Performing in a musical requires so much more than hitting the right notes, projecting your voice and dancing in step. The actor’s goal is to transcend the learned pattern of what the character must do to move the story forward and reach a place where they can just have fun, be in the character’s skin and really start to discover new things, in the moment. Watching Bianca Marroquín play the role of Roxie Hart in Theater of the Stars’ production of Chicago at the Fox, audiences can get a glimpse of what it means for an actor to really transcend a role.
A brilliant, physical comedienne, Marroquín as Roxie is sophisticated, childlike, funny, heartless, desolate, brimming with enthusiasm, sexually voracious, cute, scary and very, very smart. Perhaps some of her mastery comes with having played the role for more than eight years.
“I never get tired of playing her,” Marroquín told me in 2004. “The reason I love Roxie is that she’s a fighter. She dreams of becoming a famous dancer, whose name is in all the newspapers, she really wants to be famous and live that kind of life, but all the doors have slammed in her face. … She’s a very impulsive person, so we see this rollercoaster of emotion— every kind of emotion — in two hours and 20 minutes.”
She first played the role in Mexico City. After 10 months, she received an invitation to play Roxie on Broadway. Then she started touring with the show. She’s still on tour, and playing The Fox Theatre through Sunday, Sept. 13. Catch her while you can.