La Jolla Playhouse had announced the cast and creative team for its world-premiere production of Redwood, with book and direction by Tony Award nominee Tina Landau (SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical), music by Kate Diaz, and lyrics by Diaz and Landau. Conceived by Landau and Tony Award winner Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked), with additional contributions by Menzel, Redwood will run February 13-March 31 in the Playhouse’s Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.
In addition to Menzel in the role of Jesse, the cast features De’Adre Aziza (Passing Strange) as Mel, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) 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 and Lance Arthur Smith.
The Redwood creative team includes music supervisor Kimberly Grigsby, music director Haley Bennett, scenic designer Jason Ardizzone-West, costume designer Toni-Leslie James, lighting designer Scott Zielinski, sound designer Jonathan Deans, and media designer Hana S. Kim. Vertical movement and staging is by Melecio Estrella of BANDALOOP.
Redwood is about one woman’s journey into the precious and precarious world of the redwood forest. Jesse is a successful businesswoman, mother and wife who seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind and drives thousands of miles to the ancient forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever.