It was a warm June night, the neon marquee of Manhattan's famed Radio City Music Hall served as a beacon welcoming thousands who gathered to honor, celebrate and award the best of Broadway for the 2009 Tony Awards. That evening, Constantine Maroulis was deservedly bestowed with a Tony Nomination for his tour de force performance in Broadway's landmark show Rock of Ages. Seems rather simple right? Well it was anything but, years of hard creative work came to fruition and in a sense full circle, for some five years earlier Maroulis had become a household name by beaming into 30 million households each night via his lengthy appearance on the television's American Idol. There, Maroulis utilized his versatile arsenal of talents to perfection, enlisting a growing legion of fans that witnessed this magnetic and charismatic performer, one who was full of surprises and was destined for continued success.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and later raised in the nearby suburbs of New Jersey, Constantine James Maroulis grew up surrounded by a wide array of polarized music from classic rock, alternative and spirituals to jazz and jam band antics. That disparaging mix of sounds would soon become an essential ingredient in his development as soon as he entered high school where he began participating in musical theater productions as well as singing in various rock bands. Constantine continued to pursue both acting and music while attending college locally. It was not unusual to see Constantine onstage at a Summer Stock theater production while afterwards heading straight to a nightclub to front a band. There, he gained the invaluable experience of burning both ends of the entertainment candle that would help him nail his audition that garnered his spot to attend the prestigious Boston Conservatory of Music.
During this time Constantine worked consistently to build his impressive resume that included lead roles in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Jesus Christ Superstar, along with his first work in the dramas of William Shakespeare and a slew of student and indie films. Additionally, Constantine was singled out for an apprenticeship at the legendary Williamstown Theater Festival, there he appeared on the main stage in Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies' God of Vengeance starring Tony winner Ron Leibman and Diane Venora. It is interesting to note that in addition to Constantine the other apprentices included future star Chris Pine of Star Trek fame and Liz Meriwhether the creator of the Fox show The New Girl. During the Williamstown Theater Festival's Cabaret Series, which was hosted by Lewis Black of The Daily Show, Constantine gave a moving performance that luckily caught the attention of Michael Grief the director of RENT.
After completing school Maroulis returned to his native New York City where he soon landed the role of Roger in the ever-popular aforementioned musical RENT. For the better part of the next year Constantine electrified audiences nightly, receiving critical praise touring North America and Asia with the show. Remarkably Maroulis kept an understudy bored and waiting in the wings as he never missed a single performance. Moments after taking his bows each night in RENT, Maroulis would race to the local club where he would showcase that versatility by flexing his rock chops nearly every night jamming with an ensemble he assembled or a local band.
Upon completion of the RENT tour, Constantine returned to Manhattan where he busied himself with his rock band by night auditions by day. Bychance, a friend coaxed him into traveling to Washington D.C., this for an audition of a different sort where 10,000 plus hopefuls took their chances to make the cut for the wildly popular television show American Idol. Well, what happened next is the "stuff dreams are made of," eventually Constantine became a finalist, this before a consistent television viewing audience of millions. There he performed everything from Tin Pan Alley standards like "My Funny Valentine," rhythm and blues classics like Otis Redding's "Too Hard To Handle," and the epic stadium rock of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which he would later record when he was personally invited by Queen guitarist Brian May to take part in Hollywood Records Tribute to Queen CD entitled Killer Queen which also featured Gavin Degraw and Joss Stone. In support of that album Maroulis performed the song on a number of shows highlighted by Jay Leno's Tonight Show.
Although the world was shocked when he was eliminated from American Idol Maroulis would ultimately remain one of the most popular and beloved finalists of all time. Soon after that season ended, Maroulis embarked on the traditional sold out summer arena tour for American Idol finalists. This, on the heels of the multi-platinum selling American Idol Season 4 CD where Constantine contributed his moody rendering of "My Funny Valentine." Eventually Maroulis was able to find time to record his own very first solo album simply titled Constantine. A fantastic band of veteran musicians was assembled in order to complete this album, a diverse collection of brand new moody pop tunes that even features some songs penned by Maroulis himself. The critically acclaimed album fared well, debuting high on the Billboard charts and was supported by a series of club tours of the United States.
Ironically, while American Idol would expose Constantine to a new world, he himself was yearned to get back to his theater roots, subsequently doing just that in 2006 when he was cast in his first Broadway leading part, this for a special limited engagement of the Tony nominated musical The Wedding Singer. This was followed by another ensemble piece with the eclectic 1960s off-Broadway gem Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris where Constantine garnered a string of excellent reviews. Spinning off of that run Constantine surprised audiences when he was added to the cast of the classic daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful where a part was written especially for him in the role of Constantine Paros. There he appeared on more that 40 episodes regularly performing material from his self-titled debut album. While Constantine received offers from a wide array of Broadway possibilities, another career defining moment was about to occur. While many of the offers were attractive, Constantine himself had aspirations of breaking a brand new show. With that in mind, Maroulis took a meeting with the producers of a particular 1980s hair metal mix tape musical entitled Rock of Ages, which had tried to ignite interest out of town with limited success. Told by many the musical was a long shot, Maroulis believed in the project and subsequently accepted the lead role. Yet something happened soon after Rock of Ages opened off- Broadway, the magical cast led by Constantine himself would soon start people talking, in no time it debuted on Broadway to critical raves and packed houses nightly. The show itself was honored with a Tony nomination as well as the aforementioned nod to Constantine himself. The cast recording would be released by the New Line Cinema label and topped the musical and soundtrack charts for months. After a riveting year with the show on Broadway, Maroulis took the show on the road where he led the cast on a full North American of sold out performances which included countless television appearances including Jay Leno's Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien, George Lopez to name a few. It all had all truly come full circle for Constantine as one of the most successful American Idol finalists of all time, yet the story doesn't end there. Maroulis' versatility has led to a number of stints as a regular contributor to All Things Fox as well as a number of American Idol related programs such as Fox Reality, Fox News and has hosted shows for Fuse and Yahoo. Maroulis has maintained a great relationship with the producers of American Idol and was recently brought back to appear on their stage where he crooned the classic Righteous Brothers tune "Unchained Melody." Maroulis, the father of a toddler named Malena James has taken fatherhood to heart and merged it with his rock star chops which led him to become the face for Disney's Rock Star Mickey Mouse toy where he was seen in the national television commercial performing the Kinks classic "You Really Got Me." Constantine has consistently made himself available for charitable causes, lending his talents to Broadway Cares, St. Jude's Children's Fund, The Hellenic Scholarship Foundation and the Sarcoma Foundation just to name a few.
In closing, Constantine Maroulis continues to do his thing as a highly sought- after workaholic durable entertainer who consistently delivers. This year has already proven to be another busy year for the charismatic Constantine Maroulis, including a highly touted guest appearance on television's Law & Order: SVU as well as reinventing the lead role in Joe DiPietro (Memphis) penned cult musical The Toxic Avenger, this for a special limited pre-Broadway engagement at Houston's famed theater The Alley. Speaking of reinvention, Maroulis worked diligently with famed Manhattan producers the Neiderlander Organization to create a re-imagined version of Frank Wildhorn's epic musical Jekyll & Hyde. Constantine will co-star with the talented Deborah Cox and embark on a massive 25-week tour before arriving on Broadway in 2013.