ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Jan. 20, 2005
Bianca Marroquin doesn't feel
much pressure having the lead of
good-girl-gone-bad Roxie in "Chicago," which
Broadway in Tucson/A Nederlander Presentation
brings to the Old Pueblo next week.
By Kathleen Allen
She isn't bothered by dancing and
singing through eight shows a week, traveling to
a new city every week or two, and being
subjected to fresh reviews with each new
Ah, but being the first woman to
cross over from the Mexican stage directly to
Broadway - now that is pressure.
The distinction, along with a
fast-rising career that started less than five
years ago, has made her a bit of a celebrity in
her home country.
"I hear from people in Mexico
constantly," she said, speaking from San Jose,
Calif., where "Chicago" is making a two-week
"That's why I think I have to be
careful with the steps I take. I hope they keep
being proud of me, and I hope I keep being a
good figure for them. And I hope more will cross
over and fulfill their dreams."
It all started innocently enough
She loved dance all her life and
wanted to study flamenco in Spain when she
graduated from high school. But her father
insisted on college first, so she left her
hometown of Matamoros and went to school in
There was no arts department at
the school, so she sought out dance whenever and
wherever she could.
When auditions opened for a
Mexican tour of "Beauty and the Beast,"
Marroquin thought, " 'Why not?' "
"It was during my fifth semester
of school, and someone convinced me to go," she
recalled, speaking perfect, accent-free English.
"I made it to the ensemble. I
told my parents I would just do it for a year
and a half." She's from a close-knit, Catholic
family. Her parents weren't going to turn her
over to just anyone.
"They came to Mexico City to meet
with the producer before they let me go."
"Beauty and the Beast" led to a
role in "Rent." And that led to one in "The
Phantom of the Opera," where she snagged the
laborious job of dance captain. And that led to
an eight-month gig in "Vagina Monologues."
"I didn't know how to break it to
my parents because I couldn't say the word," she
said with a laugh about that role. "We went to
Monterrey with it, then Matamoros. I had left to
do 'Beauty and the Beast' and came back to talk
about my vagina."
She appeared in the production
with some of Mexico's best-known actresses. Her
parents took it in stride.
Then she heard about a Mexico
tour of "Chicago."
"I was auditioning for the
ensemble," she recalled. "I only went to the
auditions for the principals just so they could
keep seeing my face. I thought I would never get
away with the part."
Even though Marroquin was in her
early-20s and too young for the lead of the
30-something Roxie, something about the
red-headed, long-legged and talented actress
captured the imaginations of the producers.
They cast her as the murderous
Smart move. She started winning
awards in Mexico for her portrayal. Word spread,
and she acquired a following and fame.
Then one day a little more than
two years ago, the phone rang.
"My producer called me in on a
Saturday between shows, and he said, 'New York
wants you to come in and fill in a three-week
space in the play. What do you think? Here's the
script in English.' I remained very calm. I
studied the English script during the day and
did it in Spanish at night."
Her short-term Broadway gig in
the Tony-winning musical won her more fans,
another run with the role on Broadway and the
offer to do the U.S. national tour, which in
turn won her even more fans. She's been
performing with "Chicago" for a little more than
three years now, and on the road with it in this
country for more than a year.
Her parents are resigned to her
acting career. In fact, they love the fame and
happiness it has brought her.
Marroquin loves it, too. And she
"I love acting, singing, dancing,
comedy, drama," she said, adding that movies and
cutting a record are in her future plans, too.
"I'll follow my destiny, my
intuition," she explained. "I'll listen to my
heart and let it flow."