Five Burning Questions with Rock of Ages Headliner Constantine Maroulis
November 26th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Luckily for the long-running hit Rock of Ages, it's going out the same way it came in: with Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis standing center stage blowing the roof off the joint with his one of a kind vocals. Maroulis’ performance as Drew is something you have to see live as a fan of Broadway, rock or killer singing, and time is running out because ROA finals its final song on January 18. BroadwayBox caught up with the American Idol alum to talk returning to Broadway’s best party, Jekyll pride and taking Hedwig on the road.
1. What really surprised you when you returned to the role of Drew in Rock of Ages?
I think I forgot how great it is. It’s a great show. It’s very well crafted, and an amazing original cast (if I do say so myself) helped an amazing young creative team build something special that has been around for over six years now. There’s a certain magic it has that you almost forget. Long-running shows can get a little stale and it becomes a different show, so it’s nice when you ignite a production with casting and chemistry that can really bring the show back to what it was.
2. Someone walks into a bar—maybe the Bourbon Room—and orders a Constantine Maroulis, what are they drinking?
Gosh, I am not a big drinker so I am not known for a particular drink. When I was first 21—I was a young 21—I wanted everyone to think I was cool so I’d always have a Merlot in my hand, and it was a conversation piece. Then on Idol, I once said it was a Corona with a dollop of hot sauce and a lime; it’s called a hot lips and it’s awesome in the summer. Wait, I got it: a Constantine Maroulis should be a Jack and ginger with a lime.
3. What was the Jekyll & Hyde process like for you?
When someone throws at you Jekyll and Hyde, how do you not do it? We are very, very proud of the work. I think we all elevated the brand and the title and did incredible work. I think we weren’t given a fair opportunity to do what we wanted to do. We got such mixed reviews that it made it that much more schizophrenic, from horribly scathing to incredibly glorious.
Did you feel minds were made up about the production before you guys even arrived in New york?
Absolutely! The minds were already made up. They saw the poster, Constantine from Idol with the long hair and the eyes choking sexy [Deborah Cox], and Frank Wildhorn. They made up their minds way before we came into town. But that’s the game we play. I’m a big boy; I know what we’re doing. Of course there’s a lot of haters out there, but everyday people applaud the work we did and I did; I’d like to see anyone try to do what I did in that show, or what any of us did. It’s heavy stuff and we did our best.
4. I’ve seen videos of you performing Hedwig and it's amazing; is that role something you’d want to revisit now that the show is having its moment on Broadway?
Of course, absolutely. I think Hedwig is one of the most exciting and masterful pieces of modern theatre that exists. I love the way it speaks to me musically; it incorporates all the styles of rock ‘n’ roll that I like: ‘90s grunge alternative to ‘70s glam to great punk rock. And Lena is like the female me. And it would be interesting to have someone who’s not the obvious choice do the part. Maybe even on tour, if they wanted to bring this production around. They know where to find me.
5. What’s next for Constantine? What’s on the horizon?
We just moved into this beautiful new home in New Jersey. I’m back in the studio—back writing again for the first time in many years it seems. I have an incredible writing partner Kareem Devlin, who played with Lady Gaga for many years. He’s a gifted songwriter and producer. And there’s been some pilot stuff come up already. There are a few new shows in the works I’m attached to [The Toxic Avenger and Gettin’ The Band Back Together] and those are always exciting. But being back in Rock of Ages is a gift and I love it. The show is year-one excitement around there.
Seriously, do not miss Constantine Maroulis in ‘Rock of Ages’ at the Helen Hayes Theatre through January 18, 2015.