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Shoshana Bean opens up about aging in the entertainment industry and working with Alicia Keys

Shoshana Bean talks musical "Hell's Kitchen"
Tony-nominated star Shoshana Bean on collaborating with Alicia Keys on musical "Hell's Kitchen" 05:51

Tony-nominated actress Shoshana Bean is candidly speaking about aging in the entertainment industry and the unique opportunity she had to work with Alicia Keys.

"It's challenging to age in this business, and it was challenging for me to accept, at this stage in my career, finally playing a mother. I just played someone's daughter two years ago, and now I'm playing a mother. It was an arm wrestle with my ego to step into this," Bean said.

Bean is one of the stars of the musical "Hell's Kitchen," which is inspired by the life of Keys, who developed the show. The musical follows Ali, who's yearning for independence from her overprotective mother, played by Bean.

"This isn't your normal mother on Broadway. We're really re-writing some old tired paradigms with these characters."

Bean credits Keys as the "biggest gift of this project," saying she highlighted what's unique about each person involved in the project.

"My favorite thing that she has ever said to me was on a little love note that she left on my makeup station in my dressing room, and she said 'shine unhinged,'" Bean revealed.

"To have someone be like 'Be all of who you are. You have my full permission to be maybe more than you even know that you are.' So to have that kind of permission is rare, and it's special."

The musical, which began off-Broadway, has 13 Tony nominations – including one for "Best Musical." Bean said there was apprehension as performers transitioned from an off-Broadway show to Broadway.

"The danger and the fear always, when you transfer from a small intimate space to a house like the Shubert (Theatre), is 'what are we going to lose? What heart are we going to lose? What intimacy? What are we missing?'" she explained. "Weirdly, I feel like our show did the opposite of what often happens, and I feel like it, this space almost, it galvanized us in a really incredible way."

Bean credits the cast and crew relationships off stage with the seamless transition.

"It's just stayed very human and grounded, where things have a tendency to get very largely theatrical, especially in a bigger space."

The cast album comes out June 7. The 77th annual Tony Awards will air at 8 p.m. EST on June 16 on CBS and Paramount +.

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