Before Shoshana Bean was officially announced to star as Jenna in Broadway’s Waitress, an old friend texted her to get the details—an old friend who also had a bit of a personal stake in the casting matter.
“He texted me before I got here,” Bean tells Playbill, busting her current co-star, Joey McIntyre. “He was like, ‘Is it true? Are you coming in? This is crazy!’”
Both recently returned to Broadway after a 13-year absence, having shared the stage before in Wicked. McIntyre played Fiyero in 2004 as Bean served as standby for the role of Elphaba, going on numerous times—including for what was scheduled to be Idina Menzel and Joey McIntyre’s final string of performances in January 2005 (the former was forced to bow out early after a now-infamous onstage injury).
Bean describes the reunion as “walking into familiar arms, literally.” She added, “He’s been my rock and my foundation in the show these past couple weeks. You don’t always get the gift of being able to revisit working with somebody, especially in that capacity.”
Speaking of gifts, the New Kid on the Block had a fitting welcome for Bean: “He gave me this beautiful engraved watch for my opening night, and the message of it was, ‘It’s about time,’” evoking not just the years that have passed, but the final image of their last Broadway outing: Elphaba and Fiyero, walking hand in hand through the doors of Wicked’s Time Dragon Clock.
McIntyre will take his final bow at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre April 7, with Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan assuming the role of Dr. Pomatter April 8. He and Bean will appear in the show together through May 12.