The 51-year-old half-Venezuelan actress and singer has been cast in the Hulu comedy Up Here, starring Mae Whitman and Carlos Valdes.
The musical romantic comedy from 20th Television and Old 320 Sycamore Prods. is set in New York City in 1999.
It follows an ordinary couple (Whitman as Lindsay and Valdes as Miguel) as they fall in love while discovering the single greatest obstacle to finding happiness together might just be themselves.
Original songs for the series are from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
Burns, best known for her portrayal of the hairdresser Daniela in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights, will portray Rosie, Miguel’s mother.
Other series regulars include Katie Finneran, John Hodgman, Sophia Hammons and newcomer Emilia Suárez as Renee, the queen bee of Miguel’s high school.
Recurring characters are Ned (George Hampe), Fiona (Julia McDermott), Orson (Scott Porter, Marta (Ayumi Patterson), and Ted aka Mr. McGooch (Brian Stokes Mitchell).
Production on the show, which has an eight-episode straight-to-series order, begins this summer in New York. Writers/executive producers are Steven Levenson (showrunner), Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez.
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.