Candice

A Dimension Torn Free of the Future: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots at the La Jolla Playhouse

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots at the La Jolla Playhouse

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots at the La Jolla Playhouse

The La Jolla Playhouse‘s Des McAnuff is no stranger to producing big, blockbuster theater. During his previous tenure as the Artistic Director for the Playhouse, he masterminded shows including The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Jersey Boys. Under his leadership, the Playhouse received more than 200 awards.

It’s no surprise then that, after departing in 2007, McAnuff would return to the Playhouse to take on a challenging production: adapting an iconic rock album into a musical stage production. Released in 2002, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed albums by delightfully weird indie rockers The Flaming Lips.

Given the beloved state of the album, not to mention its complex themes of technology and humanity, adapting the album for the stage would seem to be no easy feat, even without having to create the mythical pink robots referenced in the album’s title and songs.  Proving himself up to the challenge, MacAnuff creates an enthralling production that will leave you captivated, awed and perhaps even a little weepy.

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots at the La Jolla Playhouse

Glowing pink robots, both life-sized and larger than life, glide through otherwise stark sets. With the entire stage framed in a luminous white border that mimics a computer screen and impressive tech elements (like projected touch screens and text message-style displays) floating in and out of scenes, viewers find themselves lost somewhere between the present and an imaginary future. Yet the technology and staging are just big enough, never overpowering the underlying humanity of the story, as the actors delicately unfold a tale both tragic and life affirming.

As the writers of the source material, the Flaming Lips should be proud to see what their album has inspired, as what shines through most in Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is the power of song. Using both tracks from the Yoshimi album and other hits from the Flaming Lips’ repertoire, like the “Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” and “Waitin’ for a Superman,” MacAnuff has seamlessly crafted a storyline through song, so much so that there is very little dialogue throughout the show. On stage, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots has done precisely what the best adaptations should do, simultaneously capturing the power of the source material while transforming it into something new, something equally magical in its own way.

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is on stage at the La Jolla Playhouse through Dec. 16, 2012. Don’t miss your chance to see this powerful show!

Courtney

SD Can’t Get Enough of Cygnet Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors

Audrey II is the man-hungry plant in Little Shop of Horrors, on stage now at Cygnet Theatre. Photo by Daren Scott

Cygnet Theatre announced today it is extending the run of Little Shop of Horrors through October 2nd.  The musical, based on a 1960 low budget, B-horror film by the same name, has garnered rave reviews and packed houses since its July 28th debut at the Old Town Theatre.

If you haven’t experienced a performance at Cygnet, Little Shop of Horrors is the perfect introduction to this San Diego gem.  My husband surprised me with tickets to Cygnet’s previous production (Our Town, my all-time favorite play). I was amazed by the incredible home-grown talent on display.  From set-design to the performances themselves, the caliber of a Cygnet production is spectacular and makes for a more enriching night than one spent at home on the couch.  I highly recommend it!

Tickets can be purchased by visiting Cygnet’s website at www.cygnettheatre.com or by calling the box office at 619-337-1525.

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend


1. All month long, 40 museums throughout San Diego are 50% off during San Diego Museum Month! From the San Diego Air & Space Museum to the Oceanside Museum of Art, you can definitely get your culture on. Be sure to pick up your pass at any Macy’s in San Diego County. It’s a great time to try your favorite museum or something new.

2. I love having a three-day weekend; that extra day allows me to do something I wouldn’t normally have time for. This weekend I’m going to the Little Italy Mercato on Saturday (weather please hold up). With over 6,500 farms in San Diego County, there is always plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and other goodies to be found at Farmers Markets.

3. The 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival runs through February 20th. Some of the films playing this weekend include “The Matchmaker” and “Who Do You Love”.

4. Did you know that Friday, February 18th is going to be a full moon? Take a romantic full-moon dinner cruise on a Hornblower yacht and enjoy dinner, champagne, music and dancing under the stars and the beautiful San Diego skyline.

5. One of our staffers recently saw “Superior Donuts” playing at the San Diego Repertory Theatre through March 6. She said it was both a funny and poignant play set in a 1960’s donut shop. Eat before you go, otherwise you may be drooling over the donuts during the show!

Suzzanne

Road Trip Musical “Little Miss Sunshine” Opens at La Jolla Playhouse


Tonight marks the opening of Little Miss Sunshine at the La Jolla Playhouse and I cannot wait to see it! For those who have seen the movie, I’m sure you can see why it looks fantastic. The play is about the Hoover family. Richard, the father, is a floundering motivational speaker, Grandpa’s been kicked out of his retirement home, and Uncle Frank’s been dumped by his boyfriend. Moody teenager Dwayne has taken a vow of silence and overextended mom Sheryl can do little more than slap on a smile. But when the youngest Hoover… energetic Olive, enters a regional children’s beauty pageant, the family thinks their luck could change and embarks on a cross-country trek chasing the coveted title of “Little Miss Sunshine.” The characters were all great, but I especially loved Olive and Grandpa. Who doesn’t love Olive? The ending is what I’m waiting for! I can’t wait to see the choreography and songs inspired by the movie.

The musical starts tonight and plays through March 27th. Interested in winning tickets to the play? The La Jolla Playhouse is running a super fun promotion. You can win tickets by cutting out a picture of the yellow bus and take a photo of it in front of a famous SD landmark (or really, ANYWHERE in San Diego). Post the pictures on La Jolla Playhouse’s Facebook page and encourage people to vote for their favorite photos by clicking the “like” button. The picture with the most “likes” will win a pair of tickets to Little Miss Sunshine.