February 7, 2013

‘Jekyll & Hyde’ star looks at life’s duality

Posted in Between Us column, Entertainment at 6:10 pm by dinaheng

The publicity shots for “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical” promise a dark, romantic and sexy show. Constantine Maroulis, who plays Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde, promises the show will rock you.

Maroulis, who made audiences swoon on the fourth season of “American Idol,” should know. After all, he played the lead role of Drew in a three-year run of “Rock of Ages” on Broadway, garnering a Best Actor Tony® nomination for his performance.Dinah Eng

The actor is now starring in the national tour of “Jekyll & Hyde,” a revival of the 1990s musical, that opens at The Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles on February 12 and runs through March 3 before heading to Broadway for a limited engagement in April.

The show, based on the novella ,“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, has been revised yet again under the direction of Jeff Calhoun, who’s helmed such hits on Broadway as “Newsies,” “9 to 5,” and the 1994 revival of “Grease.”

“Jeff has put so much work into a fresh version of this show,” Maroulis says. “I never saw the original, but I read the original script and other versions. They’ve developed my character more, and the orchestrations cater to my strength, bringing an edge to the show. It’s Victorian, but modern.”

In the show, Dr. Henry Jekyll tries to find a cure for his father’s mental illness by trying to separate the natures of good and evil, which are found in everyone. Experimenting on himself, he unleashes his evil other side, Edward Hyde, who has eyes for the prostitute Lucy, played by Grammy Award® nominee and multi-platinum selling recording artist Deborah Cox.

Constantine Maroulis stars in "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: The Musical." Photo by Chris Bennion Photo.

Constantine Maroulis stars in “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: The Musical.” Photo by Chris Bennion Photo.

“Everyone can relate to the duality of man, good and evil,” Maroulis says. “We all have that hidden character within us, a layer of darkness. On the whole, we don’t act on those feelings and emotions, but it makes us interesting as a human race.”

Maroulis says Jekyll and Hyde was among the first characters to inspire the creation of more modern superheroes.

“Batman, Superman, the Incredible Hulk are all rooted in Stevenson’s original story,” he says. “I have a beast of a role. Henry’s an earnest and complex individual. Some are jealous of his intellect and forward thinking. I try to relate Henry to my personal experiences with my father and my family.”

He shares that his father, who has grappled with ill health for a long time, instilled a strong work ethic in him as a child.

“I’ve always tried to do great work,” Maroulis says. “People know me as having a bit of rock ‘n’ roll flair with what I do. But in this show, I also apply my classical training as a tenor to the songs. Bringing this title across the country and a new buzz to ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ is great fun.”

For more information on “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical,” check out http://www.jekyllandhydemusical.com/.

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