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Flaming Lips CD spawns musical

March 23, 2007|Diane Haithman

Screenwriter-playwright Aaron Sorkin, creator of TV's "The West Wing" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," will team with La Jolla Playhouse's outgoing artistic director, Des McAnuff, and Flaming Lips band member Wayne Coyne to create a stage musical based on the Flaming Lips' 10th album, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," which tells the story of fictional character Yoshimi's battle against evil.

McAnuff, who directed the Tony-winning musicals "The Who's Tommy," "Big River" and "Jersey Boys" pre-Broadway at the Playhouse, said Thursday that he was a longtime Flaming Lips fan and had launched discussions of the musical with Coyne before mentioning it to Sorkin, whose play "The Farnsworth Invention" is currently on stage at La Jolla Playhouse.

"I told Aaron about it at a cocktail party, and he said, 'I'd really like to write that for you,' " McAnuff said. Although the creative team has not come up with a story line, McAnuff said the album "is similar to the work of Pete Townshend on 'Tommy' -- there is an openness to the album to invent a story."

McAnuff said the production did not have a producer and "we're not ready to say" where the musical will be developed.

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