Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Interview: Isabella Iannelli of ON YOUR FEET! at The Muny

12-Year Old Actor to Play Young Gloria in ON YOUR FEET at The Muny

Interview: Isabella Iannelli of ON YOUR FEET! at The Muny

12-year-old Isabella Iannelli will be making her Muny debut playing Young Gloria in the upcoming production of On Your Feet! based on the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Isabella has starred on Broadway opposite Marisa Tomei in Tennessee William's The Rose Tattoo. She was a featured dancer in the Lin Manuel Miranda movie In the Heights. Isabella has had extensive dance training since the age of 3. She dances every style of dance. She also works with a vocal coach weekly. This incredibly articulate pre-teen sat down with BroadwayWorld to discuss her Muny debut and how she is navigating her young career.

Isabella talked about how exciting she is to be back on the stage after the 16-month shut down due to COVID. She discussed how organized everything is at The Muny and understands why actors call it a magical place. "I'm very excited to play an icon who never gave up on her dreams at this iconic theater," Isabella said. Previously, the largest audience she has played to was 770 people. Now the young singer, dancer, and actor will be performing for an audience of 11,000.

"My favorite scene in On Your Feet! is the "Tradicion" scene because everyone in the cast seems to be doing it as a big family," she beamed. Isabella went on to explain that in this scene she gets to do all three things, sing, dance, and act. She also mentioned that her favorite song in the show is "Coming Out of the Dark" because of the recent dark and scary times with COVID. Her awareness of the effect of the pandemic on the arts and people in general illustrate that her maturity is well beyond her young age.

Her awareness of the effects of the pandemic resulted in her starting a fundraising effort called Smile Behind the Masks for the non-profit organization No Kid Hungry. She conveyed that is was hard to see people's emotions during the pandemic with everyone wearing masks. Her thought was if she could help provide food for hungry children during the pandemic it would result in people feeling positive and smiling behind their masks. She exceeded her goal of raising $10,000 to help feed children without food.

Isabella made her Broadway debut at the age of ten. Her stint in The Rose Tattoo was a limited run so she had the opportunity to work full cycle from opening to closing the show. She was honored and grateful to work with a great cast. Isabella explained that Marisa Tomei was like a mother to her and gave her great advice to always remain humble.

While working on Broadway, Isabella stayed in school full-time while doing eight shows each week. Isabella said, "I wanted to be present with my friends and stay in school." She would leave school early and take the train, about 20-min, into Manhattan on Wednesdays for the matinee performance.

During the production of the film version of In the Heights she had the opportunity to meet Lin Manuel Miranda and Anthony Ramos. She talked about what a great experience it was to work with them. Isabella explained that Miranda and Ramos also illustrated great care and showed respect to every member of the cast and crew involved during the filming of the movie, a lesson she has learned from the artists that she has worked with on productions.

Isabella wants to use her performances to influence and inspire people to follow their dreams. She also has big dreams. As she grows up, Isabella wants to continue her career in the arts and study at Harvard. Her philosophy is to stay positive and work toward your goals. Isabella believes people should do what they love and have fun doing it.

Isabella said she has had a great time since stepping on the rehearsal stage at The Muny. "The Muny is a magical place," she continued, "This cast is impeccably talented, nice and kind."

The Muny will present On Your Feet!, sponsored by BMO, August 21 - 27, 2021. Tickets for On Your Feet! can be purchased at or by visiting The Muny box office in Forest Park. For more information visit

From This Author - James Lindhorst

Jim Lindhorst has been a theater enthusiast for nearly 5-decades. He was bitten by the theater bug as a young teen while sitting in the last row of the upper balcony to see the first national tour of... (read more about this author)

August 14, 2022

This spirited and entertaining Muny Production is a fun explosion of color. Josh Rhodes' brisk direction moves the show along nimbly. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT has a near perfect score using a variety of musical styles to tell a sung-through story including rock, pop, country, calypso, fench café' and ballads. Rhodes and Lee Wilkins choreography are a perfect match for the varied styles of music that combine to tell the story.

August 8, 2022

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a show that is pure joy and pure fun.  She said this is a story of a man in a precarious situation who continues to dream and takes responsibility to change his own story.

Review: THE COLOR PURPLE at The MunyReview: THE COLOR PURPLE at The Muny
August 5, 2022

This Muny production of THE COLOR PURPLE is too beautiful for words. It is a stunning love letter to Alice Walker and her epistolary novel of redemption. Director Lili-Anne Browne’s vison brings to the stage a concert-like version of this production similar to the 2016 Tony Award Winning Broadway revival. Her leadership, coupled with Breon Arzell's spirited choreography, help this epic 40-year story come to life with theatrical sophistication. Music Director Jermaine Hill’s perfectly balanced orchestrations were almost unnoticeable while supporting the beautiful score sung by this incomparable company of actors.

Review: A CHORUS LINE at The Hawthorne Players At The Florissant Civic Center TheatreReview: A CHORUS LINE at The Hawthorne Players At The Florissant Civic Center Theatre
July 30, 2022

This production of A CHORUS LINE, directed by Mark Lull, is a nod to the original staging and his vision effectively tells the emotional stories of dancers auditioning for a role in the chorus of a show. Kimberly Klick attempts to recreate Michael Bennett and Bob Avian’s choreography from the 1975 production on a small civic center stage. Her choreography is reminiscent enough to satisfy even the biggest of A CHORUS LINE fan. Lull, Klick and the cast do an admirable job with the material and this production is surprisingly delightful for a community theater production.

July 29, 2022

This week The Muny Stage pops with plenty of pink clad perky people in their production of LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL. The show is filled with laughs that are as silly and absurd as the alliteration in the previous sentence. Elle and her Delta Nu sorority sisters are caricatures of giddy girls that serve as a ‘greek’ chorus serving up puns to advance the plot. For this production, The Muny has assembled a chorus of attractive young people with exceptional dance flair to deliver on William Carlos Anglos energetic and fun choreography.