The Estefans surprise Vero Beach theater goers

Musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan (center) on stage with the cast of "On Your Feet" at Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach. PHOTO PROVIDED BY DANIEL DIAZ-ALEJO

Vero Beach patrons who had tickets to Friday night’s Riverside Theater performance of On Your Feet, the musical about the life and career of Gloria Estefan, got a special treat – at the end of the show, Gloria and Emilio Estefan themselves made a surprise appearance.

(From left to right) Musicians Emilio and Gloria Estefan with Riverside Theatre Producing Artistic Director Allen Cornell and Managing Director Jon Moses in Vero Beach. PHOTO PROVIDED BY RIVERSIDE THEATRE

The Estefans have homes in Miami and in Vero Beach, and own the Costa d’Este Hotel in Vero’s Central Beach area, which had been the main local sponsor of the musical about their lives and was well represented in Friday night’s audience with a large contingent of hotel staff, who cheered wildly when they were introduced.

Some of the hotel staff in the audience seemed to have an inkling that the Estefans might come out on stage at the end of the show, but the rest of the audience did not and neither did the cast or the theater ushers – they all erupted in wild applause when they came out of the wings and were introduced. 

Gloria congratulated all members of the cast and gave a special hug to the show’s star, Iliana Marie Garcia, the actress who did a fabulous job playing Gloria in the show, dancing and performing her most popular songs.

In brief remarks to the audience after the crowd’s standing ovation, Gloria Estefan said she had seen the show about her life, which debuted in New York on Broadway several years ago, numerous times, but the Riverside performance on Friday night was as good as any she had ever seen.

The “On Your Feet” musical at Riverside Theatre. PHOTO PROVIDED

“Broadway doesn’t have anything over you,” Estefan told the local crowd to another huge round of applause.

The On Your Feet musical is running to full houses at the Riverside Theatre as the last show of the season between April 9 and May 5. Friday night’s in-person appearance by the Estefans was believed to be the only time they are scheduled to attend.

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