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Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla- Page 2

Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla

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BroadwayBaby6
#25Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/19/24 at 2:30pm

I saw the shows in previews. It's a mixed bag. The creative staging and the cast are all wonderful. Idina does not disappoint. The show's book is well written and moving. The music is monotonous and lacks melody but it is beautifully orchestrated. I can definitely see this show going off-Broadway. It has a small cast, a small band and easily replicated sets.


"It does what a musical is supposed to do; it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune to carry in your head. Something to take you away from the dreary horrors of the real world. A little something for when you're feeling blue. You know?"

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inception
#26Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/21/24 at 9:48pm

Found this photo in Google reviews of La Jolla Playhouse.   They must be using a lot of projections?

Will Menzel & Chenoweth have competing shows on Broadway in Fall 2024?

 

Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla


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Updated On: 2/21/24 at 09:48 PM

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BrodyFosse123
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IdinaBellFoster
#28Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/22/24 at 12:52am

Haven’t seen the show any won’t unless it transfers to New York, but you have to respect Idina’s commitment to new material. Each time she has originated a role on or off Broadway it’s been an original role, with a different composer or writer each time.


"Oh look at the time, three more intelligent plays just closed and THE ADDAMS FAMILY made another million dollars" -Jackie Hoffman, Broadway.com Audience Awards

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veronicamae
#29Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/25/24 at 9:37pm

Have now seen it twice. I'm terrible at reviewing shows [despite being allowed to do it regionally for this website years ago lol] but I'd be happy to answer any questions!

Some points:

  • 2 hours, no intermission
  • Idina does climb a tree. There's even some climb-ography.
    • The other leads climb it a LOT; so much work!
  • The projection work was insane; the photo posted previously is accurate - the entire stage is empty save for projections and the redwood tree (which is on a turntable with its backside being - you guessed it - a screen).
  • It's a show about processing grief.
  • Idina has a couple of big songs (and some smaller ensemble numbers and a ballad duet)
  • The entire supporting cast - the other 4 in the show - are all wonderful.

p.s. we had dinner at Puesto because there's nothing immediately around the Playhouse due to its on-campus location but Ubers are very cheap - $15, 10 minutes away, etc.

Ensemble1709147658
#30Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/28/24 at 7:26pm

veronicamae said: "Have now seen it twice. I'm terrible at reviewing shows [despite being allowed to do it regionally for this website years ago lol] but I'd behappy to answer any questions!

Some points:

  • 2 hours, no intermission
  • Idina does climb a tree. There's even some climb-ography.
    • The other leads climb it a LOT; so much work!
  • The projection work was insane; the photo posted previously is accurate - the entire stage is empty save for projections and the redwood tree (which is on a turntable with its backside being - you guessed it - a screen).
  • It's a show about processing grief.
  • Idina has a couple of big songs (and some smaller ensemble numbers and a ballad duet)
  • The entire supporting cast - the other 4 in the show - are all wonderful.

p.s. we had dinner at Puesto because there's nothing immediately around the Playhouse due to its on-campus location but Ubers are very cheap - $15, 10 minutes away, etc."

Hello. Thanks for your information. How was it in general? I have read some good reviews and others mixed, from critics. But on social media I have read excellent reviews from people who have gone to see the musical, it seems like they have really enjoyed it. Do you think they will take this work to Broadway? I really hope so, since it would be my only chance to see it. Lastly, how was Idina? Regarding her acting and singing.  Thanks a lot.

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emo_geek
#31Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/28/24 at 7:30pm

Thanks for the info! Are front row seats a problem? Will they be able to take in all the projections? 


"I never had theatre producers run after me. Some people want to make more Broadway shows out of movies. But Elliot and I aren't going to do Batman: The Musical." - Julie Taymor 1999

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veronicamae
#32Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/28/24 at 7:41pm

emo_geek said: "Thanks for the info! Are front row seats a problem? Will they be able to take in all the projections?"

Front row makes it seem like you are IN THE SHOW. Some floor projects are perhaps a bit harder to see but you really won't miss anything.

The show is incredibly intimate and moving. Idina's singing is A+ - show was written with/by/for her so the songs are right where she needs them to be. I won't really offer more than that as I'm incredibly biased. It's her show. She's been ideating on it for 15 years. The passion is palpable.

WindyNewYorker
#33Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/28/24 at 9:27pm

Curious to learn the instrumentation of this new musical.

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veronicamae
#34Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/28/24 at 9:31pm

WindyNewYorker said: "Curious to learn the instrumentation of this new musical."

Per the program - keys, drums, guitar, violin/viola, cello/bass - 5 people in the band, plus a good bit of electronic music (not the genre; like - pre-recorded/computer-generated/composer sat a computer and made music).

Updated On: 2/28/24 at 09:31 PM

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Call_me_jorge
#35Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/28/24 at 10:05pm

Does she have an understudy?


In our millions, in our billions, we are most powerful when we stand together. TW4C unwaveringly joins the worldwide masses, for we know our liberation is inseparably bound. Signed, Theater Workers for a Ceasefire https://theaterworkersforaceasefire.com/statement

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veronicamae
#36Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/29/24 at 1:13am

Call_me_jorge said: "Does she have an understudy?"

Nope.

She also has 6 solos; I said "a couple big songs" so just wanted to clarify - two of them rafter-shaking (literally; the sound design makes the walls/floor/seats rumble).

Realizing folks might appreciate the info from the program - title page, cast/creative, and song list are viewable HERE.

Updated On: 2/29/24 at 01:13 AM

BoringBoredBoard40
#37Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 2/29/24 at 2:42am

This is aiming for Broadway next season, Eva Price is enhancing the La Jolla run

Ensemble1709147658
#38Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/4/24 at 6:50pm

Forbes review is great

I can't wait for this show to hit Broadway (finger crossed).

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Broadway Flash
#39Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/4/24 at 9:29pm

Enhancing it how?  It’s literally the smallest musical ever.  If this comes to Broadway, this should go to the booth or circle in the square or something very small. 

Ensemble1704909160
#40Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/5/24 at 12:39pm

I saw it this weekend. Idina was so insanely incredible, and it was so interesting to hear her take on a much more pop/electronic-based score. The overall musical vibe was similar to WILD: A Musical Becoming at ART, dare I say SIA or Olivia Rodrigo adjacent, but something about this worked a lot more than whatever WILD was trying to be. 

I was nervous about the projections and whether they would come off as cheap, but they added so much without feeling gimmicky. Extending out into the house, the projections moved with Idina's body at various points in the show. If she moved her head in a direction, the projections also pivoted.

It was an incredible show, but I am not sure that Broadway should be the next step for this. It's much more emotionally raw, and I fear that the intimacy that is so special about this production would be lost in a more traditional house. It's really about the experience of sitting in an emotionally fragile state and not so much about the plot or the songs. 

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inception
#41Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/6/24 at 12:59am

Good lord!  This show is so ridiculous. 

Yes Idina Menzel gets suspended in a tree; but the real work is being done by the audience who has to suspend belief for two hours.  The plot is predicated upon some highly intelligent scientists just letting some crazy woman undergoing an emotional breakdown join them on their highly dangerous research work, despite the chance that it could jeopardize their careers should anything happen.  And then of course the worst does happen, which gives Menzel the opportunity to sing an overblown ballad.  But since this a show, there are no repercussions, & everyone learns a heartwarming life lesson.  It's just so ridiculous and cheesey.

Everyone who hated If/Then will hate this just as much.

But people who just want to see Menzel going all out & just giving it, and who can turn off the logical side of their brain, will have a ball.

Anyone who wants something to think about will probably hate this.

If it goes to Broadway hopefully they've kept the production cheap enough that they can make money with a limited run.

I thought the music was very folksy, maybe Country Westerny? even while using some electronic music.

The set will work just fine in a Broadway house.  Maybe because the seating here is stadium style, it reminded me almost of an Imax screen.  It works well.  This is how you use projections, much better than the lazy use of them for The Wiz.

I had to stifle so many laughs at moments that were supposed to be serious tonight.  And I'm going back tomorrow night.

 


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Updated On: 3/6/24 at 12:59 AM

Claudia Draper
#42Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/6/24 at 9:45am

I saw If/Then 11 times (DC and NYC) so I will love this.  We are always starting over.  IDINA !!

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veronicamae
#43Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/6/24 at 2:25pm

Having to suspend disbelief watching musical theatre? The nerve!! laugh

I had to laugh, but hey - to each their own and art is subjective!

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inception
#44Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:07am

On a second viewing I knew what I was getting into, so could better appreciate the good parts.  Menzel gives a strong performance as do the rest of the cast.  She isn't a diva demanding all the attention - all the cast have songs that really let them soar. 

But the hippy dippy tree professor's number "a Little But Wild" is so bad, they need to come with something better there. 

The show is a zippy 115 minutes, but there so many little moments & one off lines that are so f-ing cringe - someone needs to go through this with a scalpel & cut cut cut.
I can't say much more without SPOILERS. 
 

 
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But is there really a need to pay Jay-Z & Beyonce royalties for 30 seconds of music in order to show that someone had potential as a rapper?  Is that even what that brief scene does?  If someone had abilities, do they show that by spouting someone else's music?  Write the son his own original rap number. 

Also do you need to pay royalties for the TV theme song of Maude?  Used as a transition into a scene where Menzel's character is in her hotel room watching YouTube, Menzel lipsynchs to the 50 year old sitcom's opening music.  Why?????  Just cut it.  You can change the scene simpler and without being so cringey.  No one younger than me will even know what the heck Maude even is. 

Finally what bothered me most was the almost throw away use of fentanyl poisoning.  The show isn't about that issue, & doesn't really address that crisis.  The show is about dealing with grief.   The death could have just as easily have been from an auto accident or something random.  That they make the son's death from a drug overdose, but then aren't really interested in any of the issues that families affected by addiction deal with felt like such a facile way to attempt to be topical.  Addressing issues of addiction, or how parents deal with children who are addicts, would make for a more interesting show; and perhaps if it were grounded more in that reality the less credible aspects of the plot would seem more reasonable. 

 


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inception
#45Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/7/24 at 11:31am

One more thing I have get off my chest before I drive back up to LA this morning

 
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Why is the frigging hippy dippy tree professor guy doing cartwheels in the forest?  This isn't some national park with groomed trails.   This is supposed to be a wild forest.   If you're doing cartwheels in the forest your going to hit a tree and break your leg or something. 

The first night it just came out of the blue.  The second night as I watched the actor while he was singing I could see him preparing himself thinking  "ok I gotta do cartwheels in 5,4,3,2,1"

I know they want to make the number lively, but it is just so bad.  Just cut it.

 


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Updated On: 3/7/24 at 11:31 AM

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veronicamae
#46Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/19/24 at 1:33pm

They've released a live recording of "Great Escape"!

 

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Broadway Flash
#47Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/19/24 at 6:02pm

Wow what an amazing song. Its nice and simple, but feels profound, good melody, absolutely love it. 

VintageSnarker
#48Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/19/24 at 7:49pm

Does this melody sound incredibly familiar to anyone else? I can't place it but I know I've heard something like this before.

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Broadway Flash
#49Idina Menzel to star in new stage musical REDWOOD at La Jolla
Posted: 3/19/24 at 8:13pm

It reminded me of Never enough from the greatest showman.   It also sounds like Adele. 


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