DENVER (CBS4) Students at the private high school in Denver, La Academia, got a real treat. They got a private performance from Bianca Marroquin, one of the lead actresses in the Broadway musical, Chicago.

Marroquin played the piano and sang a song in Spanish that she wrote and may record as part of an upcoming album.

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“There was always a piano in my house and I taught myself how to play piano, so I play piano by ear,” Marroquin told the teens.

Bianca Marroquin in the Broadway production of "Chicago." (credit: CBS)

Bianca Marroquin in the Broadway production of “Chicago.” (credit: CBS)

She also recounted how dancing has always been her passion. She’s been dancing since she was three years old, and she used those skills as her entrée into Mexican theatre.

“I always knew that I was going to be on a stage… dancing, performing, connecting with audiences,” she recounted for a group of about 20 students at La Academia.

Marroquin became the first Mexican actress to make the transition to Broadway. She is currently performing with the touring production of Chicago.  

She’s been performing as Roxie, the celebrity murderess in the play, for the last twelve years on and off Broadway.

“I love, personally, that Roxie goes through all the emotions there are in 2-hours and 20-minutes. It’s like the Olympics of the emotions,” she told CBS4.

During her talk with the students, Marroquin revealed her true self, telling them that her story is their story.

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“It helps to motivate them and inspire them. It helps to listen to other people. When you find something in common, when I talk about my obstacles or the tough times, the ways I’ve been off track in my own life or the way that I bring myself back on track, it gives them hope,” Marroquin said.

Marroquin makes a point to reach out to young people in every city she visits. She sees her role as a role model as just as important as any stage part she plays.

“They’re at a very fragile, delicate place right now, so I think it’s really important to expose them to people that might be a good example for them,” she explained.

She offered messages of inspiration, telling the students that if they face rejection, they need to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and work toward a new goal.

“If it’s not like what’s in your dreams, then don’t settle for it,” Marroquin said during her talk.

Advice that she’s followed throughout her career. Marroquin wraps up her time with the touring company in a couple of weeks, then she returns to Broadway to continue her role as Roxie.

She’ll also be splitting her time with a Mexican television show, as a judge on a “Dancing with the Stars” type of show, she’s also recording her first album, which is scheduled to be released in May.

Chicago, The Musical is playing at the Buell Theatre through Sunday, March 23rd. Tickets are available through the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

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— Written for by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith