You’ll forgive Gloria Estefan if she looked a little emotional when she got pulled up onstage for the curtain call at the opening night performance of “On Your Feet!” She’d just watched her life play out onstage.
“I was a blithering mess!” she declared after the Nov. 5 opening. “I usually sit in the back to watch, but tonight I sat close. It killed me!”
The show is still fun to watch for her, she said. “It’s also painful. But it’s a pain you want to feel.”
The Estefans’ story comes to the stage courtesy of writer Alexander Dinelaris, fresh off his Academy Award win for the screenplay to “Birdman” — which, at first blush, couldn’t sound like a more different project.
“They’re sort of yin and yang,” Dinelaris said. “They’re opposite sides of the ego. ‘Birdman’ is all about ego, but this one’s more about family and generosity of spirit. It’s like they’re photonegatives of each other.”
There was no turning down this gig, he said. He and Gloria hit it off instantly, and besides, she knew he has Cuban relatives.
“She said, ‘You have to take this job. You can’t disappoint your Cuban family!’ “