Cast Announced For Idina Menzel’s New Musical REDWOOD At La Jolla Playhouse


Idina Menzel | Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Alex Mecklosky
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January 5, 2024 3:15 PM

We are so excited we could MELT! La Jolla Playhouse has announced the cast and creative team for its world-premiere production of Redwood, with book and direction by Tony Award nominee Tina Landau , music by Kate Diaz, lyrics by Diaz and Landau. Conceived by Landau and Tony Award winner Idina Menzel, with additional contributions by Menzel.

Redwood will run February 13th – March 31st, 2024 in the Playhouse’s Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.

In addition to Idina Menzel in the role of “Jesse,” the cast features De’Adre Aziza as “Mel,” Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as “Becca,” Michael Park as “Finn,” and Zachary Noah Piser as “Spencer,” along with understudies Giovanny Diaz de Leon and Lance Arthur Smith.

The Redwood creative team includes Kimberly Grigsby, Music Supervisor; Haley Bennett, Music Director; Jason Ardizzone-West, Scenic Designer; Toni-Leslie James, Costume Designer; Scott Zielinski, Lighting Designer; Jonathan Deans, Sound Designer; Hana S. Kim, Media Designer; Melecio Estrella, BANDALOOP: Vertical Movement and Staging; The Telsey Office, Patrick Goodwin, CSA/Jacole Kitchen, Casting; Lora K. Powell, Stage Manager; Topaz Cooks, Assistant Stage Manager.

“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 Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse.

Broadway legend Idina Menzel makes her La Jolla Playhouse debut in the world premiere of Redwood, a transportive new musical experience about one woman’s journey into the precious and precarious world of the redwood forest. Idina plays Jesse, a successful businesswoman, mother and wife. She seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives…. Thousands of miles later, she hits the ancient forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever. With its deeply personal story, refreshingly contemporary sound, and awe-inspiring design, Redwood explores the lengths – and heights – one travels to find strength, resilience and healing.

For more information click here.

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Alex Mecklosky

As a native New Yorker, Alex has always loved everything involving theatre. With a degree in Theatre and New Media from Marymount Manhattan College, Alex realized that, since he was not talented enough to be on Broadway, the next best thing would be to write about it!