Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Q&A with former Elphaba Shoshana Bean!

Shoshana Bean as Elphaba
You replaced Tony-winner Idina Menzel in the role of Elphaba after a stint as her standby, even going on for her final performance.  Your interpretations of the role were very different from each other as well.  Was it scary for you to take on the responsibility of being the first replacement for such a huge role?

Bean: Yes indeed it was.  She was so incredibly popular for her interpretation and the role was already becoming iconic.  I definitely felt unworthy and terrified of disappointing people.  I tried very hard to honor what she had created so it’s always interesting to me to hear that people think we are so different!  But yes I knew that eventually I would have to make it my own.

After playing the role for a year on Broadway, what were your feelings about departing, and did you know you’d be doing the tour later in the year?

Bean II was definitely strange leaving, I was ready for a break and ready to move on to other ventures but I had identified with and associated myself, almost defined myself by my job and my role for over a year.  So it was a shock to the system for sure.  Had to figure out who I was again without it.  Yes the plan was always for Megan and I to tour briefly to play our home towns.

With a show like Wicked, I imagine it’s impossible not to get to know your Glinda very personally and come away from the show with fantastic friendships.  Are you still close with your Glindas?

Bean: Still close with Megs! (Megan Hilty)

What is the biggest difference for you between building a role and writing a song?  Do you find them to be similar in any way?

Bean:  don’t find them the same at all!  Building a role I bring myself to the table to something that has already been created and is someone else’s words.  Someone else’s dream.  For writing a song it’s all on me.  It’s all mine...from top to bottom.  I guess they are both very vulnerable and expository...but more so songwriting.

Wicked fans are known for their loyalty, do you find that you still have Wicked fans supporting your career to this day?

Bean: I do, gratefully.  The faces change.  Very few original fans from the beginning remain.  But I would say the majority of my fan base has been garnered from Wicked.

Bean's 2013 release, O'Farrell Street



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