Flaming Lips Bringing 'Yoshimi' To Life As Musical
The Flaming Lips are known for their outlandish stage shows, which can involve fake blood, mock UFOs, giant bubbles and scores of people jumping around in animal costumes. Now, the group is hoping toThe Flaming Lips are known for their outlandish stage shows, which can involve fake blood, mock UFOs, giant bubbles and scores of people jumping around in animal costumes. Now, the group is hoping to bring that sensibility to Broadway with a musical based on its 2002 album "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
The project will be directed by Des McAnuff, who of late has directed hit productions such as "Jersey Boys," "700 Sundays" and "Urinetown." The script will be penned by Aaron Sorkin, best known for his work on "The West Wing" and "Sports Night."
"I hate to jinx it by thinking it has to be the greatest thing ever. Believe me, I don't truly understand the magnitude of having Des and Aaron Sorkin together," Lips frontman Wayne Coyne tells Billboard.com. "I wouldn't know what it really means. But it just sounds so absurd, it has to be interesting! Even if it doesn't succeed, this is worth pursuing."
Sorkin hadn't even heard the "Yoshimi" album until last month. But after spinning it in his car during a drive back and forth from San Diego to Los Angeles at McAnuff's recommendation, he proclaimed to Coyne, "Well, who is writing this thing? Because I fell in love with it and now I want to write it!"
The project is still at its earliest stages, but Coyne is already feeling his way through how best to contribute. "Every time I say, 'Just do whatever,' they're like, 'No, you've got to tell us,'" he says. "That's where me being an outsider to it may help us stumble upon some things."
"Des loves our stage show," he continues. "We f*ck with the audience quite a bit, throwing balloons and confetti at them. I think he sees all those as being new sorts of Broadway musical ideas. It isn't just this safe thing where you sit out there with your program."
Beyond "Yoshimi" songs, Coyne says the musical will likely encompass music from the Lips albums "The Soft Bulletin" and "At War With the Mystics." "Plus, we'd write some things to connect songs. That all sounds wonderful," he says.