NEW YORK — Songs from the new musical celebrating the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan will have the honor of kicking off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but the couple will be far from the giant balloons.
They’ll be in Hollywood, Florida, handing out a feast to the homeless at one of their restaurants when the cast of “On Your Feet!” performs a medley of songs from their Broadway hit show.
“That’s my favorite event of the year. Emilio and I feel very honored to give back. We’re blessed, what can I tell you?” Gloria Estefan said Wednesday. “We’ll definitely be watching on TV.”
The meal will top a frenzied few days for the couple that includes an appearance on Wednesday’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and two visits to the White House – one to tape the special “Broadway at the White House,” airing Thursday, and another to receive Presidential Medals of Freedom on Tuesday.
To open the NBC show, “On Your Feet!” star Ana Villafane will start a conga line in Manhattan as her cast members perform Estefan hits and dance to re-choreographed steps.
Gloria Estefan said the musical, which champions her and her husband’s immigrant experiences, boasts the largest Hispanic cast in the history of Broadway and offers a counter view to some anti-immigrant populists by showing the huge contributions newcomers make. She said she thought of them while getting her medal from President Obama.
“I thought a lot about my dad, who brought us here to this country for freedom, to have us grow up in freedom. I know that he was watching over me there,” she said. “It was so extra special to receive it with my hubby, my partner of a lifetime.”