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Green Porno at BAM: Isabella Rossellini on Sex and the Single Snail

GreenPorno1“Why does sex exist?” asks Isabella Rossellini, the Parisian-bred actress, model and director, the glamorous daughter of the Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman and the European filmmaker Roberto Rossellini.

Her answer is a 75 minute lecture, both erudite and hilarious, animated by a series of short films familiar to fans of the Sundance Channel online, in which she acts out the reproductive habits of marine animals and insects.

Playing the role of a snail, wearing a costume she designed herself, she declares: “I can withdraw my entire body into my shell where I can hide my vagina and my penis. I have both!”

The show recalls the straight-faced running joke that threaded through Domesticated, Bruce Norris’s recent comedy at Lincoln Center about the aftermath of a political sex scandal, in which the politician’s youngest daughter Cassidy (Misha Seo) only speaks when she is presenting a school report, complete with (G-rated) slides and videos, about the unusual mating habits of various of earth’s species, from hyenas to pheasants to zombie worms. The zombie worm, Cassidy told us in a monotone, lives deep in the sea; the microscopic males of the species inhabit the body of the much larger female; in the future, Cassidy told us, the male zombie worms “will certainly disappear altogether.”

The slide show in Domesticated was meant as a unsubtle comment on the main action by the humans. But in Green Porno, the non-human sex acts are the main action; the only action. We don’t learn any more about the zombie worm but Rossellini does share with us the plights of the males in other species, such as the bee, which loses its penis after sex, and the praying mantis, who is eaten by his partner.

Green Porno: Live on Stage NY Premiere

Conceived and performed by Isabella Rossellini
Written by Isabella Rossellini and Jean-Claude Carrière
Staged by Muriel Mayette

BAM Fisher (Fishman Space, 321 Ashland Pl)
Jan 16, 17, 18, 21-25 at 7:30pm
Jan 18 & 25 at 2pm
Jan 19 at 3pm

Tickets start at $90
There are a limited number of $30 tickets available.

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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