The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 04, 1988, Page 5, Image 5

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    Arts & Entertainment i
Jewish, lesbian folk-singer
Phranc to play UNL stage
By Ken Havlat
Staff Reporter
Phranc, a self-defined “basic, all
American, Jewish, lesbian folk
singer,” will make her Nebraska
debut Saturday night at 8 in the Great
Plains Room of the University of
Ncbraska-Lincoln East Union.
The performance is part of
Women’s Week, sponsored by the
University Program Council’s
Women’s Words and Music Com
Her only album, “Folksingcr,” on
Rhino, is a refreshing blend of styles.
Unfortunately, it was accepted more
by European than American audi
ences. It introduced her not only as
a singer for feminists or lesbians, but
as a universalist with subjects every
one can relate to.
The Smiths thought so much of
Phranc that they made her the open
ing act for their 1986 American tour.
Whilecritics were trying to figure out
whether the Smiths were art or drone,
Phranc was described as phenome
Phranc has paid her dues. She
moved from radical feminism to Los
Angeles’ punk-art underground,
where she was part of the duo Nerv
ous Gender. Then she became guitar
isl for the influential post-punk
combo Catholic Discipline (in the
film “Decline and Fall of Western
Civilization,” Phranc can be seen
wearing an interesting hat while in
troducing the band). And now she is
a folk singer.
For'RadioTokyoTapcs, Volume
3,” one of the strongest anthology
scries ever produced, Phranc contrib
uted “The Strange Death of Mary
Hooley,” which is about a slice of life
in her community.
Several magazines from her
hometown of Venice, Calif., wrote
about her attending her 10-year class
reunion a few years ago. While most
people looked older than they actu
ally were, Phranc said, she felt like a
kid who had walked into the wrong
place. Most of her former classmates
had become materialistic yuppies
with kids. Except for a couple of
women who’d been members with
her in a Bluebird troop, no one knew
who she was, and when they saw her
they yelled, “Susie Gottlieb! Susie
Gottlieb!” No one knew she was now
Phranc the folk-singer.
She has toured regularly since
“Folksinger” came out in 1985.
Phranc is now writing material for a
new LP. While her manager said no
contract has been signed with anyone
yet, Phranc deserves the best. F^oof
of this should come to anyone attend
ing her show.
Tickets are $4 for UNL students,
$5 for the general public. Jaci Au
gustin and Kathy Tejcka of the band
Amethyst will open for Phranc.
Lawyer performs one-man play
By Mark Lage
Staff Reporter
A one-man play based on the life
of famed trial lawyer Clarence Dar
row will be performed by Donald B.
Fiedler on Tuesday.
“An Evening With Darrow” was
written by David W. Rinicls and is
based on Irving Stone’s novel “Clar
ence Darrow for the Defense.” The
production is directed by Suzanne
The play details several episodes
in the life of Darrow, one of the
greatest and most famous lawyers of
all time. Darrow was known as a
great champion of the working class,
freedom of speech and equality for
minorities. During his career, Dar
row successfully defended 102 men
who could have been executed if
Fiedler, a lawyer from Omaha,
said he began his avocational career
15 years ago when he made an impor
big ham in me.”
He made this discovery during
“spoof days” at work, when he and
other lawyers would act out practi
cal-joke scenarios for the benefit of
unsuspecting co-workers. These ac
tivities aroused his interest enough
that he look some beginning acting
classes, eventually leading to a re
gional acting career in theater and
His roles have included Oscar
Madison in a Lincoln-arca produc
tion of “The Odd Couple” and Lenny
in “Of Mice and Men” at the Omaha
Community Playhouse, for which he
won the Fonda-McGutrc Award in
Fiedler became interested in the
Darrow story before he began his
acting career when he saw Henry
Fonda portray Darrow in the public
television movie version.
Relatively early in his acting
career, Fiedler was involved in lob
bying the stale government, which
included numerous trips between
Omaha and Lincoln. He cured the
boredom of these trips by using the
time to familiarize himself with
Rintels’ script, and by the end of the
lobbying stint, he was well-versed
enough to audition for the one-man
Fiedler said the University of
Ncbraska-Lincoln Law College’s
early interest in this production was
instrumental in getting it started. In
tact, one of his earliest, incomplete
performances was at UNL. For this
reason, Fiedler said, he is excited
about returning to UNL for a com
plete performance.
Being a lawyer doesn’t help with
the role as much as some people may
think, Fiedler said. He said he may be
able to relate to some of the scenes
better than other actors, but he is not
presumptuous enough to say profes
sional actors can’ t do as well or better
in portraying Darrow.
Fiedler’s role as Darrow hasn’t
affected his own trial experiences
“A little of it may have sifted
through, but my style is completely
different,” he said.
Fiedler said he secs many simi
larities between acting and being a
lawyer. In fact, he is preparing a 10
or 11-point lecture on the subject.
The most important similarity, he
said, is that both actors and trial
lawyers must be able to “focus.” An
actor must be able to look at a script
and focus on the most important
points for his character and then
concentrate on bringing these points
out during his performance. Simi
larly, a lawyer must be able to pick
out the most important aspects for his .
side of a case and then stress those
points during the trial.
Fiedler has never had the luxury of
being able to choose acting as a full- j
lime profession, but said if he had the 1
choice, he would probably continue '
to practice law. He prefers to balance 1
both careers, hopefully keeping them 1
both fresh and challenging. ®
“I really enjoy the practice of law, jj
as well as doing Darrow,” he said. I
Fiedler will give his free perform- *
ancc at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the College I
of Law Pic Room. 1
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