Constantine Maroulis, the “American Idol” alum who received a B.F.A from Boston Conservatory and apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the Berkshires, is coming back to town.
Maroulis will be appearing in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Evita,” based on the life of the charismatic Argentine politician Eva Perón. In the show, which runs Sept. 26-Oct. 8, Maroulis plays Che, a character loosely based on notorious Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara.
During his 2005 “American Idol” stint, which really launched his career, Maroulis says Boston was quick to claim him as a native son.
“It’s funny, back then particularly, we would really claim our ‘Idols,’ ” says Maroulis. “So there was a lot of claiming of me then, and I loved it because I love Boston.”
Not counting touring Broadway shows — he was in “Rock of Ages” — “Evita” will be the first local musical Maroulis has appeared in since “American Idol.” He says he’s wanted to work with NSMT for a while, and when director-choreographer Nick Kenkel, whom he’d met in New York, offered him the role, Maroulis was more than happy to say yes.
“I think this is just going to be an exquisite production,” says Maroulis. “Having brainstormed some things with [Kenkel] over the phone, I’m super excited.”
Maroulis is Greek-American and he says some may wonder why he — and not an actor of Argentine descent — is playing Che, but he believes such concerns are unjustified. He cites the prejudice his immigrant grandparents faced upon coming to America.
“Even in the late ’70s, moving to an incredibly white suburb and affluent area, we were treated like terrorists at first . . . so I’m not exactly a loaf of Wonder Bread, either,” says Maroulis. “It’s just a story that we’re telling. I don’t think it’s an issue; I think people are trying to make it an issue.”
His heart may be with the theater these days, but Maroulis still has a lot of affection for “American Idol.” He returned as a mentor and performer during the show’s last season on Fox, and he’d like to be involved with next year’s reboot on ABC.
“I think ABC is the perfect home,” says Maroulis. “I’d love to be even more a part of the production of the new season, because I think I’m like the ultimate big brother, mentor kind of guy. Take it from me, you can’t just think about becoming a pop star and selling millions of records.”