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For Maroulis, theater career is a `Rock'.

Byline: Richard Duckett


The last time we talked to Constantine Maroulis he was doing pretty well - certainly good enough to pay the rent.

In June, 2004, he had the pivotal role of Roger on a national touring production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical "Rent" which visited the then-Wang Theatre in Boston for an eight-performance run. He also had his own rock band.

However, Maroulis' lease - or rather, contract - with "Rent" was about to expire in a few weeks. He wasn't quite sure if he would be asked to return, much as he loved the show. Doing a theater show and performing in a rock band were both passions of his, he said, and a fond wish would be combining the two.

That's the way we left it. Little did he know that these would be no idle wishes.

Flash forward, and he's back in Boston, considerably more famous, starring in the new national tour of the Tony-nominated musical "Rock of Ages" which is at Colonial Theatre now through Oct. 17. Maroulis plays Drew, an aspiring rocker working as a busboy at a bar/club in the late 1980s. Drew will fall for a girl, and get his big break to be in a band and sing some rock/pop hits from the '80s such as "Waiting for a Girl Like You." Maroulis originated the role on Broadway last year, and is now heading the national tour, which opened last month in Chicago. "I think it's the perfect fit," he said of playing Drew during an interview last week.

But let's return briefly to June 2004. Maroulis didn't have to wait too much longer for the biggest break of his career. In August, he followed the encouragement of an old girlfriend and auditioned for a TV show. "I hadn't seen the show. I figured I needed a job, and it couldn't be that bad."

The show was "American Idol," then at its zenith. Maroulis qualified and ended up finishing sixth, a creditable showing that kept him on TV long enough to develop a following.

"It certainly changed my life," Maroulis said. "I set out to go out and perform from my heart. I don't think many people get to perform live before 30 to 40 million people on television. It was thrilling."

Out of the experience came hoopla and meetings with producers who had ideas for him. One of those meetings was with producers looking to develop a musical called "Rock of Ages."

"And here we are five Tony nominations tater," Maroulis said.

Meanwhile, he's happy to be back in Boston. "I think Boston in the fall is one of the most beautiful places in the world," he said.

Although he's originally from New Jersey, Maroulis really did pay rent living in Boston as a student at the Boston Conservatory.

The school is proud of its alumnus. Maroulis said he will be taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new conservatory facility as well as teaching a master class in acting.

He said that he made quite a few tips to Worcester as a student, and auditioned for summer stock there. He was an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and has been in "Macbeth" (as Malcolm) and "The Grapes of Wrath" (Tom Joad).

Would he like to pursue straight roles and drama in the future?

"Definitely, in fact I have a few projects in development," he said. "I grew up as an actor. I love the classics. I would love to do Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, a new Tom Stoppard."

Tickets for "Rock of Ages" are $33-92. Call Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787.

Calliope Productions of Boylston will open its fall season Oct. 14 with the regional premiere of the British thriller "Prescription for Murder" by Norman Robbins. In the play, Dr. Richard Forth's life in a sleepy Devon village is about to get a rude awakening.

The cast includes Lynne Carroll, Al Dano, Bernard Galvin, Emma Gruttadauria, Linda Oroszko, Carol Vancil and John Wright. Walter Schumacher directs.

"Prescription for Murder" will be presented at 8 p.m. Oct. 14, 15, 16, 22, and 23, and 2 p.m. Oct. 17 and 24 at Calliope Theatre, 150 Main St., Boylston. Tickets are $15; $12 students and seniors.


CUTLINE: Constantine Maroulis, center, stars in "Rock of Ages."
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 7, 2010
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