Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Broadway Idol

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Broadway Idol

Article excerpt

When they handed out self-confidence, Constantine Maroulis wasn't lagging at the end of the line.

"I'm a beast on the road," the tall, slender actor confided as he unpacked his trunk in his new dressing room at Broadway's Marquis Theatre.

He was talking about his prowess as a touring performer, having just come off a 25-week traveling engagement as the star of the musical "Jekyll & Hyde."

"There's just a small pool of us," he continued. "I do press; I show up every night ready to go."

Maroulis, who was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Wyckoff, is now playing the title roles on Broadway, the tour's last stop. The revival of the 1997 Frank Wildhorn-Leslie Bricusse show started previews last week and will open April 18.

"This must have been Ricky Martin's dressing room; it smells like him," he joked as he made the spacious room homey, setting out photos and arranging knickknacks. Maroulis himself was a striking picture, dressed in a snug jacket and skinny jeans, with a funky fedora atop his shoulder-length dark hair.

Pop star Martin was the big draw in the theater's previous tenant, "Evita." And Maroulis, an interesting mix of the frankly calculating and the blithely unfiltered, doesn't hide his ambition to reach that kind of fame.

Part of his appeal on the road tour, he noted, was the celebrity he achieved on Season 4 of "American Idol," where he was one of the first rock-centered performers.

"I'd never seen the show," he said. "I was older than the other contestants, and I wanted to use the show to promote my band, and make myself a brand name.

"I think I was ahead of where the show was at the time. I knew Carrie Underwood was going to win, and I just wanted to be a finalist.

"I was thinking, 'I cannot let this end here for me.' I was useful to the show. They made me this bad guy from New York. Nobody knew that I was really a theater dork from New Jersey."

He finished in sixth place, which he memorialized by launching a company called 6th Place Productions.

Maroulis, 37, starred on Broadway in "Rock of Ages" in 2009 (and received a Tony nomination), but "Jekyll & Hyde," in which he plays a troubled man with two warring personalities, offered a different kind of challenge. …

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