is infectious. It really gets people moving. I’m part of the ensemble and I play many different roles and I constantly change wigs and costumes. A special small role is the “Crazed Fan” who crosses the audience at the top of Act 2 as Gloria performs a concert. The audience seems to think he’s a real fan at first, then they clap when I get the autograph.

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WHAT: “On your feet! The story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan”

WHEN: 15-20 Nov; with sessions set at 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and matinees at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday to Sunday

WHERE: Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

COST: $31-$87

INFORMATION: 561-832-7469; Kravis.org/events/on-your-feet

Gaby Albo as Gloria Estefan and Samuel Garnica as Emilio Estefan during the national tour of
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