You know you’ve made it on Broadway when you have your own billboard in Time Square.
“It only took me 15 years,” jokes actress Bianca Marroquín, who on June 18, 2002, became the first-ever Mexican woman to star in a Broadway production when she debuted as femme fatale Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago.”
“It just goes to show that things take time, and don’t give up,” she says. “It can be done.”
Born in Monterrey, Marroquin, 41, grew up near the Texas border and has always spoken English. That proved useful when “Chicago” producers learned of her performance in a Mexican version and cast her in the Broadway revival of the Tony-winning show.
The actress , then 26, didn’t realize the barrier she’d broken until reading about her performance the next day.
“It dawned on me, the responsibility and the magnitude of what I was doing,” Marroquin says.
She’s since had a front-row seat to the steady strides Latinos have made on Broadway. In 2010, she played Daniela in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pre-“Hamilton” hit, “In the Heights.”
“That was the first time I was inside a community inside Broadway of all Latinos,” she says. “I was the only Mexican, but I felt at home, and I felt very proud.”
Marroquin, who has played Roxie for parts of nearly every year since 2002, is the usual go-to gal after producers bring in temporary names like Brooke Shields, Melanie Griffith, Christie Brinkley and Mel B.
The Mexican actress, who wraps up her latest gig at the Ambassador Theatre on July 2, says she brings something a little different every time she slips into the role of the Windy City woman on trial for murdering her lover.
“I started playing her when I was really young at heart and my mind very green,” says Marroquin.
“But I’ve gone through pain and through loss and through change, so every time…I come back to Roxie, I think I make her more delicious.”
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