Happy birthday, Ana Villafañe! The triple threat turns 27 today and it seems like she’ll be celebrating doing what she loves most at the moment: playing Gloria Estefan in the smash hit Broadway musical “On Your Feet!”
In terms of the relationship between Estefan and Villafañe, there’s more than meets the eye; not only does she do an impeccable impersonation of Gloria, but the two are of Cuban descent, they went to the same high school in Miami and simply felt an instant connection when Ana auditioned.
“She walked into the room, and I immediately thought to myself - 'this is it'. 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,” casting director Jerry Mitchell said when they first met with Villafañe. Needless to say, the Estefans felt it too, “It was a matter of seconds,” they said.
Now, after almost a year of honoring Gloria on stage, Ana has a promising career and two devoted mentors: Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
The singing sensation to wish Villafañe a great birthday and thank her for all her hard, talented work with a special photo of the two posing years ago! Talk about meant to be!
Gloria captioned the post with a heartwarming and appreciative message that read: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY @anavillafaneofficial!!! Who could have imagined when we took this photo that one day you would be the award winning breakout Broadway Star that you are and that I'd be blessed to have you portray me in such a heartfelt and beautiful way! I wish you could celebrate your special day to the fullest but thanks for "working" on your BIRTHDAY in @onyourfeetbway! Love you, girl! Have a beautiful day!”