Today, as a special corollary column to this weekend's extensive InDepth InterView with Tony-nominated stage and screen star Constantine Maroulis, we are shining a special spotlight on his career trajectory as he has risen up through the ranks to become one of the most successful alumni of AMERICAN IDOL from humble beginnings in the non-Equity tour of RENT to now. Since essaying the role of Roger in that landmark Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical, Constantine has carved out a unique niche in the Broadway landscape as one of most charismatic and compelling performers of rock-based musical theatre, who has also shown considerable skills tackling the more diverse scores of shows such as Jacques Brel IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS, THE WEDDING SINGER, and, now, THE TOXIC AVENGER, co-composed by the Tony-winning team behind MEMPHIS comprised of Bon Jovi's David Bryan and Joe DiPietro. Of course, no Constantine-centric conversation would be complete without a thorough look at his unforgettable turn in the hit 80s rock jukebox musical ROCK OF AGES, the expanded film adaptation of which he will be taking to the big screen later this year, as well. RENT to IDOL to TOXIC AVENGER and beyond, Constantine Maroulis is one of the brightest shining new Broadway stars of the 21st century and it will be a treat to see and hear more from THE TOXIC AVENGER as it sets its sights on the Great White Way - in addition to whatever Constantine does next!
Starting off with the musical moment that set all of America's hearts alight, here is Constantine Maroulis on AMERICAN IDOL performing his signature song, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". When a song meets its ideal interpreter magic can result, and this clip is certainly such a sight - and sound! A true American Idol is born!
Next, check out Constantine doing an emo-ish, stripped-down take on one of Simon Cowell's personal favorite songs, "Unchained Melody" - originally made famous by the Righteous Brothers - with surprisingly effective results!
Following that, sample this funk and R&B-infused iteration of Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine" from that year's AMERICAN IDOL: Broadway Week theme show. While he would prove to be a true Broadway baby in ROCK OF AGES, the roots are evident even here in Constantine's theatrical delivery.
In our final AMERICAN IDOL clip of the day, here is Constantine taking on a song made famous in BATMAN FOREVER by international recording artist Seal - the smash hit "Kiss From A Rose" - infused with ample passion and with pathos to spare.
Moving from the AMERICAN IDOL performances that cemented his place on the entertainment landscape to the Broadway show in which he made his debut: THE WEDDING SINGER and "Single" on THE TODAY SHOW.
Singing a song from his first major theatre gig, here Constantine performs the emotive "One Song Glory" from RENT by Jonathan Larson. Flub or no flub, it's still all-too-fleetingly fabulous!
Also, here is a hilarious version of "Light My Candle" from RENT taken from the same live gig.
Now, hear and see Constantine take on Leonard Cohen's caustic classic rock slow-burner, "Hallelujah".
Continuing on that Biblical theme, witness an impossibly young Constantine as Jesus himself in this regional production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR in which he sings the treacherously tricky Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice anthem "Gethsemane".
Making an equally moving and memorable rock anthem all his own - this one taken from a musical; the punk rock HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY ITCH by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask- here is the thrilling final song, "Midnight Radio". What a Hedwig Constantine must have made onstage in her heels and, of course, that sky-high wig (in or out of the box)!
Here Constantine performs a mash-up of two 80s classic rock songs, Bon Jovi's "Living On A Prayer" and "Wanted Dead Or Alive", with awe-inspiring results.
Check out Kerry Butler and Constantine Maroulis and the cast of ROCK OF AGES on Broadway performing "Don't Stop Believing", originally by Journey, at BROADWAY ON BROADWAY in 2009. As good as the GLEE version is, this is how Broadway does rock one better - and bigger!
Next, we have Constantine and Amy Spanger contributing an affecting "High Enough" (by Damn Yankees) from ROCK OF AGES at the 2009 pre-Tony Awards celebration concert. Which ROCK OF AGES duet pairing do you prefer?
Now, here is a special medley performed by the cast of ROCK OF AGES at the 2009 Tony Awards, where Constantine received a nomination for Best Actor In A Musical.
Taken from a live gig late last year, see and hear Constantine tear loose and rip the New Wave AMERICAN GIGOLO rocker "Call Me" (by Giorgio Moroder and Blondie) apart. Wow!
Lastly, here is the trailer for the forthcoming feature film version of ROCK OF AGES, directed by Adam Shankman, which Constantine appears in alongside stars Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin and Paul Giamatti.
So, which Constantine Maroulis performance on Broadway or on tour has impressed you most? What has been your favorite song of his - whether singing rock, theatre or both - to date? Most importantly, what show or score would you like to see him tackle next? Let's hope TOXIC AVENGER is eventually his ticket to yet another Tony Award nomination - and, this time, a well-deserved win!