Idina Menzel Stars in World Premiere of Redwood Musical Beginning February 13 | Playbill

Regional News Idina Menzel Stars in World Premiere of Redwood Musical Beginning February 13

Tina Landau directs the new work, which she conceived with Wicked Tony winner Menzel.

Idina Menzel Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The La Jolla Playhouse world premiere of the new musical Redwood plays the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre February 13-March 31. Tony nominee Tina Landau, who penned the book and co-wrote the lyrics, also directs.

Wicked Tony winner Idina Menzel—who conceived the project with director Landau—heads the cast in the role of Jesse, joined by Tony nominee De'Adre Aziza (Passing Strange) as Mel, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Tina) as Becca, Michael Park (Dear Evan Hansen) as Finn, and Zachary Noah Piser (Dear Evan Hansen) as Spencer, along with understudies Giovanny Diaz de Leon, Lance Arthur Smith, and Aja Simone Baitey.

Redwood, with a book by Landau, music by Kate Diaz, lyrics by Diaz and Landau, and additional contributions by Menzel, casts the Tony winner as Jesse, a successful businesswoman, mother, and wife who seems to have it all—although her heart is broken. At a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone behind, gets in her car, and drives to the ancient forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever.

The creative team also includes music supervisor Kimberly Grigsby, music director Haley Bennett, orchestrator and arranger Kate Diaz, scenic designer Jason Ardizzone-West, costume designer Toni-Leslie James, lighting designer Scott Zielinski, sound designer Jonathan Deans, and media designer Hana S. Kim with vertical movement and staging by Melecio Estrella/BANDALOOP. Casting is by The Telsey Office's Patrick Goodwin and Jacole Kitchen.

The stage manager is Lora K. Powell, and the assistant stage manager is Topaz Cooks.

“What an absolute thrill to cap off our 2023-2024 season with this riveting new musical. The Playhouse has been developing Redwood for several years, working with the dynamo team of Tina Landau, Kate Diaz, and Idina Menzel—each a visionary artist in her own right—to create an extraordinary work that overflows with invention, inspiration, and empathy,” said La Jolla Playhouse Rich Family Artistic Director Christopher Ashley in an earlier statement.


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