You may recognize Bianca Marroquin as the judge from the popular Univision series, Mira Quien Baila, and Pequenos Gigantes. However, she is widely known for her role as Roxie Hart in the Broadway play Chicago. She talks about her transition from stage to television and her new album, Nuestros Tesoros. From gracing the stages in Mexico and in the States, Bianca’s commitment to Broadway has made her a favorite among Mexican and American audiences.
Latin Heat: How did the role of Roxie Hart come about for you and do you think you have a lot in common with her?
Blanca Marroquin: Yes, I have had this role for 11 years now, counting Mexico City- I’ve grown up with it! When I first started, I was really young at heart and dreamy. Along the way, a lot of funny things happened to me; as they say, life imitates art and art imitates life. Now, I understand her more, I relate to her eagerness, going after her dreams, and all of the obstacles she faces- that whole essence of her, I share that with her. When you see her in the newspapers, it was actually happening to me in my own country. So there are a lot of things that I really relate to.
LH: Wow! Having had such a long history with the show, do you feel any pressure to have to fill some big shoes and the fact that you’re a Latina?
BM: Well, no I’ve been in the company for 10 years and I’m actually celebrating my 10th year this year! Going back to New York at first, people told me, “Be careful, they’re going to be tough with you.” I arrived a little scared. I didn’t encounter any of that. Everybody was so helpful, loving and supportive. I’ve been really fortunate to land in the hands of a really loving company, this is my family. The people that started 10 years ago are still here- both the Broadway company and the tours. To come out to the touring company for a week to fill in for Christie Brinkley, it’s been an amazing experience to connect with the people that I haven’t seen in 4 or 5 years. I’ve been doing shows in Mexico and New York. Chicago has been running for 10 years now so we have a strong relationship.
LH: You’ve done a lot of theater in Mexico, was it easy for you to transition to television?
BM: No, it was actually a challenge! I had never been schooled for TV and wasn’t aware of the technology, the vocabulary or the technique. It was a huge learning experience for me. It was amazing! I was able to connect with another audience; whereas, in theater, you can’t connect because only 1000 people come at night. I connected with millions of people. My soap opera aired through Univision and all of the Spanish speaking countries and the States. Now that I’m on Broadway, there are more Hispanics that come out to the theater. I’m really blessed! I get to do reality shows; Pequenos Gigantes, for kids, and I’m in the 3rd season of Mira Quien Baila, it’s the Spanish version of Dancing with the Stars, People know me from the soap opera or from being the judge on the reality shows.
LH: Tell me about your role as Angela Landa de Duprís on Esperanza Del Corazon?
BM: We shot for seven months and it was on the air for nine months. The biggest challenge for me was the waiting, waking up at the crack of dawn, and getting into makeup. I didn’t have time to work out and shed that energy that you get to shed eight nights a week on stage. It was a bit frustrating – I went through a bit of anxiety and took some time to get used to. It was different-I had to cope with it. I really liked my character and we had a lot in common. The producers made it that way- she was a dancer, a singer, and a performer. She leaves, and years later she picks up from where she left off from. I got to dance very little on it and I thought, “Can we dance on every episode?”
BM: Of course, it’s the culture, the comedic timing is different, and so the timing changes completely. Chicago is an American story; there are things that they don’t automatically understand or relate to. The adaptation was very successful, but there are things that they don’t relate to and you see a difference.
LH: A lot of the shows you’ve done in Mexico are American based. Do you feel that Mexican or Latinos in general find a connection?
BM: Sometimes. I got to see The Producers in Mexico. Everyone was laughing and they get the sense of humor. They do get the American sense of humor.
How do you feel when telenovelas are made of fun in American television or film?
That’s normal! I can understand it. It’s fun, that’s just the way it is, it’s the style. Since they don’t understand what they’re saying-Hispanics have more drama and we have a lot of expressions and they find it funny. Especially on SNL when they make fun of them, they really enjoy it.
LH: What projects do you have coming up and tell me about your album, “Nuestros Tesoros?”
BM: I’m getting ready to start rehearsal in September for Mary Poppins and that opens in Mexico in November. We decided to release my new album around that time. It’s a collection of Spanish songs, old treasures, songs from the 40’s and 50’s and it’s called, Nuestros Tesoros, our treasures. They have to do with my upbringing. It’s the music my father exposed me to and it’s in the style of trios, which are three instruments. It’s beautiful and classic. My intention is to bring it to the new generations, to bring all of these treasures and the songs that may have gotten lost. I try to keep loyal as to the original versions as I could. Along with my album, I start the 3rd season of Mira Quien Baila, which starts shooting on Miami. I will be celebrating my 10 years on Broadway in New York, there’s going to be a big party! It’s to celebrate Hispanics and letting them know that they’re a part of Broadway.
LH: Can you give some words of advice for Latinas pursuing careers in the arts?
BM: It’s a very competitive world. Nothing is easy. If this is the road that you choose, there are a lot of obstacles; but that should never discourage you in any way. There are lessons along the way and it makes you a stronger and wiser person. Never give up, if you really love it and it if it’s in your heart, if you do it with honesty, you’ll get there.