The original 1997-2001 Broadway production of the musical Jekyll & Hyde was certainly not shy about stunt celebrity casting. Musicians Jack Wagner and Sebastian Bach were two of the lead replacements, though none other than actor/musician/lifeguard legend David Hasselhoff was in the lead role at the end of the production’s run.
For the 2013 Broadway revival, the casting of American Idol alum Constantine Maroulis could be seen as a continuation of this casting tradition, except for the fact that Maroulis has made a name for himself on Broadway since making his name on the long-running reality show. After finishing in sixth place on American Idol in 2005, Maroulis avoided the quick burnout fate of many singers who finished at his level on the show by going Broadway. He stepped into his first role in September 2006 when he played Sammy in The Wedding Singer, followed it up with an Off Broadway turn in Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and spent three years in a play practically tailor-made for him, Rock of Ages, which even earned him a Tony nomination. Still, Maroulis knows that some people still see him as a reality show upstart, pointing out to The New York Times, “I know that people want to sort of tear me down. But I’m on the path that I wanted to be on 25 years ago, when I was looking forward to what my career would be like.”
In fact, Maroulis says that he would like to take on roles outside of his rocker persona, but admits that he would be foolish to pass on an opportunity that he was personally selected for by Nick Scandalios, executive vice president of Nederlander Presentations. He explains, “I guess if I was a movie star like Matt Damon and could pick and choose films, that would be different. I am just a working performer. The Nederlanders give you a call, it makes sense to do it, to get back on the road, where I have value.”
Still, he confesses that he hopes for a bit more variety in whatever role comes next, saying, “I’d really love to shave my head and just get back to being a normal actor who doesn’t have to sing rock ’n’ roll.”