The couple took to NBC's "Today Show" this morning to make the announcement. Playbill.com's interviews are below.
Villafañe, a Cuban-American singer, dancer and actress from Miami, was chosen through an open audition process and will be making her Broadway debut in the show. A lifelong fan of Gloria Estefan – who even attended the same Miami high school as the pop star – Villafañe learned of the Miami open casting call last fall and, although she was unable to attend, sent the casting office a video audition. Within three days, she was called to audition for Jerry Mitchell and the Estefans, and cast in the show.
Segarra appeared Off-Broadway in the original cast of the musical Dogfight as Boland, and made his Broadway debut in Lysistrata Jones in 2011. He also played the role of cop Billy Cepeda on the USA Network comedy "Sirens."
On Your Feet! will begin previews on Broadway Oct. 5, 2015, at the Marquis Theatre. Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Mitchell, the production will officially open on Broadway Nov. 5 following a world-premiere engagement at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, June 2-July 5, 2015.
The production has been cast through an international casting search, Reach Gloria (#ReachGloria), which offered performers around the world a chance to audition for all roles in the musical by submitting audition videos online at www.OnYourFeetMusical.com. Two open casting calls were held: one in the Estefans’ home city of Miami, FL, in Knight Concert Hall of Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 21, 2014, and another at Pearl Studios in New York City on Sept. 9, 2014. The open casting calls were conducted by members of the show’s creative team and casting director Justin Huff, CSA of Telsey + Co.
Emilio Estefan added, "On Your Feet! is a piece that speaks to people of every culture around the world. We’ve seen audiences from South America to Asia, and everywhere in between, be moved by our music and we want each and every one of them to have a chance to be a part of this story and show their talent to the world.”
The musical, according to press notes, is "the story of two people who—through an unwavering dedication to one another and their pursuit of the American dream—showcased their talent, their music and their heritage to the world in a remarkable rise to global superstardom." It will feature such hits as “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “1-2-3,” “Mi Tierra,” and “Conga,” in addition to new music penned by the Estefans.
The show will be choreographed by four-time Drama Desk nominee and Olivier Award-winner Sergio Trujillo with a book by two-time Drama Desk nominee Alexander Dinelaris.
On Your Feet! is produced by James L. Nederlander and Estefan Enterprises, Inc. in partnership with Bernie Yuman.
A developmental lab of the show was held last fall. Directed by Jerry Mitchell, the workshop,ran Oct. 27-Nov. 21, 2014.
Here are Playbill.com's interviews with the creators and stars: