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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 13, 1998)
AU-female cast enlivens performance of‘Godot’
Women can do almost anything as well as
men, sometimes better.
This includes playing the traditionally male
roles in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot.”
The all-female cast of the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln production brought a height
ened tenderness and truth to Beckett’s classic
This gender twist on Beckett’s classic exami
nation of modem life kicked off the Department
of Theatre Arts and Dance main-stage season
this weekend and continues its production
tonight through Saturday.
Though the women in the cast kept their
characters gender-neutral in many aspects, the
audience could not help pondering the differ
ences of a female interpretation. Those differ
ences included a sensitivity that capitalized on
the way women interact.
In the play, two hobos wait on a country road
for a being named Godot. They attempt to pass
the time by fighting, joking and conversing with
travelers, but time continues to drag on. The two
periodically receive word that Godot will be
indeterminately late, forcing the characters into
an inescapable cycle of exhausting suspense.
Beckett poses essential existential questions
to the audience: Why are we here? What are we
waiting for? When will it come? But he balances
the weighty material with a light, clowning
The show’s success depends on the actors’
ability to balance these two elements.
Sasha Dobson and Moira Mangiameli, who
play the bums Estragon and Vladimir, achieved
the perfect harmony between the play’s exagger
ation and humanity. --- --__
As the naive and often submissive compan
ion of Vladimir, Dobson fluctuated fluidly
between wide-eyed clowning and futile depres
Through her over-enunciated speech and
halting walk, she communicated a childlike won
der confined by the mundane experiences of
Mangiameli provided the perfect comple
ment to Dobson. She established symmetry with
Vladimir’s boisterousness and despair by her
subtle inflection and deliberate gestures.
Her haughty carriage contrasted the faltering
footsteps of Estragon while providing a mask for
Vladimir’s fears and lack of knowledge.
The relationship between Dobson and
Mangiameli provided die foundation for the play.
Sharing their joy, sorrow, disappointment and
fear, the two created a poignant relationship
courageous in its inability to end.
Amy Rafa punctuated the scenes between
Dobson and Mangiameli. Rafa plays the materi
alistic Pozzo, an amoral, domineering man who
terrorizes his servant, Lucky (Amy Johnson).
Pozzo and Lucky pass by the two bums twice
during the show, providing temporary relief from
Rafa brought Pozzo the required sense of
self-importance through her over-confidant
stance and vocal inflections.
However, her mannerisms lacked the subtle
ty that made Vladimir’s and Estragon’s effective.
Her greedy laughs and facial expressions
seemed discordant with the rest of the play.
All the actors exhibited a high level of frus
tration through their characters. Each vacillated
easily between earnestness and despair, opti
mism and resignation.
Jenny D’Agosta’s set complemented this
portrayal of life’s frustrations. Its mud-hued
mounds and barren trees were accented by blue
sky, white clouds and a bright, resilient moon.
The play provides a moving depiction of
humanity’s struggle to understand an abstract
Most importantly, the cast of women fur
nished the characters with a naturalness that
made the audience forget they were women play
ing men. It wasn’t until after the play that one
recognized the subtle benefit of the gender rever
sal: a relationship between two people that
expressed Beckett’s sympathy for the human
“Waiting for Godot” continues tonight
through Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre
of the Temple Building. Tickets are $10 for gen
eral admission, $9 for faculty/staff/senior citi
zens and $6 for students. For reservations, call
the Temple Box Office at (402) 472-2073.
Record store owner
plans move to Web
RECORDS from page 9
estimated he spent three hours a day on
the computer doing business. Between
that and managing the record store,
Loos began to feel the vice of time
tighten around him.
“One jar of peanut butter can’t
cover a hundred sandwiches,” Loos
said with a laugh.
The advantages of putting all of his
resources toward his online store sur
passed the advantages of keeping his
existing store open. Since his site
appeared, Loos has received orders
from Germany, Denmark, Sweden,
K “I had this i
a Rolling Stones and Miles
album,” Loos said, “and he’s asking me
for a second order.”
^ But hie on the Internet isn t exactly
While Loos spent more than 10
years building up clientele in Lincoln,
he now is making a fresh start on the
Web. Because of this, Loos expects to
sell fewer albums to Internet customers
than his regular in-store customers for
at least two years* -
“It’s not all gravy” Loos assured.
Some other drawbacks included
the tedious task of converting his entire
collection to the database and filling
out extra paperwork when he receives
an order from another country. But
Loos said the thing he would miss most
would be the face-to-face interaction
with customers - and so will his
legions of loyal patrons.
“Honestly, a lot of customers are
not really happy I’m leaving,” Loos
Mike Nebel, a senior math major
from Lincoln, has been frequenting
Backtrack Records since it opened.
As he was fishing through the
dozens of slightly dusty, plastic
wrapped albums, Nebel said he would
miss coming to the store, which he vis
ited at least once a week.
“It’s a Saturday morning routine,”
Nebel said, “You can buy three used
albums here for die price of a new CD.”
Mike Debus, an employee for near
ly a year, said Backtrack had a loyal
in Lincoln isnot very '
“People in Lincoln don’t have
many turntables anymore,” Debus
Debus believes Backtrack s clos
ing was not due to competition from
larger stores, such as Best Buy and
Homer’s, which don’t sell much vinyl
to begin with.
Loos has not yet set the date to
close Backtrack Records and said he is
still willing to sell the store, which
includes 30,000 albums of overstock.
For now, people can thumb through the
thousands of albums in the store and
take in the smells of old cardboard and
vinyl for at least a couple more weeks.
After the store closes, Loos said he
would devote his time exclusively to
maintaining his Web site.
“When I’m asleep, the store will be
open,” Loos said.
Together, We're Making Lives Better
^ 621 Rose Street, Lincoln
“Is This Desire?”
Much like the water traveling
down through the Mississippi
Delta, the sweet murmurs of Polly
Jean Harvey refuse to be silenced.
In each of her albums, she has
challenged fans to follow her
newest musical meanderings,
which are heavily influenced by the
delta blues artists of the early 20th
fans oi ner Diues-soaxea ana
abrasive earlier releases, “Dry” and
“Rid of Me,” were probably taken
aback by her rich, almost theatrical
follow-up album, “To Bring You
'i My Love”
And fans of “To Bring You My
Love” were probably taken aback
by the spooky experimentation of
“Dance Hall at Louse Point,” in
which she collaborated with John
Parish, the mastermind behind
many of the intricate percussion
arrangements, on her most recent
release, “Is This Desire?”
“Is This Desire?” employs the
same giant themes seen on previous
albums: love, lust, guilt, persecu
tion and religion. And with each of
these, Harvey sings about how they
can both liberate people and destroy
them as well.
None of this would be interest
ing if Harvey couldn’t rock.
Fortunately, “Is This Desire?” is PJ
Harvey’s most rocking album in
years. “The Sky Lit Up” and “A
Perfect Day Elise” are propelled by
Parish’s sparse drumming and
Harvey’s distorted, heavy guitar
The newest musical element
Harvey adds to “Is This Desire?” is
her flirtation with electronica. Fear
not, this is not Harvey’s version of
“Ray of Light.” On tracks “Electric
Light” and “No Girl So Sweet,”
electronic elements are used, but
never to the point where they domi
nate the song.
The electronic element was
more than likely suggested by
Flood, the master producer of U2
and the Smashing Pumpkins. This
is Flood’s second time as producer
of Harvey’s solo work. “To Bring
You My Love” marked the first
time the two worked together.
Though he accepted much of the
abrasiveness of Harvey’s earlier
works, he added a stronger sense of
control to her work.
Another obvious influence in
Harvey’s musical approach is her
association with Nick Cave, a musi
cian who could make Portishead
sound downright cheery. This is
especially evident in the lush and
paganistic imagery of “The
That song, along with “The
River,” showcases Harvey’s obses
sion with religious imagery. And
like past blues greats, Harvey keeps
the metaphors vague, forcing the
listener to provide thought to her
frequently opaque lyrics.
The chorus of “The Garden” is
simple, “and there was trouble tak
ing place.” But with Harvey’s voice,
she doesn’t need further explana
tion. You don’t need to be a poet if
your voice sounds like an apocalyp
tic warning straight from the mouth
Throughout the album,
Harvey’s voice remains in top form.
Her vocal range may not.be on the
scale of her peers, but whenever she
sings, it sounds like ifsioming
from die deepest and darkest part of
her innards. She groans, she
growls, she wails, and it never gets
Like her earlier releases, it’s not
going to sink in on the first listen.
One of Harvey’s greatest talents is
her ability to keep an audience on
its toes. She has gone through so
many style changes, listeners tend
to be on guard. Once you get that
first time out of the way, however,
“Is This Desire?” becomes more
like a passion.
- Sean McCarthy
Nabokov's son suing 'Lolita'parodist
NEW YORK (AP) - Sequels to
“Gone With the Wind” and
“Casablanca” have come off without
a catch - but a retold “Lolita” is fan
ning a hot legal affair.
The son of novelist Vladimir
Nabokov has sued an Italian woman
for parodying the story of a professor
sexually obsessed with a 12-year-old
girl - from the child’s point of view.
“Lo’s Diary” by Pia Pera, accord
ing to a lawsuit seeking to ban its
U.S. publication, is “a ripoff.”
Not quite, says attorney Leon
Friedman, who represents New York
publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
“It’s funny. It’si~aT>arody. It adds
something new, with different char
acters,” he said Saturday.
The original narrator, Professor
Humbert Humbert, becomes
Humbert Guibert, and he doesn’t kill
Clare, the evil playwright who lures
Lolita away; and Clare, a man in the
original, returns as Filthy Sue.
Dolores Maze, a.k.a. Lolita, is
now Dolores Haze. And she’s a bla
tant little seductress with come-hith
er techniques: “Swing a foot back
and forth, flutter your eyelids, fan
yourself, snap your fingers to the
music, blow a bubble then suck the
gum slowly back into your mouth.”
Unlike Nabokov’s 1955 book, the
professor and “Lo” don’t die.
We don ’t take any language from ‘Lolita ’
and we transformed the story.”
attorney for Farrar, Straus & Giroux Publishing
“They all stick around, and she
gets married and has a child and she’s
happy,” Friedman said.
The lawsuit accusing Pera and
her publisher of copyright and trade
mark infringement was filed
Thursday in federal court in New
York by Nabokov’s estate, represent
ed by his son, Dmitri Nabokov, a race
car driver who lives in Florida. The
lawsuit also names Italian and
British publishers of the book, pub
lished in Italy in 1995.
The book is “inferior and ama
teurish merchandise” that tarnishes
the reputation of a work that has sold
about 50 million copies in more than
20 languages, according to court
documents submitted by the plain
Friedman maintains the 310-page
English language manuscript falls
within “fair use” standards set by the
U.S. Supreme Court to protect intel
lectual property through copyright;
the French copyright on “Lolita”
runs out in 2030.
“We don’t take any language
from ‘Lolita,’ and we transformed
the story,” said Friedman.
Besides, the 42-year-old author
said in a statement from her home in
the Tuscan hills, it was Nabokov him
self who inspired her to probe the
provocative nymphet’s mind for her
In “Lolita,” the Russian-born
novelist who died in 1977 had his
narrator, Humbert Humbert, admit:
“I simply did not know a thing about
my darling’s mind.” And, he wished,
“Oh, that I were a lady writer who
could have her pose naked in a naked
Enter an Italian lady who shed
her own light on Lolita.
“All I did,” she said, “was to
accept Nabokov’s challenge, his
implied invitation to a literary tennis
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