The 28-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran-American actress/singer, the star of the Gloria EstefanBroadway musical On Your Feet!, will star as the female lead in CBS’ comedy project History of Them.
From One Day at a Timeco-creator/executive producer Gloria Calderon Kellett. the semi-autobiographical project is a multi-cultural (Latinx & white) romantic comedy about how two friends, Luna (Villafañe) and Adam, fell in love, narrated by their future daughter, using the couple’s social media from present-day (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook) as a guide.
Villafañe’s smart and spunky Luna runs a successful Latinx food truck business with her parents. Despite this, she struggles with what she wants and doesn’t feel like a fully-fledged grown up yet. She wants to find love and figure out who she is separate from her very tight-knit family, and her journey will be full of bumps and bruises as she navigates the rest of her twenties.
Director Pam Fryman, who helmed several episodes of Netflix’s One Day at a Time reboot, including the key opening one, has come on board as director/executive producer.
History of Them, from Sony Pictures Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, landed at CBS in August in a very competitive situation with a big pilot production commitment. While it hasn’t been formally picked up to pilot yet, attaching Villafañe and Fryman, combined with the size of the commitment, a green light is expected.
Kellett executive produces via her Glo Nation banner alongside Marc Provissiero of Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment and Fryman.
Villafañe made her Broadway debut as Gloria Estefan in the hit musical On Your Feet!, earning the 2016 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut Performance. On the screen, she played the female lead inMax Steeland starred in the Hulu original series South Beach. Her other credits include Los Americans, Rizzoli & Isles and Mozart in the Jungle.
History Of Them marks Kellett’s return to CBS and to the hybrid comedy format. She began her writing career as a staff writer on the network’s hybrid comedy series How I Met Your Mother, which was executive produced and directed by Fryman.
The Cuban-American singer, dancer and actress has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).
Villafañe currently stars as a series regular on Hulu’s hit series South Beach.
On the film side, she’ll next be seen in Max Steel, opposite Maria Bello and Andy Garcia.
She also portrays singer Gloria Estefan, opposite Josh Segarra in On Your Feet! The Story Of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, a new musical about the powerhouse pop singer and her producer husband (and the Miami Sound Machine) that earned excellent reviews earlier this summer in its Broadway tryout in Chicago. The show, with book by Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is staged by Jerry Mitchell (direction) and Sergio Trujillo (choreography).
Villafañe, who attended the same Miami high school as Gloria Estefan, won the role through a filmed audition when she could not make the Miami call.
The show begins previews October 5 at the Marquis Theatre and is slated to open on November 5.
It’s a Miami Sound Machine moment for Ana Villafañe…
The Cuban-American singer, dancer and actress has been cast as Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet!, the highly anticipated Broadway musical about the Latin music superstar and her equally talented husband, producer Emilio Estefan.
Villafañe, who attended the same Miami high school as la Estefan, wasn’t able to make the open casting call last fall but sent a video audition, according to an announcement Monday from the production team. She got the call to audition for director Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray) and the Estefans, and was cast in the show.
She’ll star opposite Josh Segarra, who will portray Emilio.
The musical — a rare Latino-themed Broadway offering that will surely benefit from Estefan’s global status — is based on the life story of the seven-time Grammy-winning singer and her husband, who owns 19 of his own Grammys. It’s slated to open at Broadway’s Nederlander-operated Marquis Theatre on November 5, following previews beginning October 5. I
n addition to staging by Mitchell, the show will have choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis), with a book by Oscar winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman). Prior to Broadway, the show will try out at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre from June 2-July 5.
“She walked into the room, and I immediately thought to myself – ‘this is it’,” Mitchell said of Villafañe in a prepared announcement. “Not only was she beautifully reminiscent of a young Gloria, but she embodied her energy and spirit in such a captivating way. And then she fully rose to the occasion by giving a sensational audition.”
Villafañe’s film and television credits include Magic City Memoirs (executive producer Andy Garcia), Los Americansand the upcoming Hulu original series South Beach: Fever as well asthe female lead in Max Steel (Mattel), set for global release this summer.
Segarra has appeared in New York in Second Stage Theater’s Dogfightand Lysistrata Jones. On television, he stars in USA’s comedy series Sirensand has a recurring part on NBC’s Chicago PD as well as PBS’ The Electric Company, and guest appearances on Showtime’s Homelandand FX’s TheFollowing. This summer, he’ll appear in the Judd Apatow feature film Trainwreck.
The company will also feature 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; and Noah Johnston as little Emilio.
David Rockwell (Kinky Boots, On The Twentieth Century) has designed the sets, with costumes by Emilio Sosa (Porgy & Bess), lighting by Kenneth Posner (Wicked, Hairspray), sound by Steve Kennedy and projections by Darrel Maloney. The show is produced by James L. Nederlander and Estefan Enterprises Inc., in partnership with Bernie Yuman.
In anticipation of a wide-ranging social media campaign to publicize the show, the production also released three videos about the Estefan’s and the making of the musical.