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."