The stage version of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, talked about for nearly a decade now, is finally being realized. Based on the Flaming Lips’ sublime 2002 album of the same name, the Des McAnuff musical is set to make its world premiere in November or December of this year. It is to be the final production of La Jolla Playhouse’s coming season, the California theatre company announced on Wednesday.
The multimedia musical is written and directed by theatre’s director emeritus McAnuff ( Jesus Christ Superstar, Jersey Boys), with music and lyrics by the Flaming Lips. The story involves a young Japanese artist (Yoshimi) who journeys into a fantastical robot-world where she wages, on her own, a war with fate. The Flaming Lips album is marked by rapturous, psychedelic sounds and euphoric sentiments, and includes the centrepiece song Do You Realize?
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is the latest in a short list of albums transformed for the stage, including The Who’s Tommy and Green Day’s American Idiot. The latter rock opera made its Canadian premiere late last year at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
McAnuff is currently in charge of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. He is scheduled to leave the Ontario-based festival at the end of the 2012 season.