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Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Brought the Sexy Back to The Carolina Theatre of Durham on Dec. 5th

Isabella Rossellini will present Green Porno live at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5th, at The Carolina Theatre of Durham

Isabella Rossellini presented Green Porno live on Saturday, Dec. 5th, at The Carolina Theatre of Durham

Last Saturday night, when Italian actress/model/filmmaker/author Isabella Rossellini walked onto the stage at The Carolina Theatre of Durham to launch into Isabella Rossellini presenting Green Porno, a live version of the videos that she’s been creating for the Sundance TV for the past, those in the audience unfamiliar with the award-winning online series didn’t know what to expect. After all, what could the show’s title (Green Porno) reference? Food porn? Nature-colored sex?

The audience soon learns that Rossellini approaches her subject of nature’s sexualities with sass, verve, and a sense of comic styling, they feel embraced by the 63-year-old daughter of Academy Award® winning actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini.

The show is based upon the videos that Rossellini created and that she produced with Jody Shapiro and Rick Gilbert. In 2008, the first videos were aired on Sundance TV; and the eyebrow-raising topic of animal mating behavior was a cutting-edge series that appealed to viewers and critics alike.

The following year, the series and Isabella Rossellini herself won several Webbys (the award given to online films/videos). Rossellini admits to conducting an unending amount of research in order to work a storyline for a new video, but the piece she brings to the show is her sense of humor and irreverence.

Rossellini’s severely cut black hair and full-length, long-sleeved black dress, accented only by a long double-stringed set of pearls, allows her to blend into the set (and to hide several other outfits underneath). Her announcement that “Tonight, we’re going to talk about sex” is followed closely by the admission that she’s been fascinated by animals since she was a little girl and returned to school to study the subject.

That announcement opens the door for a number of subjects that bring shocked and delighted laughter from the full house at the Carolina: the size of penises (the blue whale’s is the largest, Rossellini tells the audience, but the size of the being truly doesn’t matter, because there are many insects/animals whose penis size is much larger than the whales — when compared to the size of their bodies); different types of sexual gender (hermaphrodite, homosexual, transvestite); and examples of ugly or unusual sexual acts (the female praying mantis bites off the male’s head during copulation) .

Isabella Rossellini’s short films that accompany her lecture are cartoonish, all starring Rossellini herself. Throughout the lecture, she switches costumes, removing the gown to illustrate a gender neutral outfit, then donning an orange fur outfit that makes her look like an overgrown peach-colored puppy. While she is moving through her costumes, the audience at the overly-air-conditioned Carolina Theatre moves into their coats; but they remain embedded in their seats.

Though her quips are often hilarious or humorously uncomfortable, it’s clear that Rossellini has a message; and when she begins discussing extinction, the audience gets it. “The secret is not in perfection,” she says, “but in variation and diversity.” Variation of genders, perhaps, and a diversity of beings the populate the Earth, most definitely, but even more, Rossellini maneuvers her subject toward the more important point that we, the most intelligent animal on Earth, are the ones responsible for putting animals (and, as a direct offshoot, humans) into categories. Her argument is that one should understand and accept the gender variations found in humans, and we only have to look at the natural world to see that all genders and types of sex are represented — and that all work together to create the world in which we live.

SECOND OPINION: Dec. 2nd Durham, NC Indy Week preview by Chris Vitiello: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/isabella-rossellinis-green-porno-is-weird-funny-and-educational-on-the-science-of-animal-sex/Content?oid=4920924. (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Dec. 4th Triangle Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2015/12/isabella-rossellini-will-present-green-porno-live-at-8-p-m-on-saturday-dec-5th-at-the-carolina-theatre/.)

ISABELLA ROSSELLINI PRESENTING GREEN PORNO (The Carolina Theatre of Durham, Dec. 5 in Fletcher Hall).

SHOW: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/events/isabella-rossellini and https://www.facebook.com/events/710192512446450/.

VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4jT1YInQa0.

PRESENTER: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/, https://www.facebook.com/CarolinaTheatreDurham, and https://twitter.com/CarolinaDurham.

BLOG: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/blog.

VENUE: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/about-us/venue-descriptions.

OTHER LINKS:

Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini (actress, director, and author): http://bella-isabellarossellini.tumblr.com/ (unofficial website), http://www.lortel.org/ (Internet Off-Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000618/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/Bella.IsabellaRossellini (unoffical Facebook page), https://twitter.com/isarossellini?lang=en (Twitter page), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Rossellini (Wikipedia).

[RUN HAS CONCLUDED.]

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Dawn Reno Langley is a Durham, NC-based author who writes novels, poetry, children’s books, and nonfiction books on many subjects, as well as theater, music, and dance reviews. She is also a writer, editor, writing coach at Reno’s Literary Services of Durham. To read all of Dawn Langley’s Triangle Review reviews online at Triangle Arts and Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/dawn-reno-langle/. To read more of her writings, click http://dawnrenolangley.blogspot.com/ and http://poetryandgardening.blogspot.com/.

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