'Jekyll & Hyde' star Constantine Maroulis talks about his journey to Broadway
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Thursday, January 17, 2013
1/17/13 at 6:55 AM
'Jekyll & Hyde' trivia
'Jekyll & Hyde': Familiar tale has fable underpinnings
The world of "Jekyll & Hyde" is one that is completely new to the star of this musical's current incarnation.
Nevermind the fact that the adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's famed story by composer Frank Wildhorn and writer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse has been around for nearly a quarter of a century, including a three-year stint on Broadway.
"It was one of those shows that sort of passed me by," Constantine Maroulis said, with a slightly embarrassed laugh.
Maroulis, who earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the musical "Rock of Ages" and who was a finalist in the fourth season of "American Idol," is headlining the new Broadway-bound touring production of "Jekyll & Hyde" that comes to Tulsa next week.
"I knew that it was out there, and I was aware that 'This is the Moment' is one of the show's big songs," Maroulis said during a telephone conversation. "Most of the leading man-type guys I knew in musical theater were huge fans of the show. But at the time I was more into other shows, like 'Rent' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar.'
"So this is really the first time I've ever had the chance to work on this piece in an intimate way. I never saw a production of this show, never did any of the songs. It means I can truly approach this as if it were a brand-new piece."
Joining Maroulis is Deborah Cox, best known for her award-winning song, "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here," as Lucy; Teal Wicks, whose credits include the Broadway production of "Wicked," as Emma; Laird Mackintosh, who has performed in "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Mary Poppins," as Utterson; and Richard White, best known for giving voice to the character Gaston in the film of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," as Sir Danvers Carew.
Even die-hard fans of "Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical" will discover some new aspects to this show, which has undergone numerous changes since it first came to light as a concept album in 1990.
The new production, which is on a 25-city national tour prior to opening on Broadway in April, includes some songs that weren't part of the original Broadway production, which opened in 1997 and came to Tulsa on tour in 1999.
The show also has been physically redesigned to give it what Maroulis calls "a darker, sexier, Gothic-meets-steampunk look."
That "Jekyll & Hyde" continues to evolve and change seems only appropriate, given that it tells the story of a man whose experiments unleash forces he soon finds himself unable to control.
Dr. Henry Jekyll is a respected man of science and a noted member of Victorian English society, engaged to Emma, the daughter of the head of the hospital where Jekyll works.
However, Jekyll is obsessed with his own father, who is locked in an insane asylum. Jekyll believes if he could find a way to separate and contain the good and the evil within a person, he could restore his father to physical and mental health.
Jekyll's experiment is a success - he transforms himself into a different person, one that has no qualms about indulging in any of the "deadly sins," from lust to murder.
"The thing about 'Jekyll & Hyde' is that it really is a very intimate and personal story," Maroulis said. "You have this very gifted, complex and vulnerable man, who knows he's an outsider in this world because of his father.
"He loves his fiancee, Emma, and she obviously loves him - she's the type of girl who could have anyone, and yet she chooses him. But then Henry meets Lucy, and she opens his eyes to a whole new world. And that's when Hyde is unleashed. I don't see Hyde as a separate creature - he's everything Henry's dreamed of being but was too scared to pursue."
Maroulis has been pursuing a career on stage from an early age.
"I got bit by the acting bug when I was pretty young," he said. "I started getting involved with shows and had some great teachers and mentors that encouraged me along."
Maroulis ultimately earned a degree in musical theater from the Boston Conservatory of Music. He continued to pursue a variety of opportunities, from appearing on TV series such as "Law & Order" and "Astro Boy" to fronting the rock band Pray for the Soul of Betty and starring in a touring production of the musical "Rent."
In 2005, at the suggestion of a friend, Maroulis auditioned for a spot on the fourth season of "American Idol." He performed everything from the standard "My Funny Valentine" to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" before being voted out.
"If I had won ... I could drive myself crazy thinking about that," Maroulis said, laughing. "The fact is, being on that show was great experience. It gave me a tremendous platform, allowed me to build a fan base, to do what I love to do in front of an audience of millions and be a part of quality work.
"But really, I was already on this path before I auditioned for 'American Idol.' And I would have continued to follow it whether I was a part of that show or not. I just feel incredibly blessed to be able to do what I do."
Original Print Headline: Man Of Two Minds
James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478
Teal Wicks stars as Emma Carew, and Constantine Maroulis plays her fiance, Dr. Henry Jekyll, in "Jekyll & Hyde." CHRIS BENNION PHOTO / Courtesy
When Jekyll's experiment is a success, he transforms himself into a different person, one that has no qualms about indulging in any of the "deadly sins," from lust to murder. Constantine Maroulis portrays Edward Hyde, and Deborah Cox is Lucy in "Jekyll & Hyde." CHRIS BENNION PHOTO / Courtesy