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LISTEN: Bianca Marroquín Joins Latest Episode of WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast

Marroquín became the first Mexican to star in a lead role on Broadway (in addition to being the first to do both Spanish and English versions of Chicago).

Bianca Marroquín (Chicago, The Pajama Game) joins fellow actor and podcast host Patrick Oliver Jones for National Hispanic Heritage Month in a wide-ranging conversation about her 18-year adventure as Roxie Hart as well as her new role settling into home life as a stepmom.

Listen to the full conversation below!

In 2001, Marroquín was cast in the Spanish version of Chicago in Mexico. She won a best actress award for her performance and caught the eye of the show's Broadway producers as well. The following year, she became the first Mexican to star in a lead role on Broadway (in addition to being the first to do both Spanish and English versions of Chicago). And since then she has come to back to this long-running revival 19 times, according the IBDB, usually for one to two month stints. "I practically grew up with Roxie. I was very young at heart and green when I got Roxie in Mexico City."

Going back and forth between Mexico and the United States has been a theme of Marroquín's life and career. She grew up in Matamoros, Mexico yet went to school across the border in Brownsville, Texas. And knowing both Spanish and English has opened her up to opportunities in both countries as well. Her stage work in Mexico has ranged from Beauty and the Beast to The Vagina Monologues as well as television appearances as a judge for Mira Quien Baila (the Spanish language version of Dancing with the Stars) and as the main protagonist in the telenovela Esperanza del Corazón.

And while she has found success in the US, particularly having been cast in three Broadway shows, Marroquín has also found difficulties in the audition rooms. For example, casting directors have asked her to sound "more Mexican" and give into that stereotype, rather than understanding the variety of peoples that live in her home country. She even recounts the story of a reporter who told her that if she had sounded Mexican, he wouldn't have done the interview.

Fortunately, Marroquín has found much more love and familia at home. With her marriage a year ago she became stepmom to four children. And the pandemic shutdown has actually given her a break from performing and touring to actually be at home and spend time with her new family. She even admits that playing both Maria in Sound of Music and Mary Poppins gave her a taste of dealing with kids. "And I didn't know myself how much I needed little love and little energy." She finds herself channeling her late mother in providing her step-children the type of home life and meals that she had growing up.

As with each of the Hispanic Heritage episodes this month, the podcast ends with a spotlight on an Hispanic icon from the performing arts. John Leguizamo is a writer and actor who has done 5 shows on Broadway, four of which were solo productions based on stories and experiences from his own life. The most recent was 2017's Latin History for Morons, highlighting the important contributions of Latinos and Hispanics to America's history.

Why I'll Never Make It is a weekly theater podcast hosted by actor Patrick Oliver Jones and features conversations with fellow creatives about the realities of a career in the arts. The podcast is currently in a month-long focus on Hispanic artists. Past guests include musical theater composer Jaime Lozano (Yellow Brick Road), singer and photographer Roberto Araujo (Do You Dream in Spanish?), and dancer Luis Salgado (In the Heights). Find these episodes and more at whyillnevermakeit.com.



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