Metro Life Update
Navigating the news in the arts, entertainment and activity worlds as we go through the health and economic crisis brought on by coronavirus/COVID-19:
• Star showing — The Hollywood Theatre's video series "Hollywood at Home," in which experts and film lovers provide (via streaming) ideas for movies to provide at home, had a surprise contributor.
Oscar Awards-winning director Guillermo del Toro gave a recommendation of his 2006 movie "Pan's Labyrinth," a World War II-era story that centers on a young girl in Spain who is drawn into a mythical world filled with magical beings.
"It was good then, it was good now," del Toro told Hollywood fans via the recorded stream. "It feels old and new all at the same time."
You can watch del Toro's recommendation at youtu.be/85YPUAGhiqM.
• Portland Center Stage — The Portland theater company has joined a national play project, "Play at Home," and commissioned four playwrights to create short plays: Sara Jean Accuardi ("Joy Frickin' Hates Her Dumb Stupid Room"), E.M. Lewis ("The Third Prisoner"), Anya Pearson ("Three Love Songs") and Josie Seid ("Wing and a Prayer").
"Play at Home" scripts are designed to be read and performed bythe public from their own homes. They are 10 minutes or shorter and available at www.playathome.org. The PCS plays will be posted soon and also be shared at www.pcs.org.
• Big pairing — TidalWave Productions has raised its creativity level, going with an adult entertainer as a superhero — seriously.
The company and publisher Darren G. Davis have teamed with Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford), infamous for her alleged tryst with President Donald J. Trump and subsequent publicity, for a comic book series titled "Stormy Daniels: Space Force."
The story: Captain Stormy Daniels commands the Helix, a starship leaving the United Republic of Earth and its leader, "very stable genius" OrDon (clearly a dig atTrump). Daniels and her crew — capitalists at heart — are for hire.
It is "Barbarella," "Star Trek" and "Stripperalla" all in one, promotion says. The series will come out in the fall.
It's written by Michael Frizell and "Amazing Race" alum Andrew Shayde, with art by Pablo Martinena and covers by Bill Walko and Agung Prabowo.
"I could not be happier with the outcome," Daniels said. "Bonus is I get to add bad-ass comic book character to my resume."
The Bohemia Group will be developing the comic into an animated series.
A comic book biography, "Female Force: Stormy Daniels," was released last week. It can be purchased through Amazon or digitally on iTunes, Kindle, Nook and more.
For more: www.tidalwavecomics.com.
• Pop-Up Magazine — The touring show usually stops in Portland, but it has gone online with its show, and the new "Spring Issue: At Home" will premiere for free on YouTube at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.
It's tabbed as all the magic of a Pop-Up Magazine live tour, reimagined as a creative split-screen experience — a cross between live performance, video and graphic novel. Storytellers and musicians perform from home, and stories are timely, including one about a medical student graduating early to become a doctor in the midst of the pandemic.
For more: www.popupmagazine.com/watch.
• New soundtrack — Portland filmmaker Tara Johnson-Medinger has drawn rave reviews on the festival circuit for her movie "My Summer as a Goth," and now it has a soundtrack prepared for its upcoming public release.
Little Miss Anomaly Productions has released an 18-song soundtrack album that features Jana Cushman's original score and songs from her band Darkswoon and others.
It was released on Bandcamp on World Goth Day, May 22.
Cushman received the award for "Best Film Score" at the DTLA Film Festival.
For more about "My Summer as a Goth," see www.mysummerasagoth.com.
• New director — Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, which has shut down live productions through the fall, has named David Schmitz as its fourth executive director. He'll be joining OSF in September.
He comes from Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. He succeeds Paul Christy, the acting executive director.
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