The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Hits Broadway!

The Flaming Lips’ <i>Yoshimi</i> Hits Broadway!
Hear that? That’s the sound of one million Flaming Lips fans smiling their faces off. Entertainment Weekly reports that lead Lip Wayne Coyne has confirmed that West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin has signed on to write the script for a stage version of the band’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots album.

According to Coyne, plans are still sketchy, but the big-name scriptwriter is on board. "Maybe that means they’ll need to build a stage with lots of hallways on it. It will be a giant tube that’s always moving!”

Also attached to the production is Tony Award-winning director/producer Des McAnuff, who has worked on successes such as Jersey Boys and Tommy. Coyne admitted that McAnuff is a big fan of the record, and approached the band about bringing an adaptation to the stage. "'When Des heard the record, he heard a lot about death and loss and the triumph of your own optimism... he had an emotional attachment to it,” said Coyne.

McAnuff was actually the one to rope in Sorkin for the project, after directing Sorkin’s play The Farnsworth Invention. Coyne said that Emmy-winning scribe became inspired after listening to the album on a road trip, and then signed on to write a book version of the musical.

As for what he thinks of the musical, Coyne humbly told EW that the album isn’t actually as much of a narrative as people think it is. "'I tell people all the time, it’s not really a story. It’s more like a mood. There’s a Japanese girl; she fights some robots; that’s five minutes. After that I don’t know.”

Pushed to an explanation, Coyne admitted, "There’s the real world and then there’s this fantastical world. This girl, the Yoshimi character, is dying of something. And these two guys are battling to come visit her in the hospital. And as one of the boyfriends envisions trying to save the girl, he enters this other dimension where Yoshimi is this Japanese warrior and the pink robots are an incarnation of her disease. It’s almost like the disease has to win in order for her soul to survive. Or something like that.”

No release date, or even plot specifications have been decided, so who knows when this will actually hit Broadway. Let’s just hope it doesn’t receive the same attention as the Lips’ big screen project, the ever-delayed Christmas On Mars.