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Wonder Woman | Edward Albee and the Casting Dilemma | Tank and the Bangas | Teaching With Holograms

Grab your passport and sunglasses because we are going on an intercontinental adventure.

We will journey to the Amazon to discover the secret history of Wonder Woman, hop over to New Orleans to hear the funk-soul of Tank and the Bangas and fly home to Portland to hear about the clown who inspired “The Simpsons” character Krusty the Clown.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Courtesy of Warner Brothers/DC Entertainment

A Lasso, A Lady and A Legacy: Wonder Woman In Comics And Film - 1:18

Great Hera’s Girdle! Wonder Woman fans of all ages and stripes are eagerly awaiting the roll-out of the Amazing Amazon’s new feature film. It’s almost more than we can bear, from the Lynda Carter flashbacks to conceptually suspect campaigns to introduce Wondy as a UN spokeswoman and purveyor of protein bars. We’ve gone peak nerd and can’t resist drawing your attention to several related stories, including comic book store events in Redmond, Salem, Hillsboro, St. Johns, and Eugene.

If you can’t get to a retailer, there are still plenty of Wonder Woman comics to check out. Did you know one of the most celebrated writers in the character’s history lives in Portland? We chat up comic book writer Greg Rucka about his history with the character.

We also touch base with a BDSM practitioner to ask: Exactly what is up with the bracelets and rope stuff, anyway?

Then there’s the matter of going to the movie. The Portland chapter of Women in Film is pleased to invite you along for a Friday night screening, to show support for the first $100+ million budget blockbuster action film in the hands of a female director.

While the trailers are flying fast and furious on the big screen, several observers, including the Women in Film ladies, have noticed that the early marketing effort belies something less than full support. (Here’s a bit chunkier read from Adweek.)

It seems entirely possible that a world without a Wonder Woman breakfast cereal tie-in might not be so bad for the film’s prestige. You decide. And we’ll see you in the popcorn line next weekend. 

Could Holograms Bring The Universe To A Classroom Near You? - 24:55

A virtual trip to the pyramids? An interactive hologram of the solar system? Virtual reality has the potential to transform the classroom and how we learn everything from history to astronomy to engineering. A unique local partnership between Oregon Story Board, Intel and Clackamas Community College received a prestigious grant from Microsoft to create and test an educational curriculum for the company’s mixed reality Hololens, which allows users to see and interact with holograms laid over the real world. They found that the potential to help students understand complex systems like the automatic transmission was stunning.

If you want to learn even more about virtual reality, Oregon Story Board is offering a variety of VR and Mixed Reality design classes starting June 5. And for more on how Oregon’s incredible VR ecosystem, check out our story about a VR artists residency and our story about how architects are using VR to dream up new buildings.

Tank and the Bangas perform at OPB 5-10-17

Tank and the Bangas perform at OPB 5-10-17

David Stuckey/OPB

opbmusic Session With Tank And The Bangas - 30:53

Thousands of bands entered NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest this year, but the judges said the answer was clear: The New Orleans band Tank and the Bangas. Filmed in a classroom, the video for their song “Quick” schooled us with infectious joy and introduced viewers all around the world to the band’s funk-soul-spoken-word style and the rapid-fire storytelling of Tarriona “Tank” Ball.

You can hear the full interview and watch the performance here. Also, don’t miss their high-energy live show at Pickathon in August. 

Playwright’s Estate Says “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” Can’t Be Performed With A Black Actor - 39:17

This month, a Portland Production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” by Edward Albee made headlines — without an actor setting foot on-stage. A Portland producer had planned to stage the play this fall, casting an African-American actor, Damien Geter, in one of the four lead roles. However, as Albee was notoriously strict about casting, his estate delivered an ultimatum: cast a white actor in the role or lose the rights to the production.

The producer Michael Streeter cancelled the play.

Streeter talked about his decision with OPB’s Dave Miller and with Brian Herrera, an Assistant Professor of Theater at Princeton University who’s working on a book about casting.

The Portland Clown Who Inspired The Simpsons - 48:25

And now … a blast from Portland’s past. OPB digital producer John Rosman recently produced a birthday video tribute to an icon: the entertainer who helped to inspire Krusty the Clown from “The Simpsons.” Rusty Nails was a much-loved staple in the Portland entertainment community back in his day, and, despite his dangerous name, nothing like the depressed, alcoholic Krusty.

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