Watch as Gloria Estefan surprises the actors playing her life story at Miami rehearsals

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Gloria Estefan’s entire career, stretching back to the mid-1970s and those early Miami Sound Machine records, has been based in Miami.

That career has been fruitful, to say the least: a Kennedy Center Honors recipient and, with husband, Emilio, her life story told on the Broadway stage in “On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan,” to name two honors.

Can you imagine being tasked with playing Estefan and then, during rehearsals for what will be the hometown show, have the real-life pop music superstar waltz into the room to check you out?

That was the scenario Wednesday, backstage at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, as the cast and crew worked through some of the musical’s numbers.

Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle is staging “On Your Feet!” as its big musical offering of its 32nd season. The show opens Feb. 9 and runs through March 6.

As such, the cast, which saw its production delayed a couple weeks due to the surge in COVID cases, is deep into rehearsals.

Gloria Estefan visits the cast of “On Your Feet!” during rehearsals at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre on Jan. 19, 2022.
Gloria Estefan visits the cast of “On Your Feet!” during rehearsals at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre on Jan. 19, 2022.

Enter Estefan

International superstar Gloria Estefan with Jason Canela (Emilio Estefan) and Claudia Yanez (Gloria Estefan), the stars of “On Your Feet!” at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre.
International superstar Gloria Estefan with Jason Canela (Emilio Estefan) and Claudia Yanez (Gloria Estefan), the stars of “On Your Feet!” at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre.

After the singer-songwriter strolled into the music-filled room, the cast members each introduced themselves to Estefan and told her which roles they were playing.

The dialog went a bit like this:

Adriel Garcia is playing Estefan’s father, José Fajardo, who had served in the Vietnam War.

Adriel: “I’m Adriel and I’m playing José.”

Gloria: “Oh, my Dad?!”

Adriel: “Yes.”

Gloria:Aww, thank you! You have some big shoes to fill there.”

Then Claudia Yanez, who is starring as Gloria Estefan, met the real-life title character and songstress behind the musical’s featured hits like “Conga,” “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” and “Anything for You.” And Estefan, apparently, is still quite the character.

Claudia: “Hi. I’m Claudia and I have giant shoes to fill!”

Gloria: (Laughing.) “Not that big, actually.”

If you go

The cast of “On Your Feet!” playing Feb. 11 to March 6, 2022, at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables.
The cast of “On Your Feet!” playing Feb. 11 to March 6, 2022, at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables.

What: “On Your Feet!,” a biomusical inspired by the life and music of Miami’s Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

Where: Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables.

When: Previews 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 9-10; opening night 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11; runs through March 6. Matinee performances are 2 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets: $55-$80. The closing matinee performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6 is $75-$100. For opening night Friday, Feb. 11, contact the box office at 305-444-9293 or ticketing@actorsplayhouse.org.

COVID precautions: Audience members 12 years and older are required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR result for a test conducted within 72 hours prior to attending a performance or provide a negative COVID-19 antigen result for a test conducted within 24 hours prior to attending a performance. Or you can voluntarily provide proof of having been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. (Vaccine cards or a digital copy is acceptable.)

Masks are required inside the building at all times regardless of vaccination status, except when eating and drinking in designated areas.

Information: Call 305-444-9293 or visit www.actorsplayhouse.org.

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