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See 'Green Porno' at World Cafe Live

Actress and model Isabella Rossellini will teach you how lobsters have sex.

She’s been directed by David Lynch. She’s been the face of Lancome. And she’s explained animal mating rituals through her online series “Green Porno.” Now Isabella Rossellini takes a live version of the very stylized, tongue-in-cheek re-enactments of animal copulation to Philadelphia. Part education, part performance art, “Green Porno” — which is not nearly as vulgar as “porno” implies — is a wonderfully smart and quirky window into the animal kingdom.

How did you come up with the idea of “Green Porno”?

I always liked animals, ever since I was a little girl. I always wanted to study animal behavior, but it wasn’t really available when I was little. I ended up in modeling and acting instead of studying, but I remained interested. Six or seven years ago Sundance offered me — and others — a chance to do short films. I came up with the idea because it’s funny and everyone is interested in sex.

You’ve taken “Green Porno” on the road before. What is it like performing it live rather than filming in a studio?

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It was difficult in the beginning to remember 60 pages by heart, but now I know them and I’m very secure. It’s wonderful to perform in front of an audience. I’ve done the show in French and in Italian, but I’ve done it the most in English, so it’s really in my head that way.

The costumes and props are stylized and very distinct. Who makes them, and what is that process like?

When I write the script I illustrate it. I get the basics down. Then I work with Rick Gilbert and Andy Byers. They bring a lot of detail and wonderful ideas. I don’t write the script and say, “It’s up to you to make me a fly.” I think of the basic solution and they give it this genius homemade effect.

While “Green Porno” is very successful, it’s not your typical series. Were you surprised at peoples’ reactions?

They reacted better than I expected. It was an experiment on a new canvas — the Internet and mobile devices — and I didn’t expect to get millions of hits. I didn’t expect it to become my principal activity.

Isabella Rossellini brings “Green Porno” to World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut St.) Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets ($37.50) are at www.worldcafelive.com .

 
 
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