Kimiko Glenn, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan & More Join La Jolla Playhouse's YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS; Full Cast Announced!
La Jolla Playhouse announces the cast and creative team for Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, a world-premiere musical featuring a story by The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar), music and lyrics by The Flaming Lips, and direction by Des McAnuff. The show will run November 6 - December 16, 2012 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.
The cast features many returning Playhouse favorites, including Kimiko Glenn (The Nightingale) as "Yoshimi," and several Jesus Christ Superstar alumni: Tom Hewitt (Zhivago, Dracula, The Musical) as "Dr. Peterson," Paul Nolan as "Ben" and ensemble members Mary Antonini, Laurin Padolina, Jaz Sealy, Jason Sermonia and Julius Sermonia. The Playhouse also welcomes back Pearl Sun (The Seven) as "Mrs. Yasukawa" and ensemble member Albert Guerzon (The Wiz).
Seven local actors join the cast, including ensemble members Richard Bulda, LaMae Caparas and Jonny Wexler; swings Chelsea Diggs-Smith (The Nightingale) and Christopher Cortex; and two UC San Diego M.F.A. students: Katie McGehee and Jack Mikesell.
Additional cast members include Nik Walker as "Booker," John Haggerty as "Mr. Yasukawa," and ensemble members Michael Balderrama, Emmanuel Brown, Ian Paget, Vasthy Mompoint, Catherine Ricafort, Vanden Thurgood and Jesse Wildman.
The creative team includes Des McAnuff, Director; Ron Melrose (Jersey Boys, The Wiz), Musical Supervisor; Bradley Rapier (Jesus Christ Superstar), Choreographer; Robert Brill (Jesus Christ Superstar, Creditors, The Wiz), Scenic Designer; Paul Tazewell (Jesus Christ Superstar, Private Fittings), Costume Designer; Michael Walton, Lighting Designer; Steve Canyon Kennedy (Hands on a Hardbody, Jersey Boys), Sound Designer, Sean Nieuwenhuis (Jesus Christ Superstar), Projection Designer; Basil Twist (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dogugaeshi), Puppet Designer; Steve Rankin, Fight Director; and Gabriel Greene, Dramaturg.
"The cast and creative team feature many of our favorite Playhouse alumni: actors Tom Hewitt, Kimiko Glenn and Paul Nolan, designers Robert Brill, Paul Tazewell and puppeteer Basil Twist, in addition to local and student actors in UC San Diego's graduate theatre program," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "With Des' return engagement to The Playhouse to stage this dazzlingly imaginative and technologically trendsetting new musical, this incredible company will bring this wildly theatrical piece to life. As a home dedicated to adventurous new work, La Jolla Playhouse is the perfect place to launch Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
Yoshimi is a young Japanese artist facing the battle of her life: the battle for her life. Adrift from her family and lover, Yoshimi journeys alone into a fantastical robot-world where she wages a war with fate. Her will to survive must be powerful enough to master the evil forces that threaten to destroy her. Inspired by the psychedelic music of Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips, this world premiere musical integrates music from several albums ("Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," "The Soft Bulletin," "At War with the Mystics") with Coyne and multiple Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff's poignant, humanistic story about the triumph of love and optimism over the mystery of our own mortality. The result is stunning, multi-media experience that offers an allegory of our modern battle for progressive thought and individuality in the face of blind acceptance and conformity.
Tickets to Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots are available online at LaJollaPlayhouse.org or by calling The Playhouse Box Office at (858) 550-1010.
The nationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently running Tony Award-winning musicals Memphis and Jersey Boys, as well as Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations and Bonnie & Clyde. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-Art Theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.