'American Idol' Alum Constantine Maroulis Returns to 'Rock of Ages'
The season four alum talks about the return to the role he created in the '80s rock musical, making new music and what he has in common with Adam Lambert.
It’s mid-July, and Constantine Maroulis is getting ready to return to Broadway in one of his most beloved roles — Drew, the rock and roll dreamer in Rock of Ages.
There is just one problem — he has recently trimmed his long, luscious locks of hair.
“I might have to stick some extensions in to give myself some volume,” he said.
This Monday, Maroulis will begin a 12-week engagement rocking like it's 1985 through Oct. 26 at the Helen Hayes Theater, and the 38-year old singer is more than ready to return to the five-time Tony-nominated musical.
“The Rock of Ages experience has been by far one of my most rewarding accomplishments across the board,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “The opportunity to be a part of an incredible new, exciting show at the time when we were first starting out was a dream come true, and to be able to create a role Off-Broadway, and on Broadway, and take it across the country and have it become a global brand on multiple continents, and a huge movie with Tom Cruise, and to really feel like I had a big part to do with that, is one of the greatest accomplishments in my life.”
For Maroulis, the timing to return to the show, which is now celebrating its fifth year on the Great White Way, was right.
“We always had different conversations about figuring out the right time to go back, and if I was to ever go back was I ever going to play another part in the show,” he said. “I think what it came down to was that no shows go five years these days unless it's Wicked or The Lion King and for us to be celebrating well into our fifth year on Broadway is really just a massive accomplishment.”
Although he admits that “everyone wants to rock 10, 20 years,” he realizes that in today’s short-attention-span society, “it’s really just not the fashion anymore.”
“There is so much content and programming out there online and at home,” he said. “To have this brand still going strong and to have an opportunity when things quiet down in the summer to inject a little energy into the show, was a no-brainer.”
Maroulis last appeared on Broadway last summer in Jeckyll and Hyde, and his performance earned a Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance. Although the show was canceled after a short run, the actor said he is proud of what the cast achieved.
“Last season was a tough time for us where everything was very positive, very uplifting with Kinky Boots and Pippin and we came in sort of full force with a rock show, grabbing the girl’s throat on the artwork, but everything is all about timing,” he said. “We crushed it on the road playing for hundreds of thousands of people and came in for a short run in the biggest house on Broadway, and we had a nice couple of months.”
That setback did not slow him down. The rocker revealed that he is back in the studio working on new music, which the American Idol Season Four alum said will be in the rock 'n' roll style he loved growing up.
“I’m excited about this new material,” he teased. “I have put together a great group of guys — we are doing rock 'n' roll in the vein of all the stuff I grew up with — from Journey to Bon Jovi to the Goo Goo Dolls, Maroon 5, U2 and The Police — all influenced by that world. We are hoping to unleash that pretty soon, too.”
In his spare time, there are even more televised acting appearances in the works. The Bold and the Beautiful star was recently seen portraying the role of “Germ” on the crime show, Unforgettable, and is eyeing more opportunities in that direction, as well as more theatrical roles into 2015.
Maroulis added that he will continue to make appearances with his ‘80s tribute band, Jessie’s Girl, and is in discussions to present a one-night-only event in New York with several of his friends from various Broadway productions. He also hopes to take the show on the road.
“Jessie’s Girl has been an awesome experience for me. I’ve always been fascinated by the tribute band. I grew up in New Jersey where the tribute concept started when I was a kid. Clearly I have built a nice business on Broadway, but with the ‘80s bands, people have associated me with not only my American Idol stint, but of course, Rock of Ages,” he said. “We have been talking about expanding the show, and taking it national. I think family rock 'n' roll entertainment is something that is really viable out there and I think we can have a good time doing it.”
Which isn’t to say he doesn’t keep up with his fellow Idols. As the first performer on the Idol stage to perform Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and having worked with the band, Maroulis had kind words for Adam Lambert’s recent Madison Square Garden appearance.
“He’s freakishly talented. He has an instrument — frankly, like Carrie Underwood, who is the type of girl that can wake up in the morning and wail anything imaginable, and so can Adam Lambert. He has become sort of a pop icon and I just don’t think that he has gotten to do what he really wants to do yet. But how do you turn down a collaboration with [Queen]? I have done work with Brian May and all of them are great, and they have always been big fans,” he said. “I think that Adam is a great performer and capable of doing his own Madison Square Garden shows in time. Everyone knows who he is. We have a lot of fans in common and I am so happy for him. He better call me after that!”
As for Idol, Maroulis said he didn’t have a great deal of time to watch the entire season, but he had praise for this year's winner, Caleb Johnson.
“He’s got a presence and a voice. But one thing I’ve learned is it’s a about more than that. It’s about that hustle, and six months after the show, your plan. How is he going to turn what he did on the show into something that lasts in 10 years... What he can raise a family on with a myriad of projects,” he said.
And speaking of family, all is good for Maroulis, who calls his adorable daughter, Malena, “the boss."
“Today was a big day for our little family. We basically were registering for Pre-K, so it’s exciting. She was very excited and her mother [Angel Reed] and I are very proud of her. She is really our life,” he said. “We met doing Rock of Ages, so she is the Rock of Ages baby. She is quite a little show business entertainer in the making, a smart kid with a great big family around her. We’re pretty blessed."