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Weekend Preview: ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ And New Restaurants

Des McAnuff, the director of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" at La Jolla Playhouse, talks to KPBS.

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From new plays to new restaurants, there is much to look forward to for many weekends to come. U-T San Diego theater critic, Jim Hebert, and San Diego Magazine food critic, Troy Johnson, share their insights on what's new in local theater and dining.

The much-anticipated world-premiere musical, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” inspired by eclectic rockers The Flaming Lips' 2002 album of the same name, begins previews November 6 at the La Jolla Playhouse. Hebert recently spoke with Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley, who says "Yoshimi" is the "most technically complex production the theater has undertaken since he arrived five years ago," incorporating a 17-foot-tall robot and extensive video projections. Des McAnuff (former Playhouse artistic director) returns to La Jolla to direct, working with the band’s lead singer Wayne Coyne. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" runs through December 16 at La Jolla Playhouse. (Learn more about the production.)

Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe recently completed a multimillion-dollar remodel, including a major makeover for its signature restaurant, Veladora—from new interiors, including an original artwork by international art-star Damien Hirst, to a new menu featuring local, organic and seasonal cuisine. There's also a new equestrian-themed bar, the Pony Room, offering (among many other libations) Prosecco on draft, wine on tap and more than 100 tequilas.

Back by popular demand, the San Diego Repertory Theatre is restaging "A Hammer, A Bell and A Song to Sing," inspired by the life of American folk singer Pete Seeger. The Rep previously staged this as a workshop piece earlier this year, but this time around, it's a new full production. Written and directed by Todd Salovey, the play features 25 songs that chart the history of protest music in the U.S.—and audience sing-along participation is highly encouraged. “A Hammer, a Bell and a Song to Sing” begins previews November 3 and runs through December 2 at the San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Theater in downtown San Diego. (Read more about the Rep's workshop production staged earlier this year.)

And although you can't dine at these restaurants this weekend, you can whet your appetite with some local food news about tasty things to come. Troy Johnson, food critic at San Diego Magazine, has the inside scoop on several new restaurants that will be opening over the next few months:

  • South Park will be getting a new wood-fired pizza place, Buona Forchetta, set to open at the end of November, on Beech and 30th streets.
  • Cucina Urbana, the popular restaurant-meets-wine shop in Bankers Hill, will be opening a spinoff in Del Mar, Cucina Enoteca, set to open in spring/summer 2013.
  • Hash House A Go Go/Tractor Room owner Johnny Rivera will be taking over Brian's American Eatery in Hillcrest, with plans to open his own "Euro dinette." (Learn more.)
  • Tender Greens recently expanded to UTC and will be adding another location downtown, located in the former Greyhound station on Broadway.
  • Former "Next Food Network Star," Chef Kevin Roberts, is opening a new downtown sushi spot—Kamikaze 7 Sushi Joint—that will feature 15 different types of sake bombs, Quentin Tarantino-inspired interior design and a scorpion roll with "actual ground-up scorpion."


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