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Stage musical planned around Gloria Estefan

By MARK KENNEDY AP Drama Writer

Publication: The Day

Published February 10. 2013 4:00AM

Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio are hoping the rhythm is going to lead to Broadway.

The duo on Tuesday announced that they've teamed up with the Nederlander Organization to try to develop a musical based on their lives and take it to the Great White Way.

"We are very excited to share this story, which is based on hope, determination and the belief that with hard work and passion, our dreams can become our reality. Our music has been a true reflection of who we are, where we came from and the journey that has brought us to where we are today," Gloria and Emilio Estefan said in a statement.

The Estefans were both born in Cuba and together became musical luminaries, winning Grammy Awards and fans across the U.S. with crossover hits like "The Rhythm is Going To Get You," "Conga" and "Words Get in the Way," in addition to helping the careers of other artists including Shakira, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Jon Secada.

Their lives certainly are the stuff of drama. At age 14, Emilio Estefan fled Fidel Castro's Cuba to Spain and later Miami. He enrolled in night school, working by day in a mailroom, determined to bring his mother and brother here, and he eventually succeeded. He persuaded an uncle to lend him money for an accordion and formed a band, playing traditional Cuban tunes at local fiestas.

Soon, the group added a shy but charismatic singer named Gloria who would steal the heart of Estefan and audiences worldwide as part of the Miami Sound Machine. The couple would go on to have two children and a more than 30-year professional and personal partnership.

The couple launched the Bongos Cuban Cafe chain and are part owners of the Miami Dolphins. Frustrated with the limited attention given to Latin music at the Grammys, they pushed for a separate show dedicated to the broad breadth of Spanish and Portuguese music with the Latin Grammys

"I am thrilled to collaborate with Gloria and Emilio to see their amazing story come to fruition on the Broadway stage," Jimmy Nederlander, president of the Nederlander Organization, said in a statement. "The Estefans' journey of success, led by raw talent and passion, is captivating as it drove them from relative obscurity to global sensations."

The Nederlander Organization will be producing the new show in partnership with Bernie Yuman, who produced and managed Siegfried & Roy's show in Las Vegas. The creative team will be announced later.

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