Monday, April 22, 2024

Idina Menzel’s new musical, Redwood, is a natural

Idina Menzel will star in an original new stage musical titled Redwood, which will premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Variety reports the show, written and directed by Tina Landau, has been 20 years in the making, as Tony winner Menzel began developing the musical two decades ago after being inspired by the real life story of Julia Butterfly Hill, an environmental activist famous who lived in a giant redwood tree in the late 1990s to prevent loggers from cutting it down.

Menzel, best known for her role in Wicked and other Broadway star turns, approached Landau about collaborating on the project, which now tells the story of Jesse (Menzel), a woman who leaves the big city for a cross-country trip to Northern California and finds community and catharsis among the famed and endangered redwoods of California.

“I subscribe to this feeling very often in my life of wanting to just escape,” Menzel told Variety. “I’m more of a recluse than people think I am… I definitely grapple with that a lot in my life, just like, ‘Can I just put it all down and leave and do something different?’”

Menzel elaborated, “What’s so exciting working with Tina is that she definitely knows how…to write for me, but also how to challenge me and to put me in places that are not formulaic or not my typical go-to. It’s opening my vernacular and forcing me to find new colors and places in my voice that I think are just fun, and have different emotional connections for me to the character and hopefully open up different chakras, if you will, for other people when they’re listening.”

In addition to her many projects, Menzel also helms clothing brand Encore by Idina.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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