BWW Interviews: Constantine Maroulis Gives Inside Scoop on JEKYLL & HYDE

Anticipation for the revived and revised version Frank Wildhorn's acclaimed musical JEKYLL & HYDE is building in Houston, TX. The tour opened in La Mirada, California on September 7, 2012 and will be make a whirlwind stop in San Diego, California before coming home to Houston in October. To give me the inside scoop on this new Broadway-bound production, Constantine Maroulis, starring in the titular dual roles, chatted with me from La Mirada.

As a contestant on the 2005 American Idol season, you became a recognizable star in the making. How has your life changed since you were on Idol?

Constantine Maroulis (CM): Well, of course being a part of a huge show like that was such a great experience for myself. I grew up with a dream like everybody else in this business. I just always wanted to be a part of cool productions and do good work. I always wanted to be in a cool band, you know, and be in great shows on Broadway and television. So, it was like my dream coming true, and the opportunity that I got not many people get. You know, it's a tough business. It's a great platform for me to go up there and do what I love. As you probably know, I come from a sort of rock and roll background, but I have the training—the conservatory training—as well. I got to apply both of those in that setting, and it taught me a lot about myself and kind of prepared myself for what was ahead. I've been pretty blessed.

Touring can be rough, but this isn't your first time to hit the road with a show. What are some of your favorite aspects of touring?

CM: You know, I really enjoy the camaraderie. We have a great group—great cast, great crew, and we all get along very well. You know, getting to know everyone—whether we're in a big group or we break down into small groups—we go on little sort of tourist missions. This tour has just begun, so we haven't set out on any major excursions yet, but that's always fun. Because I'm familiar with a lot of the city's we're going to be going to, I have my suggestions, and it's fun to discover new things together as well. Also, I love feeding off the energy of the audiences in different cities and visiting the beautiful theatres because they get to know you over the years. You build a friendship with the people in the different cities as well—the house crews, the local press people, a restaurant owner or two, a church that we go to. That's what sort of keeps you living out there and helps to not miss home that much.

You've been on Broadway before, but opening JEKYLL & HYDE in April 2013 on the Great White Way is sure to be an amazing and exhilarating experience. What is the anticipation or expectations of that moment like?

CM: Of course I am very fortunate to have that opportunity with JEKYLL & HYDE. It's an epic show, a worldwide brand. It's been performed all over the world in different languages and by dozens of different stars. So, our hope is just to bring a completely new energy to the show. We've completely reinvented it form the ground up, you know, based on the strength of Frank Wildhorn's amazing score and Leslie Biscusse's great writing and his book, which has been completely revamped as well. There are brand new orchestrations and design. A great cast of amazing Broadway talent—some new comers, some veterans. We have all the tools. We have everything, and what's great is we have this time on the road to sort of work it all out. By the time we get back to New York, hopefully, we will be humming like a '64 Mustang and just ready to go.

You're no stranger to leading roles, notably playing Roger Davis on the Broadway tour of RENT, Jesus and Judas in productions of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, your Tony nominated role as Drew in ROCK OF AGES, and Melvin Ferd the Third in The Alley's production of THE TOXIC AVENGER. But, what are some unique challenges to tackling the dual roles of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde?

CM: It's a big part. I'm lucky I have a great ensemble supporting me, and my main objective is just to try to stay healthy, and go out there every night and perform for the fans the show and the story they have come to expect. There are fans all over the world of this show, and, for me, I just want to go out there and tell the story every night. I try not to get too caught up in the character work to be honest. You know, I just apply what the correct objective for myself is in each scene.

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David Clarke David Clarke has had a lifelong love and passion for the performing arts, and has been writing about theatre both locally and nationally for years. He joined running their Houston site in early 2012 and began writing as the site's official theatre recording critic in June of 2013.