Shoshana Elise Bean (born September 1, 1977) is a Jewish American stage actress and singer known for her roles in Broadway musicals during the 2000s. She is best known for playing Elphaba on Broadway in the musical Wicked.


Early life

Bean was born in Olympia, Washington and grew up in Beaverton, Oregon. There she graduated from Beaverton High School. Bean studied voice, dance, and songwriting from an early age. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).


Shortly after moving to New York City, she was cast in the Off-Broadway revival of Godspell. Bean subsequently performed in the national tour of Leader of the Pack. She was also an original cast member in the Tony Award-winning production of Broadway's Hairspray, originating the role of Shelley and understudying the roles of Tracy Turnblad, Velma Von Tussle, and Prudy Pingleton. During this time she was also a member of the Broadway Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir.

In 2001, Shoshana sang back-up for Michael Jackson's 30th anniversary concert celebration at Madison Square Garden. Performers at the legendary two-night event included: Luther Vandross, Usher, Gloria Estefan, Destiny's Child, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Jill Scott, The Jackson 5, Britney Spears, 'N Sync, and many others.

Bean's biggest claim to fame came in 2005, when she became the first replacement for Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel in the Broadway production of Wicked. Originally cast as Menzel's standby, Bean officially took over the role of Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) on January 11, 2005. She actually began performing the lead role full-time on January 8, after Idina Menzel suffered serious injuries during the second act and had to be rushed to the hospital. After a 45-minute hold-up, Bean stepped in to finish the show and also played Elphaba the next day, in what would have been Menzel's final performance. Menzel made an out-of-costume surprise appearance during the finale. Bean's successful year-long run in the lead role concluded on January 8, 2006 and she was replaced by Idina Menzel's original standby, Eden Espinosa.

During her run in Wicked, Shoshana made appearances on MTV's Made, Soul Train Christmas Starfest, and performed alongside Brian McKnight to honor Aretha Franklin at the 2005 Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.

Bean reprised the role of Elphaba in the national tour of Wicked for a brief run in the fall of 2006, beginning September 6, 2006. She was joined by former co-star Megan Hilty. Bean departed the touring cast on December 31, 2006 and was succeeded by Victoria Matlock. Since leaving Wicked, Bean has recorded background vocals for the film soundtracks to Hairspray, Enchanted and The Wayans Brothers' Dance Flick. Bean and Hilty also began performing a variety show together called The Meg an' Sho Show. They often perform a "Wicked swap", in which Bean sings a medley of Glinda's songs and Hilty sings Elphaba's.

Bean spent time in Los Angeles, California, after the release of her debut album, Superhero, which debuted on December 2, 2008.[1]. The first single, also entitled "Superhero", launched October 3, 2008 on iTunes, and was used to promote NBC's Monday night line-up in the fall of 2008. As a singer-songwriter her work has also been featured on MTV's The Hills.

In December 2008, she performed at the Kennedy Center in a short run of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber.

In May 2009, Bean starred as the Narrator in the Pittsburgh CLO production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and following her run in Pittsburgh, she performed at the Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles to kick off L.A.'s Gay Pride weekend. Bean sang both the music of her idol Barbra Streisand, as well as her own original material from her album.[2]

In June 2009, she joined the new production of Peepshow in Las Vegas alongside Holly Madison.[3] Her three-month contract lasted through September, when she was replaced by Aubrey O'Day[4]. Shoshana can be seen in an episode of The Girls Next Door as the girls (Kristina and Karissa Shannon and Crystal Harris) go to see Madison in the show. Also in June, her voice could be heard singing the jingle in a national Tide detergent commercial.

In September 2009, she was featured on an episode of the popular web show The Battery's Down.[5]


  • School House Rock: Earth (2009) Featured on the song "Tiny Urban Zoo"
  • Dance Flick (2009)
  • Superhero (2008) Solo Studio Album
  • Matt Cusson (2008) Featured on the song "Could"
  • 37 Notebooks (2008) Featured on the song "House of Love"
  • Enchanted (2008 Movie Soundtrack)
  • Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan (2007) Featured on the song "Home"
  • Hairspray (2007 Movie Soundtrack)
  • Hair (2005 Actor's Fund Benefit Recording) Featured on the song "I Believe in Love"
  • Hairspray (2002 Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  • Godspell (2001 Off- Broadway Revival Cast Recording)


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Shoshana Bean. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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