A strange case

Con­stantine Maroul­is will play the lead role of Je­kyll & Hyde, mak­ing its Phil­adelphia premiere at the For­rest Theatre next week.

When Con­stantine Maroul­is was on Amer­ic­an Idol, his im­age was that of a bad boy rock­er. So now, step­ping in­to the lead role of Je­kyll & Hyde, mak­ing its Phil­adelphia premiere Dec. 26 to 30 at the For­rest Theatre, he seems a nat­ur­al choice. 

A fi­nal­ist on the fourth sea­son of Idol, he’s no new­comer to the stage. Maroul­is played the lead role in Broad­way’s Rock of Ages, which earned him a Best Act­or Tony nom­in­a­tion and a Drama League nom­in­a­tion. He made his Broad­way de­but in The Wed­ding Sing­er and was re­cently seen in the title role of Tox­ic Avenger. 

“I already had a ca­reer be­fore I went to au­di­tion for Idol,” he said, “but a friend of mine con­vinced me it would be a good op­por­tun­ity and that I should try out. I didn’t know much about the show, but once I did some re­search I figured it would be a great way for me to pur­sue a big­ger ca­reer.” 

Maroul­is ad­mit­ted he nev­er saw the ori­gin­al Je­kyll & Hyde either, the one that ran for many per­form­ances start­ing in 1997. The ori­gin­al story by Robert Louis Steven­son is about a Lon­don doc­tor who ac­ci­dent­ally un­leashes his dan­ger­ous and dark al­tern­ate per­son­al­ity in his quest to find something to help cure his fath­er’s men­tal ill­ness.

“But now that I’m in the show, I can see the ap­peal of the ma­ter­i­al. There’s a dark­ness in all of us, and I find it fas­cin­at­ing to see what hap­pens to a man when it all comes out,” he said.

Born in Brook­lyn 37 years ago to Greek-Amer­ic­an par­ents, the fam­ily de­cided to move to a more peace­ful life in the sub­urbs of New Jer­sey. 

“I don’t think we really be­longed there,” he said. “We all looked so dif­fer­ent with these long, long names. But we learned im­port­ant life les­sons while there. My fath­er taught us how to em­brace and ap­pre­ci­ate who we were, and to work hard for what we got.” 

And so he did. Real­iz­ing his love of mu­sic and per­form­ing was real, Maroul­is at­ten­ded the Bo­ston Con­ser­vat­ory of Mu­sic. After gradu­ation, he moved to New York, au­di­tioned for everything he could, and even­tu­ally booked the tour of Rent. And he said he con­tin­ues to work hard, fa­cing all the chal­lenges in­her­ent in his cur­rent role. 

“Ul­ti­mately, it’s about the phys­ic­al­ity of the role and the emo­tions I have to go through every night, es­pe­cially hav­ing to do it eight times a week. So I do my best to stay in shape,” he said.

Hav­ing toured be­fore, he said he’s prob­ably “built for it. I en­joy it, feed­ing off the en­ergy of new cit­ies, new people, new audi­ences and new ven­ues. I also en­joy the won­der­ful cast and crews I work with and the op­por­tun­ity to share dif­fer­ent ex­per­i­ences with them. But I real­ize I can’t do it forever be­cause I’m not get­ting any young­er. But while I can and while the money’s good, I’ll keep at it.” 

In ad­di­tion to his mu­sic and stage ap­pear­ances, Maroul­is has been seen on the CBS day­time drama The Bold and the Beau­ti­ful, which fea­tured ori­gin­al songs from his de­but al­bum. And there have been many oth­er TV ap­pear­ances as well. 

“Be­side all the work I do, I also have a daugh­ter who means a lot to me. So I think I’m a very lucky man,“ he said. “I en­joy everything I do and get to dis­cov­er new things about me all the time.” ••

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