Shoshana Bean Admits It Was a Challenge 'On an Ego Level' to Play a Mom in Hell's Kitchen | Playbill

Tony Awards Shoshana Bean Admits It Was a Challenge 'On an Ego Level' to Play a Mom in Hell's Kitchen

Bean is up for Best Featured Actress at the 2024 Tony Awards for her performance in the Alicia Keys jukebox musical.

Shoshana Bean Heather Gershonowitz

Two-time Tony Award nominee Shoshana Bean is up for Best Featured Actress at this year's awards for her performance as Jersey in Hell's Kitchen. While the skilled actor has been working on Broadway since 2000, she says her performance in the Alicia Keys musical is no easy feat. 

"This role has challenged me a lot in a lot of different ways," Bean says. "I think initially, it challenged me on an ego level to [play] a mom, all of a sudden. I just played someone's kid. So as a woman of a certain age, it really is a strange moment in time to transition into playing a mom, and I have somehow managed to skirt by all of these years without playing anybody's mom...And then it's always challenging navigating supporting roles, because I'm used to getting on the train and driving it for the entire journey. You sort of pop in and out as a supporting character, so that creates a whole other level of challenges."

Bean made her Broadway debut as a performer in the one-night-only tribute concert First You Dream: A Tribute to Courage, and performed in the ensemble of the 2001 Dreamgirls concert the following year. The actor became a fan favorite with celebrated Broadway performances like Elphaba in Wicked and Jenna in Waitress, and received her first Tony Award nomination for playing Susan Young in Mr. Saturday Night

Bean originated the role of Jersey in Hell's Kitchen's 2023 Off-Broadway premiere at The Public Theater. As the musical has developed over time, Bean says she has found increased comfort in her role.

"I've questioned myself as an artist, I've questioned whether or not I'm the right person to be in the show in this role at times as well," Bean says. "When we got working on the Broadway production, everything just started feeling so good, and so right, and it all made sense. It all became...I'm going to use the word easy, not because it's without work, but because there's an ease to it, it just sort of started to settle in and I started to metabolize it a little bit. So once we were in previews and started moving and opening, I just felt really proud of what we were doing on stage...the nomination just feels like a lovely acknowledgement of that. But it makes me the happiest to know that I felt that from the inside already, and this is just external acknowledgement of that. That, to me, is fulfillment." 

READ: Shoshana Bean and Maleah Joi Moon Fearlessly Lead the Alicia Keys Musical

Winners will be named at the 77th Annual Tony Awards, set for June 16 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater. The evening will kick off with The Tony Awards: Act One, streaming for free on Pluto TV. Details are to be announced. The 77th Annual Tony Awards will follow beginning at 8 PM ET, broadcasting live on CBS (check local listings) and streaming live (for premium-level subscribers) via Paramount+. All Paramount+ subscribers will have on demand access to the broadcast beginning June 17. Stage and screen star Ariana DeBose will be back for the third consecutive year to host.

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Photos: Meet The 2024 Tony Award Nominees

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