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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.

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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.” ••

For times and ticket information, call 1–800–447–7400.

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