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February 2010


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THE CRITERION In Our Wining & Dining Pages


US Comedians in the UK

Chinese New Year In our Diary Dates listings




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The American Issue 682 – February 2010 Published by Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Publisher: Michael Burland +44 (0)1747 830328 Please contact us with your news or article ideas Advertising & Promotions: Sabrina Sully, Commercial Director +44 (0)1747 830520 Subscriptions enquiries: Phone +44 (0)1747 830328, email Correspondents: Virginia Schultz, Wining & Dining Mary Bailey, Social EstelleLovatt, Arts Jarlath O’Connell, Theater Richard Gale, Sports Editor Dom Mills, Motorsports Jeremy Lanaway, Hockey Riki Evans Johnson, European ©2010 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., 19 East Portway Industrial Estate, Andover, SP10 3LU Main cover image: The interior of The Criterion Restaurant, Piccadilly. Insets: (left) Jeff Dunham with Achmed the Dead Terrorist; (right) a traditional New Year Chinese dragon

Welcome I

f you’re over here from Wisconsin or New York, the sight of Britain closing down after a few inches of snow must have raised a chuckle. If you hail from New Mexico or Alabama the white stuff may have come as a shock. And if you’re a Floridian, the news from home about the longest cold snap for 25 years may have you worried about the orange crop. Just what the hey is going on? Let’s just call it climate confusion. Less confused, we hope, is this month’s typically eclectic mix of articles in The American, everything from an exploration of President Lincoln’s obsession with Shakespeare to a helpful description of how the National Health Service looked after one American mom-to-be. On a more serious note, this issue was being written as the news media were full of horrendous details of the Haitian earthquake. The death toll, let alone the cost of the damage, were still unknown. What we can be sure of is that the worst earthquake to hit the area in over two centuries has destroyed and damaged the lives of millions of people. For some ideas on how to help, you may want to go to the President’s website, Enjoy your magazine, Michael Burland, Editor


Dr. Alison Holmes is our political ‘Transatlantic Columnist’. She is the Pierre Keller Fellow of Transatlantic Studies at Yale University.

Karin Joyce is a ‘mommy blogger’ who joins us this month for her first article on being an American Expat mom.

Andy Sundberg, who lives in Geneva, is an activist on behalf of American expats. who founded American Citizens Abroad in 198.

Don’t forget to check out The American online at The entire contents of The American and are protected by copyright and no part of it may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information in The American is accurate, the editor and publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.


The American

In This Issue... The American • Issue 682 • February 2010



News Special deals for Americans, The USAF helps orphans in Kyrgyzstan, and an amazing 11 year old walks across the US to help homeless kids

10 Diary Dates It’s Chinese New Year and we list the best celebrations. Plus a selection of the most interesting events in Britain


13 Music Beatboxing meets classical at the Southbank Centre, Slayer’s bassist has back operation, and we review the best recent albums 15 Competition WIN TICKETS to see the hottest young comedians in the USA, all over here on tour soon


17 My NHS Baby Expecting a baby in the UK? Fearful of a different medical system? Karin Joyce gives her experiences 18 Prostate Michael Haynes, NFL Hall of Famer, tells how he dealt with the news that every man fears 20 Lincoln & Shakespeare The President’s obsession with the Bard reflects his own psychology, argues Civil War expert Jeremy Edwards

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The American

22 Coffee Break Take a break with our fun pages 24 Winings & Dining Four restaurants this month, in Britain and Paris, that have all been transformed. Virginia E Schultz and Mary Bailey take a look 29 Arts A new royal portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, and two American exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery 34 Theatre Legally Blonde The Musical is a surprise hit, but what did Jarlath O’Connell make of Greta Garbo Comes To Donegal? Michael Burland interviews David Grindley, who’s directing the revival of Six Degrees of Separation


20 17 18

42 Politics Three thought-provoking articles on how life is changing rapidly for American citizens 47 Drive Time Drag racing enthusiasts celebrate the rebirth of Europe’s first dragster. And your chance to see the new baby Aston Martin. 50 Sports Pete Carroll leaves USC, the Team USA Olympic Ice Hockey team is selected, and there’s sports documentaries aplenty for February

29 24

56 American organizations Your comprehensive guide and a profile of the Ditchley Foundation 64 Paw Talk Rebel’s in a Valentine mood! 3

The American

Zach Bonner receiving the Presidential Call to Service Award from President George W Bush, 2006.

11yo Floridian Nominated for Robert Burns Award The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, now in its ninth year, is presented annually to a group or individual who has enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or ‘hands on’ charitable work. This year’s nominees include an extraordinary young man, 11 year old Zachary Bonner from Florida, founder of the Little Red Wagon Foundation. Zach created his nonprofit organization to help kids in distressed situations when he was just six, and funds it by incredible long distance walks. Over a period, Zach walked from his home in Valrico, Tampa, Florida to Washington D.C., to raise funds for homeless and sick children. Whatever the weather he walks up to eleven or twelve miles each day. President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Call to Service Award in 2006. On Christmas Day 2009 he started an even more amazing Walk Across America, from Tampa to Los Angeles, 2225 miles. Check out to see how Zach is getting on, or follow him on Twitter.


Left to right: Courtney Judd, Rayan Asfari, Dr Jane Goodall, Madison Price, Danniyal Lalani

Environmental Award for ACS student


merican Courtney Judd from Beaconsfield was one of four young students from ACS Hillingdon International School who attended a ceremony at the Zoological Society of London in December to receive awards in recognition of their school’s work to improve the environment for people and animals. The awards were given by Dr Jane Goodall, world famous primatologist and head of the Jane Goodall Institute. The Institute safeguards wild chimpanzees and their environment through conservation, research and educational activities such as its Roots & Shoots programme for young people which has groups in almost 100 countries. It continues Dr Goodall’s pioneering research into chimpanzee behavior, which transformed our understanding of the relationship between humans and animals. At the Awards ceremony Courtney, Rayan Asfari from St. John’s Wood, Madison Price from Farnham Royal and Danniyal Lalani from Northwood showcased the work they had done in school and gave a

presentation to the audience. They received an award in recognition of three separate projects the school completed as part of its Roots & Shoots work which together raised over £3,000 for the charity. Other projects undertaken by the school as part of its Roots & Shoots work included a charity walk, a ‘Go Green’ cake sale on St Patrick’s Day, and making donations of food and toiletries to homeless youth in their local community. Anne-Mari Pesonen, an English and Humanities teacher at ACS Hillingdon who attended the Awards with the four students said, “I am extremely proud of the dedication and enthusiasm of the students at ACS. They are compassionate and genuinely care about making a difference in our world. I am inspired every day by these global citizens and the way that they want to take initiative and do something that matters. It was such an honour to be recognised for the work we did as part of JGI’s Roots & Shoots and the students are thrilled to have received this accolade.”

EXPAT NEED? CHECK ASSIGNEE SELECTED? CHECK TAX ADVISER? CHECK Surrey Farm’s giant snowman The snow the great of overseas is that you, or One of the less appealing thingsof about sendingfreeze your people 2010to(OK you experts northern staters, they, suddenly have become on the local it tax system or risk falling foul of the law, incurring extra costs - or both. Withbut BDOithowever, wasn’t that much really, shut you and your people can benefit from coordinated tax advice. Advance planning will save you time and money Britain down for a few weeks) will and our specialist tax advisers are well equipped to ease the burden. probably have melted into history

Through BDO, the world’s fifth largest accountancy network, our Expatriate teams can by the time this issue of The Ameriprovide you with assistance all over the world. To find out more about the tax service thecontact streets,Andrew but weBailey couldn’t that travels withcan you,hits please on +44 (0)20 7893 2946 or resist this story.

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The American

Special Deals for Americans Top London Shows

Do you want to see a top London show for a fraction of the regular cost? The Theatre Passport is aimed at Americans. Run by Encore Tickets Ltd., the Passport costs $33 per person and entitles the bearer to the best available seats in a selection of participating musicals and plays. Purchase your ticket through VisitBritain’s website, www.visitbritain. us, and print off your voucher. Take it to the Encore Tickets Collection Point at the Britain and London Visitor Centre, 1 Regent Street, London SW1Y 4XT on the day you wish to go to the theatre (other dates may be available at the discretion of the theatre). It’s open Monday to Friday 10.00am-6.00pm, Saturday and Sunday 10.00am-4.00pm. West End shows available as we went to press included Blood Brothers, Chicago, The Woman In Black, 39 Steps, Sister Act, Grease, and Hairspray. Check for up to date details when you’re thinking of going to the theatre in London.

Travelodge Discounts:

New Travelodges are springing up all over the country and several are offering rates from as little as $30 per night. These locations include Newquay Seafront (South West England), Norwich Central Riverside (East of England) and Macclesfield Central (near Manchester). For more information, visit www.travelodge.


Your Outward Bound Stories Sought


utward Bound celebrates two major anniversaries in 2011 and they’re looking for former Outward Bounders with interesting stories to tell. They have asked The American for help in finding British expats in the USA and American expats in the UK. From its wartime genesis in 1941 in the Welsh mountains, training sailors to survive Nazi U-Boat attacks, Outward Bound’s adventure courses in Britain and the USA have morphed into life-changing, character-building experiences for young people. To celebrate the 70th anniversary, the ‘Generations’ project involves a unique online space,, for all generations of Outward Bounders, over a million people in all, to share their stories. The American offshoot began in 1961, in an Aspen grove above Marble, Colorado, making next year its 50th anniversary. “We want to place the different generations of Outward Bounders in the same “room” online and give them the chance to share their stories.” says Nick Barrett, Chief Executive of The Outward Bound Trust.

The person who participated in an Outward Bound course in, say 1952, had the same powerful experience as the person taking a course this week. Over the decades the mountains have been just as daunting, the weather just as unpredictable and the water just as icy. At the same time, the trials, the triumphs, the highs, the lows and above all, the learning, have been equally powerful. There are a million stories of personal growth, adventure and fulfilment waiting to be told and shared.”

Outward Bounders from past and present have great stories to tell. Now they can, on the Trust’s new website.

The American

Pop Artist Arrested for Tiger Woods Gatorade Stunt

Lt. Col. Lee Landis, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing chief of safety, gives a ‘thumbs-up’ along with Nizhanchuisk Orphanage students after clothing them with new hats and jackets donated by the Blinn College Dental Hygiene Program students and faculty from Texas.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi)

Mildenhall Helps Students Aid Orphans


sub-zero February in the former Soviet Union is tough enough for small children who have to walk miles to school, but imagine what it would be like without winter jackets, hats or gloves. That is the situation for many children in Kyrgyzstan. But thanks to hundreds of Lakenheath Middle School students in the UK and Blinn College Dental Hygiene Program students in Texas, hope has replaced desperation. In a campaign called Snow Plough Express, the Lakenheath students and their teacher, Kay Taylor, raised 50 boxes of winter clothing for three orphanages near the transit center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan. Lt. Col. Bradley Allen, 376th Expeditionary Maintenance Group commander at the US Air Force RAF Mildenhall, worked hand in hand with Mrs Taylor to orchestrate the effort. “I believe our folks just really want to see the kids better off,” he said. “These children will be able to enjoy much better and warmer clothing than they currently have. These children are

much, much less fortunate than we are. This just proves how kind and compassionate people can be – which is a huge paradigm shift for a lot of the Kyrgyz folks here who were taught growing up that the U.S. was something different.” “By their service, Mrs. Taylor and her family have already given a great sacrifice for the sake of our country,” said Allen. “To see her still wanting to continue to reach out to help folks she doesn’t even know … well she’s undoubtedly one of the most thoughtful, kindest people I have ever met. It’s a great life-long lesson she’s taught our kids.” Lt. Col. Lee Landis, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing chief of safety, delivered new hats and jackets donated by Blinn College to children at the Nizhanchuisk Orphanage. Colonel Landis, deployed from Dover Air Force Base, Del, has been active with the orphanage while stationed at the Transit Center at Manas and reached out to his aunt and students at Blinn College for help with donations.

“Good for Gatorade and good for art.” That’s what artist Jason Kay emailed to Gatorade’s parent company PepsiCo in a bizarre and ill-fated sponsorship proposal before being arrested January 13. Kay, 38 years old, from Colorado, thought his “Pop art” Gatorade labels would “get people talking about how stupid the whole thing with Tiger Woods is.” Instead, the artist faces up to five years in prison and a maximum of $450,000 in fines, charged with misbranding and altering food labels with intent to damage business. Kay, unemployed, changed the labels on bottles of Tropical Mango Gatorade in Denver stores, replacing them with his own stickers of Tiger Woods, his wife Elin Nordegren and the word “UNFAITHFUL” printed in bold black capitals. He claimed the stunt was his crack at copying Andy Warhol. Kay was hoping to work out a partnership with Gatorade where they would support his art as they were a major sponsor of Tiger Woods but broke their endorsement after news of the golfer’s alleged infidelities in December 2009.

In happier days – Tiger Woods before the recent unpleasantness Tim Hipps

The American AMERICAN EMBASSY IN THE UK Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7499 9000 Visa Information (£1.20/min): Mon-Fri 8am – 8pm, Sat 10am – 4pm 09042 450100 Passport Unit (American Citizen Services): +44 (0)20 7894 0563 24hr assistance for genuine emergencies: +44 (0)20 7499 9000

Embassy News

New Web-based Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form


he DS-160 web-based nonimmigrant visa application form has arrived! The U.S. Embassy is to introduce the new web-based nonimmigrant visa application form DS-160. Applicants applying for petition based visas - H, L, O, P, Q or R – in person on or after February 1, 2010 will be required to complete the new form DS-160. For all other applicants, March 1 is the all important date. The DS-160 is webbased and once completed, transmits the applicant’s data to the post where s/he will apply for the visa. As the data is collected electronically, it means that various forms of pre-processing and pre-screening can be conducted in advance of the application which should reduce processing delays. It also means that applicants who apply for visas on a frequent basis can save their original application and submit the updated form.

HIV Status Change

The Department of State has announced that from January 4, 2010 HIV Infection will be removed from the list of communicable diseases of public health significance. This means that HIV infection will no longer be an inadmissible condition. Applicants who are traveling to the US on or after January 4 who are otherwise qualified, may travel visa free under the Visa Waiver


Program. Travelers not eligible to travel visa free will be required to apply for a visa, but will no longer require a waiver of ineligibility. For more details on these issues, as well as many other visa issues, go to the Embassy’s Visa Services Blog at

Security at the Embassy

The Embassy would like to remind visitors not to bring mobile phones, laptops, electronic devices such as Blackberries, iPods and PDAs, briefcases or large bags such as backpacks, suitcases or packages with them when they come to Grosvenor Square. None of these are allowed within the Embassy and there are no storage facilities on Embassy grounds. You can see a list of nearby Left-Luggage storage facilities at Only persons seeking consular services will be admitted into the Embassy. Exceptions will be made only if those seeking consular services are under 18, or if they are disabled and require assistance. Local authorities will not permit anyone to wait outside the Embassy, so please do not bring anyone else with you. Applicants who do not follow these instructions may experience considerable delays or have their interview cancelled.

‘Michelle Obama’ visits Madame Tussauds London


he wax figure of Michelle Obama has joined that of President Barack Obama at Madame Tussauds London to mark the first anniversary of her husband’s inauguration. The First Lady will be at Madame Tussauds for a limited period only. Guests will meet America’s first couple in a painstaking recreation of the legendary Oval Office complete with the iconic Resolute desk. Michelle will live up to her fashion icon status in a stylish sleeveless red dress with black belt and pearl necklace. The figure had yet to arrive in London when we went to press but here is a photo of it at Madame Tussauds Washington D.C.

La Capanna For the finest Italian dining experience in the most picturesque of settings, perfect for that romantic dinner for two, a family celebration or business entertainment.

La Capanna Special Menu, 2 courses only £31.95 Sunday Lunch, 3 courses only £25.95 Children’s Menu – £12.00

Lunch at La Capanna 1 course £11.50 2 courses £15.50 3 courses £19.50 Available lunchtime Mon – Sat; 7 – 8pm Mon – Fri.

Romantic Valentine’s Dinners on 13th and 14th February

“Tenors Unlimited” return on 19th March • Sinatra Tribute Evening on 23rd April 48 High Street, Cobham, Surrey

With riverside Italian Garden for al fresco dining

Book your table online on our website: Business account customers and party bookings are welcome. All major credit cards accepted.

“La Capanna must boast the prettiest interior of any restaurant I have ever dined in”

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– David Billington, Hello Magazine

The American

Diary Dates

Your Guide To The Month Ahead

Get your event listed in The American – call the editor on +44 (0)1747 830520, or email details to Chinese New Year Celebrations include:- London: Chinatown and West End, February 1, midday, Chinese New Year festival and parade in central London’s Chinatown. In Trafalgar Square from midday to 6pm you’ll be able to see dazzling dragon and lion dances and the best of traditional and contemporary Chinese arts, with performers from London and China. There will be fireworks displays in Leicester Square, plus cultural stalls, food, decorations and lion dance displays throughout the day in Chinatown. Liverpool: Chinese arch on Nelson Street, the largest Chinese arch outside China. January 24 to 25, 11am. Liverpool is home to one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe. You’ll be mesmerised by dancing dragons, unicorns and lions, special firecracker performances and Tai Chi demonstrations. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy Chinese food and traditional New Year’s delicacies.

Manchester: Chinatown, enclosed by York Street, Portland Street, Oxford Street and Mosley Street. January 25, midday. A glittering array of festivities including Kung Fu demonstrations, folk dance performances, stalls, workshops and the Golden Dragon Parade. Ends with a stunning firework finale at 6pm. Bath: Chinese New Year Door Decoration Workshop, Museum of East Asian Art, 12 Bennett Street, Bath BA1 2QJ. Free drop-in workshop: create your own New Year door decorations to welcome in the Year of the Tiger. February 17, 2 to 4pm. The MEAA also has a Lunar New Year Extravaganza at the Assembly Rooms, Bath, with musical performances, martial arts demonstrations, arts and crafts activities and the much anticipated Lion Dances February 21, 11.30 to 4pm., 01225 464 640. January 24 to February 17

Barbican bite Barbican Centre, London The Barbican’s bite programme runs from January to May 2010. Some of the biggest artists in international performance, including Peter Brook, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Heiner Goebbels, Cheek by Jowl and Laurie Anderson are presented alongside emerging names such as non zero one and Nic Green. Artists hail from the USA, India, Australia, Africa, Palestine and Europe. Work ranges from music, theatre, contemporary dance and circus to promenade performance. Ages 16 to 25 can benefit from the Barbican’s freeB membership. 0845 120 7550 to May 01, 2010 Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting–place of Cultures Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library Covering a time span of 300 years between the thirteenth century and fifteenth century, this exhibition brings to light different aspects of Jewish life across medieval Europe and the Middle East, in cultures that were non–Jewish and recounts the history of medieval culture at the intersection between Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. to May 03 The Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair Science Museum, London SW7 This long–established fair now presents all types of art on paper from every era, including drawings, watercolours, prints, photographs, and posters. Over 3,000 authenticity–checked works on display priced £500+. Also a loan exhibition of original drawings from the Science Museum’s Library, including drawings by Charles Babbage. 01798 861 815 February 03 to February 07


The American

The Art of Invention Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 Hidden Treasures from the Science Museum Collections. A fascinating collection of rarely seen original designs, sketches and watercolours by some of the nation’s greatest engineers and inventors and a collection of early photographs. February 03 to February 07 Cosy fan tutee (All Women are like like that!) Grand Theatre, Leeds Beginning with a seemingly harmless bet, the sly old cynic Don Alfonso wagers that the fiancées of two young men will not stay faithful if put to the test in this classsic comic opera by Mozart. The men take the bet, confident of their lovers’ fidelity, but cruelty is inherent in this game of love and chance, and Don Alfonso has a darker purpose. Opens in Leeds, touring to Salford Quays (Feb 25), Newcastle (March 4) Nottingham (March 11). February 09 to March 11 Postgraduate Open Day Institute for the Study of the Americas, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU Postgraduate Open Day provides the opportunity to tour the Institute including Senate House Library and the Latin American, Caribbean and United States collection, meet academic staff, talk to current postgraduate students, discuss the application process and postgraduate funding opportunities. The institute offers the largest Latin American programme in the UK and the longest-established United States degree programme in Europe. 2.30 - 6.30pm. You should email your contact details & ‘The American’ to register attendance. February 10

Charity Sports Quiz The White House, Albany Street, London W1 Question Masters Mike Gatting and Micky Hazard. Includes excellent supper and prizes in aid of Hope House Chlldrens’ Hospice Tickets £35. 7pm info@ celebritiesguild 020 8440 1234 February 11 Valentine’s Day If you haven’t a partner for the most loved-up day of the year, 14th February, two pubs in London have some ideas. Playing cupid this Valentine’s, The Refinery bar in Southwark, is hosting a party for singletons looking for love on the night before the big day. On Saturday 13th February, you can “mingle and flirt with some of London’s finest young professionals” with fun games like a Photo Flirt Wall, a ‘Lock and Key’ game and Speed Dating, fantastic music and a 50/50 ratio of girls to guys. A 2 minute walk from the Tate Modern at 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0TF. Tickets are £14.99. 0870 871 7777, In West London, The Cadogan Arms on King’s Road offers a blind date mixed doubles game of pool. e-mail your name and ideal match start time (30 minute slots from 6pm until 11pm) to They also offer an aphrodisiac meal: oysters, steak with bone marrow jus and Valrhona chocolate tart. 298 King’s Road, London, SW3 5UG, 020 7352 6500, February 13 & February 14

Anglo-Saxon treasure on show Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stokeon-Trent ST1 3DW The largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver, The Staffordshire Hoard consists of more than 1,500 individual items, most of them gold, some silver, many of them decorated with precious stones, dating from the 7th century AD. The artefacts were discovered in what had been the heartland of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. Most of the items are war materials from the battlefield. The hoard was discovered in July 2009 by metal detector Terry Herbert on private farmland in Staffordshire and contains about 11lb of gold and 5.5lb of silver. It has been valued at nearly £3.3 million. Now around 80 of the most significant artefacts, including items that have never been seen before, will be on display in Stoke-on-Trent. Local history collections officer Deb Klemperer, a specialist in Saxo-Norman Staffordshire pottery, says: ‘I have been involved in archaeology for 34 years. My first view of the hoard brought tears to my eyes. The Dark Ages in Staffordshire have never looked so bright nor so beautiful.’ Admission free. 01782 232323, www.visitstoke. February 13 to March 7

Mini Mozarts Fulham Palace, Bishops Avenue, London SW6 6EA Fun, interactive music workshops for two to five year olds and their carers. £10 per child, accompanying adult free. Early booking advised. 10am & 11am. 020 7736 3233 February 16


The American

Nations Unbound: ‘the uncomfortable’ tobacco history of Puerto Rico, Connecticut and Cuba,1898-2008 Room G32 (Ground Floor), Institute for the Study of the Americas, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU Presented by Jean Stubbs, Associate Fellow, Institute for the Study of the Americas, this paper is part of a wider research project linking migration and commodity production centred around El Habano, or premium Havana cigar - the luxury tobacco product for which Cuba is famous the world over. 5.30 - 7.30pm Free admission. 020 7862 8870 February 17 Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Gray Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery, London W1 This exhibition will, for the first time in the UK, trace the famous 19th Century French painter Paul Delaroche’s career and allow his iconic painting ‘The Death of Lady Jane Grey’ to be seen in the context of the works which made his reputation, such as Marie Antoinette before the Tribunal (1851,The Forbes Collection, New York). 020 7747 2885 February 24 Romeo and Juliet Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester CO1 1PT Shakespeare’s classic tale of forbidden love, Romeo and Juliet reinvented. Through the power and passion of the evocative tango, the decline of the lovers is seen not as fate, but an act of orchestration in this startlingly original version. Music is supplied by the critically acclaimed Astillero Tango Orchestra. 01206 573948 February 25 to March 13


Auction: Pre-1950s Motorbike Collection from Spain RAF Museum, Hendon Bonhams sell the Pamplona collection of 100 vintage and classic motorcycles. Includes C19th De Dion Bouton-engined machines as well as Harley Davidson, Ace, Cleveland, Excelsior, FN, Henderson, Indian, Nimbus, Zundapp. Sunbeam, Vincent, Motosacoche, Peugeot, Matchless, BSA, a rare Brough, Vindec, Wanderer, Acme, Rikuo, Bohmerland, PMZ, Griffon, Standard, Diamant, Laurin & Klement, Phebus and Mabeco. February 27 Opera at the Palace Fulham Palace, Bishops Avenue, London SW6 6EA Well known opera classics and rare opera gems sung by The National Opera’s rising young stars. Early booking advised. Concert Tickets £15. concert + dinner package - £50 pp, incl. 3 course dinner with 2 courses served prior to the performance from 6pm, with dessert and coffee afterwards (wines not included). Concert begins 7.30pm 020 7736 3233 February 26 The Sahara Hiking Challenge The Sahara In aid of MacMillian Cancer Support. Take on this challenge of a lifetime and you’ll be helping people living with cancer. The 100-kilometre trek through one of the most extreme landscapes on

earth is not for the fainthearted. 020 7840 7887 February 27 Andre Previn conducts American Music Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS This one’s in April but we think that if you wait too long you’ll miss out. André Previn, London Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate, returns for a concert of mainly American music including his own Miss Sallie Chisum remembers Billy the Kid. He is joined by soprano Barbara Bonney, for whom he wrote it, and it is performed alongside Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite, Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915 and Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony. 7.30pm 020 7638 8891 April 25

Human beatboxer Shlomo has worked with Bjork, Martha Wainwright, Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, Mad Professor and now a classical orchestra

Slayer Postpone Tour

Imagine Children’s Festival


magine is a children’s festival at London’s Southbank Centre. It’s not all music – there are readings, storytelling and poetry featuring some of today’s leading children’s writers, as well as comedy, visual arts, and magic as well. But one of the standout events is the world premiere of Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra, a new work commissioned by Southbank Centre. It will be shown as part of the ‘Shlomo’s Music Through Unconventional Means Presents…’ series at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on February 19th. The following morning, Saturday February 20th, a special children’s version of the new work will be performed, suitable for ages six and over. Co-written by one of the UK’s hottest composing talents, Anna Meredith, and Southbank Centre Artist in Residence, beatbox artist Shlomo, this piece is a modern classical work, using the human voice box as a musical instrument in its own right. Six of the UK’s leading beatboxers, including Shlomo as the soloist, current World Female Champion Bellatrix and former UK Champion MC Zani, perform amongst a specially created 20-piece orchestra selected from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London

Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment. The first half of the concert sees performances from the individual artists. In the second half, the new work will be performed then after a short Q&A session it will be played again. Anna Meredith and Shlomo have worked closely to create a formal notation for beatboxers, which has not been done before. After the premiere, the notation will go online to encourage more composers and musicians to learn, write and perform their music through beatboxing. Shlomo said: “One real challenge this piece throws up is the idea of seeing beatboxing not as a genre, but as a versatile instrument. Working with a composer is so different, as everything has to be written in advance. This is extremely daunting for me as I am used to improvising and relying on a sense of the moment.“ Anna Meredith said: “Working on this piece has been a fantastic experience for me. I initially knew nothing about beatboxing, but after workshopping and experimenting during the past year, I’ve been really inspired by all the possibilities of this fantastic sound resource.”

Too much headbanging? Slayer has had to cancel their New Year American and Canadian Carnage Tour as well as their UK/European tour scheduled for March and April. Tom Araya, bass player with metal maniacs Slayer, is known for aggressively swinging his long mane of hair while performing. He began experiencing back problems during the band’s tour of Australia, New Zealand and Japan tour last October. In spite of rapidly increasing pain and discomfort he completed the tour. Immediately he returned home he saw an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed a Cervical Radiculopathy. The rocker initially did not want to take the major surgery route, so the specialist recommended a series of minimally-invasive procedures. Although these resulted in some improvement, Araya still has bouts of severe pain, numbness and muscle spasms, so surgery it is. “Tom gave various medical treatments more than a fair shot,” said Slayer’s manager Rick Sales, “but they just haven’t handled the problem, so he’s biting the bullet and is scheduled for back surgery at the end of this month.” The procedure, an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion, is a relatively routine practice and the recovery rate is excellent, so Slayer hope to be back on the road later this year. Ticketholders are advised to wait for more information.


The American

Mike Doughty

Mike… Doughty…? That’s the reaction of many who hear the name of the former Soul Coughing leader, although you might know the hit single Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well. But Doughty deserves a wider audience, as one of his biggest fans Dave Matthews would surely agree. Doughty is in the UK for a single gig at the Relentless Garage, Islington, playing songs from his fifth album, Sad Man, Happy Man. Its 18 tracks include a version of Casper the Friendly Ghost (written by the eccentric Daniel Johnston). Of the album, he says, “Basically I’m trying to make stuff I want to listen to. And I mean that in a literal sense, not like, ‘Were I a listener, I would like this,’ but rather something I can listen to on the subway on headphones and really dig. This is my life, this is what I do. That sounds matter-offact, but I really do look at it as a sort of calling - and being an artist at its best is selfless. I’m working for the language, I’m working for the music, I’m working for the songs. I’m a happier guy when I’m conscious of that.” This intimate gig will be the first time Doughty has played in Britain for 10 years. It’s on Tuesday, February 2, so get your skates on.




Machine Head

Since the release of The Blackening in March 2007, Machine Head have toured incessantly sharing US and European stages as main support to Metallica, Slipknot, Slayer, Marilyn Manson and Megadeth, but now its time for them to take on a full-fledged headline tour, playing full-length sets. Singer/guitarist of the Oakland, California, band Robb Flynn says, “After 3 years of touring we are beyond stoked to finish this tour cycle on our own terms, with our show, our stage, our production, our control and we’re lucky enough to bring three of our favourite bands along with us, it’s going to be f***ing massive!!!” The band will be doing things a little differently this time around, 3,000-4,000 seat venues instead of the massive arena shows fans have grown accustomed to. Bassist Adam Duce adds, “Having done arenas now since The Black Crusade as well as the Metallica and Slipknot tours, we thought it would be killer to give the fans a chance to have a couple different setlists, and mix things up a bit. It’s gonna be fun for us to see which gems we dig up!!!” Dates in the British Isles are:

February 16th Plymouth Pavilion; 17th Newport Centre; 18th London O2 Brixton Academy; 21st Birmingham O2 Academy; 22nd Leeds Academy; 23rd Glasgow Academy; 25th Newcastle Academy; 26th Manchester Apollo; 28th Dublin, Ireland, Olympia; March 1st Belfast, Georges Market. Supporting on all dates will be Hatebreed, Bleeding Through and All Shall Perish.

Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt

Lyle Lovett is on a European tour to support his most recent studio album, Natural Forces (reviewed in The American last month). He’s teaming up with long time friend and frequent tour mate John Hiatt for some acoustic shows that will feature both artists performing side-by-side alternating songs from throughout their careers. Lovett and Hiatt have been touring together in one fashion or another since 1989. “The shows are very spontaneous; no two are alike, says Lovett. “It gives our audiences a chance to see a side of us they don’t always see.” This unmissable pairing will be playing at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on February 15th, then Belfast, Waterfront (16th) and Dublin, Olympia Theatre (17th).


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COMEDY GIANTS Bill Burr, Jim Gaffigan and Jeff Dunham are three young comedians who are massive in the States. Now you have a chance to see them live, courtesy of Live Nation and The American.

JEFF DUNHAM JIM GAFFIGAN BILL BURR Bill Burr, dubbed ‘one of the country’s best stand-ups’ by Time Out Chicago, is crossing the pond for the very first time to perform at the Leicester Square Theatre, London on March 18th. Bill first gained notoriety on “Chappelle’s Show”, then developed a comedic style of uninformed logic that has made him a regular performer with David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. Bill says he hopes to get married and have some kids. But until then, he will continue to spend most of his mid-afternoons sitting in his sweatpants learning AC/DC songs on his SG. Tickets are £17.50. QUESTION: Achmed the Dead Terrorist is one of Jeff Dunham’s characters. What is his catchphrase? A Shhh! You’re in big trouble! B Quiet! Listen to me! C Silence! I kill you!

Jim Gaffigan is a comedic triple threat, having achieved major milestones in stand-up, acting, and writing. He is responsible for some of the funniest and most memorable moments in recent television and film. His clever, quiet style has earned him a spot in the top five most successful touring comedians in the US. His 2006 Comedy Central Special “Beyond the Pale” went Platinum and he has earned an unprecedented number of appearances on both the “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” plus many other TV shows and movies. See Jim at London’s Shaw Theatre on March 20th. Tickets are £29.50.

Jeff Dunham is the USA’s number one comedian and ventriloquist. Time Magazine calls him “the most popular stand-up comedian in the US”. He has had record-breaking television specials, DVD sales over 4 million (and counting), 360 million views on You Tube and a new US television series on Comedy Central. He comes to the UK for his first ever tour following his debut sell out London show at the Hammersmith Apollo earlier this year. It stars Jeff and his cast of comic characters like Walter the grumpy retiree; redneck Bubba J; Peanut; Jose Jalapeno; and the bumbling skeletal Achmed the Dead Terrorist, and starts on April 19th at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall, culminating on April 24th at O2 Arena London. Tickets are £40 for London & £28.50 for the regions, but you can win a pair of tickets to the O2 concert.

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO ONE OF THESE GREAT COMEDY GIGS HOW TO ENTER: For your chance to win a pair of tickets to one of these concerts, send your answer with your contact details: name, address, daytime telephone number and email address (optional) to reach us by midday, February 28, 2010. Email it to with COMEDY COMPETITION in the subject line. Or send a postcard to: COMEDY COMPETITION, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK. Tickets will be allocated randomly to correct entries. You must be 18 years old or over to enter this competition. Only one entry per person per draw. The editor’s decision is final.

(All tickets are available from and subject to booking fee.)

The American

ALBUMS THEOF MoNTH Alice Peacock Love Remains Adrenaline

Love Remains may have been recorded in the heart of Nashville, with an all-star crew of country musicians who between them have played with Linda, Emmylou, Willy, Delbert and LeAnn, but it is a crossover record in all sorts of ways. In a good way. The opener, All About Me, kicks into gear with a drunken electric guitar and a lyric of “I’d like to get stoned…” Attention grabbed, the rest of this album is an engaging, humorous and above all honest set by the Chicagoborn songstress who says “I love that ’70s, California-country sound and I’m totally unapologetic about trying to recapture it” but isn’t afraid to add Cajun, pop and folk influences. Standout tracks: All About Me, Hard Way, Lovely.

Jace Everett Red Revelations Humphead

Here’s a new genre – Vampire Country. Everett was born in Indiana and raised in Texas. His new album wouldn’t feel out of place at a snake swinging Appalachian church. And under the expansive baritone voice, some of the guitar could be played by The Cramps or Link Wray. Song titles like Possession, Burn For You, Damned If I Do give the plot away, and you will know Bad Things as the theme to True Blood. It’s all a little tongue in cheek to be truly visceral, but it’s good fun. Top track: Bad Things.


Steve Morse Band

Out Standing In Their Field e.a.r MUSIC Steve Morse has made a phenomenal career as the rock world’s best replacement lead guitarist. First he took up plank spanking duties in Kansas when they reformed in the ’80s and for the last 15 years he has been a permanent member of Deep Purple, replacing Ritchie Blackmore. But musically Morse’s heart has always been in his own band and the extraordinarily technical instrumentals they produce. But it’s technical with a heart – it actually sounds like fun instead of the clever-clever trickery of lesser musicians. Standout track: Brink Of The Edge.

Phil Vassar

Traveling Circus Humphead/Universal What musical instrument does a country star play? This isn’t a schoolyard joke, just think of a typical country musician… acoustic guitar… electric guitar… mandolin… fiddle… pedal steel… banjo… mouth organ… er… drums… How about piano? How many country stars play piano? Well there used to be a few (the Killer in his country days to name just one) but there is one right now. The powers that be in Nashville told Phil Vassar he would have to dump his favorite instrument, put on a cowboy hat and start playing guitar if he wanted to make it. He refused. The last song on Traveling Circus namechecks Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Lee and Elton John while lamenting “Where Have All The Pianos Gone” – he obviously takes it personally. His

Steve Morse

eclectic style and warm voice adds a lot to the country/pop sounds on the album. Top tracks: John Wayne, where Vassar lauds the traditional values of the real man; Bobbi With An I – a hilarious ode to a former quarterbacksacking linebacker turned trucker who spends his evenings at the honky-tonk dressed in ladies dresses; She’s On Her Way, a moving song about becoming a father to a baby girl; Save Tonight For Me about making space in your life for your relationship.

Transatlantic Sessions 4 Various Artists Whirlie

Regular readers will know that this – thankfully - ongoing series of albums (and now DVDs, from the BBC TV series) is regarded with godlike awe by The American. Take the top Celtic musicians from Scotland and Ireland, add a token Englishman (genius bassist Danny Thompson), season with the best American folk and country artists, simmer in a Scottish Highlands country house hotel. Names like Aly Bain, Jerry Douglas, Roseanne Cash, James Taylor and Martha Wainwright spell perfection. Standout tracks: Man of Constant Sorrow sung by Dan Tyminski with the ‘house band’; a poignant Motherless Children by Roseanne Cash.

The American

My NHS Baby American mom-to-be Karin Joyce had a few surprise experiences with the NHS


n the autumn of 2007 I had a vague inkling that I might be pregnant. I was working as a teaching assistant at the time and on my lunch break, went to Boots to buy a pregnancy test. It was all I could do to NOT do the test during the school day. When I got home, on September 11 mind you, I did the test and it came up positive! It was the happiest September 11 in 6 years. So began my foray into being pregnant and having a baby in the UK. I wasn’t sure how to proceed but I made an appointment with my GP. I turned up on the day, walked into the office, sat down and said to my GP, “I’ve taken a pregnancy test and it’s positive so I think I’m pregnant.” My GP, a rather nervous chap, said “Oh, well, those things are pretty accurate so congratulations! We’ll refer you to the midwife.” Pardon me? No examination; no second test to confirm it? Just “congratulations”! I was in and out of the appointment that I had been anticipating for weeks within 7 minutes, as is customary with GP appointments in the UK. It seems the only reason a woman needs to go to her GP when she suspects that she is pregnant is to get a referral to the midwife who will then take over your care for the duration of your pregnancy. Thus begins the process of your antenatal care which, provided you have a low-risk and relatively trouble-free pregnancy, is extremely non-invasive. A midwife will see you for your “booking in” appointment where she (or he) will go over your entire medical

history, calculate your anticipated due date (remember the date of the beginning of your last menstrual period - it’s crucial to calculating your dates) and begin your set of “notes” which you will bring with you to every single medical appointment you have for the duration of your pregnancy up to and including your labour and delivery. This is your bible… don’t forget it, the midwives do not keep one on hand for you. As I was a “mature” mother-to-be, I fell into the high-risk category but as I had no other risk factors or health issues I continued to be seen by my local midwife. First and high-risk pregnancies are afforded ten midwife visits throughout their pregnancy while a low-risk pregnancy or 2nd or 3rd pregnancy will only need to plan on seven midwife visits. At your booking in appointment you will also be scheduled for your first blood tests and your dating scan (at around 11 weeks). The dating scan is very exciting as it’s your first glimpse of your impending arrival and allows for a more medically accurate estimate of your due date. Most hospitals allow for your partner (at least) to attend the scan which is important to share. In order to get a picture of our little “bean”, we had to pay £3 but it was the best £3 we ever spent! If you have a normal pregnancy, you will have one additional scan at 20 weeks which is your opportunity to find out the sex if you so choose, as long as your hospital allows it. Ours, at the time, had a nondisclosure policy so even though we did

not want to know the sex of our baby, we could not have found out. They have since changed their policy but if you are really set on finding out the sex, you may want to check your local hospital’s policy to find out if it’s even possible. If you choose, you can go to private ultrasound clinics that will, for varied fees, do a more detailed scan and even 3 and 4-D scans. We didn’t feel the need for this type of service but it is available if you are willing to pay for it. This is just the beginning. It’s such an exciting time but also very different to pre-natal care in the US. I had to keep reminding myself that “different” wasn’t necessarily bad. I have a gorgeous and healthy daughter as a result of our care courtesy of the NHS. Don’t be nervous about the differences; you’ll be well cared for and will have all of your needs met as the NHS knows what they are doing. It turns out that a National Health Service is not such a bad thing after all. H Karin Joyce is an American Expat living in the East Midlands of England with her English husband and daughter. Read Karin’s blog about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of being a first-time, stay-at-home mum and the latest baby and toddler products at


The American

NFL Player’s Prostate Cancer Playbook O

ne in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Nearly 30,000 men in the US die from this cancer every year. African American men have nearly twice the risk of dying from prostate cancer as all other ethnicities. Michael Haynes, NFL Hall of Famer, says a lack of education is the reason why many men avoid screening, risking a cancer diagnosis late in the game. As a spokesperson for the American Urological Association, Haynes and his surgeon, Christopher Kane, MD, chief of urology at UC San Diego Medical Center, offer a playbook of four strategies for men’s urologic health.

Michael Haynes has teamed up with The University of California, San Diego, Health Sciences department to highlight a growing problem Know Your Stats

“For me, learning about prostate cancer started with a free screening event hosted by the NFL and the American Urological Association,” said Haynes. “One of the doctor’s first questions to me was about my previous PSA scores. I was surprised, as that was the first time I had even heard of a PSA. I’d never tracked my blood pressure much less a PSA level.” PSA stands for prostate specific antigen – a fluid which is present normally in the semen. Elevated levels of PSA in blood serum are associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) and prostate cancer. A PSA test can screen for prostate cancer and monitor treatment of the disease. “I recommend that every man know his health stats. Be proactive and track your PSA, cholesterol and blood pressure every year,” said Dr Kane. After reviewing his PSA scores, Haynes learned that he had an elevated PSA which had spiked over a two-year period. A biopsy revealed cancer in nine of twelve places on his prostate gland. Michael and Gigi Haynes appeared on TV in the US to highlight prostate care. Photo: UCSD


“PSA velocity, the rate of change of PSA, is a very strong predictor of prostate cancer,” said Kane. “It is also correlated with grade and severity of cancer. A PSA history that suddenly changes is a more valuable indicator of disease than a single elevated PSA. Know your numbers and create a benchmark to monitor your own health.”

Jokes Aside: Get the Exam

“Fellow NFL players joked that I would not get screened because of the digital rectal exam,” said Haynes. “It’s definitely not something that guys look forward to. The doctor asked me, ‘Did I mind getting the exam?’ I thought if it’s going to save my life, of course I don’t mind.” A physician gently puts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check for growths or enlargement of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland in the middle of the pelvis which produces semen fluid. The process takes less than 30 seconds. “The toughest part is relaxing but it’s quick and painless,” said Haynes. “As we talk about the exam, and normalize it, guys will start to realize it is part of life. If it’s going to save your life, it’s definitely worth it.”

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“The best argument in favor of screening is that there are more than 30,000 men dying from prostate cancer in America,” said Kane. “If you get screened, you can get treatment if you need it. Fortunately, most men who are diagnosed young are at a stage where they can be cured, there are fewer side effects of treatment, and they are more likely to benefit from treatment.” Kane added “There are some men with very low risk, low grade prostate cancer who may not need to be aggressively treated. However, that’s the minority, 15 to 20 percent. There are also men who are older or who are in poor health where it is less important to diagnose what is often a relatively slow growing cancer.”

Open Dad’s Playbook

Haynes did not know about his own family history of prostate cancer until after his diagnosis. He encourages men to ask about their fathers’, uncles’ and grandfathers’ medical histories. “After I was diagnosed with the disease, I found out that my grandfather died of prostate cancer,” said Haynes. “I was 22 years old when he died. At that age, I definitely wasn’t thinking about cancer and my mom didn’t know to tell me to get screened later in life.” Haynes realized that he needed to talk with other men about the disease to aid his own treatment process. “When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t talk to anybody. I didn’t want to involve other people or for them to feel sorry for me,” he said. “The moment I started talking to my doctor and friends, the diagnosis started to be a normal thing. I remember going to Dr. Kane for a ‘man-to-man talk’ on what the prostate actually did.” The more Haynes engaged others in conversation he learned of men

who had multiple family members with prostate cancer. “The only thing my friends knew is that they were getting their PSA test done because their dad told them to. As men, we have to do more. We can learn from the women’s health movement,” he said. “The Susan G. Komen Foundation has done such a good job of raising awareness of breast cancer that there is not a man or woman adult who doesn’t know about the importance of feeling for lumps in the breast. We need to do something similar to ensure that men know and monitor their PSA score, so that if they catch something early, it is a non-event in their lives.”

Draft Your Offensive Line

Any person who learns of a cancer diagnosis needs a team to help navigate their treatment process. Gigi, Haynes’ wife, took a proactive role in helping her husband. “I think it’s a given that wives or partners become involved in the decision process, especially because of the potential sexual side effects of treatment. It’s not like we’re talking about tonsils here. There can be complications with a man’s ability to maintain an erection as well as problems with continence, ” she said. Gigi found the cancer diagnosis overwhelming, but responded by taking on a role as an information analyst. She interviewed doctors and performed extensive web research: “Maybe I went a little over board. I created a PowerPoint presentation of treatment options and even put an anatomical model of the urologic system in the kitchen and asked visitors, ‘Do you know the location of the prostate? Do you know what it does?’” Haynes also relied on his physician, and other men to formulate his own treatment plan: “I started talking

Haynes in his playing days with the New England Patriots.  Photo: UCSD

to other men and asked questions about their Gleason score, why they chose a particular therapy, and their research findings. Every guy I talked to loved their own method and was an advocate for his particular strategy. I had to look through their experiences to develop my own plan. The more I talked, the better I felt about my own decisions.” You can listen to Michael, Gigi and Dr Kane talk about Haynes’ journey through prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment at H

Dennis Hopper

Actor and director Dennis Hopper has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and as The American went to press was having treatment for an advanced form of the disease. Our thoughts are with him and his family.


The American

Lincoln’s Ambition

 The Shakespearean Explanation A

braham Lincoln’s poor background as an American subsistence farmer allowed few opportunities for formal education and intellectual growth. His schooling, scattered across several winters, amounted to less than 12 months in all which may explain his snatching every opportunity for reading (discouraged by his father). He had few books in his early days but a well-worn copy of Shakespeare’s works was one of them. He didn’t read all the plays: “Some of Shakespeare’s plays I have never read at all while others I have gone over perhaps as frequently as any unprofessional reader,” he said later. Shakespeare was paramount above all the other writers he admired, such as Byron and especially Robert Burns and he read from his works every evening, often out loud to colleagues. This passion extended to theatre in a wider sense. He often went to see plays, frequently


Jeremy Edwards, American Civil War expert, explores how the President’s passion for the Bard illuminates his own psyche Shakespeare, and ironically, a performance of Hamlet with Edwin Booth, Wilkes Booth’s brother, in the title role.


Those who knew Lincoln before the war largely agreed about one thing – his passionate yearning to make a mark. Herndon, his law partner and biographer, wrote that Lincoln was: “the most ambitious man in the world; inordinately ambitious.” He was fascinated by Shakespeare’s unnaturally ambitious Richard III, Macbeth and Claudius (the murderous usurping king in Hamlet). Lincoln said, “I think nothing equals Macbeth,” and whilst posing for the artist Francis Carpenter in 1863, he enacted the opening soliloquy of Richard III with such force and power that he “made it seem like a new creation”. In his Lyceum address in 1838 Lincoln posited that ambition is dangerous, even evil. Sometimes prepared to admit that he was ambitious, at the same time he was defensive about the nature of the ambition that drove him. Like Mark Anthony’s denial of Caesar’s ambition, the very vehemence of Lincoln’s assertions makes them suspect. He assured people that he had not been corrupted by ambition and that the part he played in making the Civil War was innocent. His attitude in his second inaugural address is that of Caesar: civil war was the other side’s

fault. “Hoc voluerant”, Caesar grunted when he surveyed the Roman dead at Pharsalus: “They would have it thus.” So Lincoln to his Southern opponents. The theme of Macbeth is the perversity of ambition. Lincoln declared in his first inaugural address that preservation of the union was his primary, indeed only concern even if that meant the continuation of slavery. But in correspondence with his old friend Alexander Stevens from Georgia he declared that slavery was the only issue dividing them. Further, he refused to consider the compromise offered by Senator Crittenden, which was acceptable to the South. “Hoc voluerant” rings very hollow.


Shakespearian parallels surround Lincoln’s assassination. Wilkes Booth and his brothers were in a production of Julius Caesar; six months later Booth killed Lincoln, his decision shaped by the events that play dramatised. He had expected to be admired like Brutus, “the noblest Roman of them all.” Sic Semper Tyrannis was to do with Caesar, not the motto of the State of Virginia. A contemporary observer compared the stops in major cities of the train bearing Lincoln’s body to Antony’s display of Caesar’s murdered body. Lincoln’s fatalistic reluctance to take the advice of those who warned him of the dangers

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of assassination echoes Caesar ignoring the warnings of Calpurnia, his wife. Not long before his death, Lincoln dreamed that he was awakened by sobbing. Wandering through the White House, he could hear grieving voices but saw no one. Seeing a coffin in the East Room, he asked a guard “Who is dead in the White House?” and was told “The President – he was killed by an assassin”. He told his bodyguard: “[My dream] has haunted me. Somehow the thing has got possession of me, and like Banquo’s ghost, it will not let go.” Traveling back to Washington on

Wilkes Booth and his brothers were in a production of Julius Caesar; six months later Booth killed Lincoln, his decision shaped by the events that play had dramatized the day of Lee’s surrender, a Frenchman in the party recorded: “Mr. Lincoln read to us for several hours passages taken from Shakespeare. Most of these were from Macbeth, and, in particular, the verses which follow Duncan’s assassination. I cannot recall this reading without being awed at the remembrance, when Macbeth becomes king after the murder of Duncan, he falls a prey to the most horrible torments of mind… Mr. Lincoln paused here while reading, and began to explain to us how true a description of the murderer that one was; when, the dark deed achieved, its tortured perpetrator came to envy the sleep of his victim. And he read over again the same scene.”

That Lincoln would focus on this passage from Macbeth only five days from death is suggestive. What drew him to this passage? Identification with Macbeth (as in his dream in which he is haunted by a corpse)? Or his own feelings of exhaustion and guilt in having gained peace by sending so many – 620,000 – to their peace during the Civil War? Does he share Macbeth’s envy of the dead? Does he wish to be, like Duncan, in his grave?

Shakespeare Speaks for Lincoln

In 1863 Lincoln wrote to the actor James Hackett. He confided the unconventional opinion that Hamlet’s soliloquy “O, my offence is rank…” surpasses that commencing “To be or not to be…”. Lincoln elaborated in writing to another actor, James Murdoch, that “To be or not to be …” “was merely a philosophical reflection on the question of life and death without actual reference to future judgment” whereas Claudius’s speech showed “force and grandeur” in its “moral tone” as a “solemn acknowledgement of inevitable punishment for the infraction of divine law.” The soliloquy which Lincoln admired is the King’s attempt to absolve himself of his crime through prayer whilst keeping the objects for which it was committed. Why did Lincoln attach a higher value to the King’s failed attempt to seek forgiveness through prayer than to Hamlet’s meditation on life and death?

It may be suggestive that the King’s speech contains the lines: “What if this cursed hand / Were thicker than itself in brother’s blood? / Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens / To wash it white as snow?” This echoes the words of Lady Macbeth, in the play Lincoln most admired: “A little water clears us of this deed.” Brothers’ blood had been shed in great quantities since the beginning of the war, particularly in the recent battle of Gettysburg. More Americans died in the three days at Gettysburg than the whole of the Vietnam war; a higher proportion of the population of the Confederate states were killed than in any subsequent war until the losses of the Germans and the Russians in World War II. In public Lincoln did not blame himself for the war, maintaining that his cause was just – his commitment to the absolute necessity of saving the Union and that the war had been precipitated by the South. But it seems plausible that Lincoln’s unorthodox view on the relative merits of soliloquies unintentionally expressed some affinity with Claudius in the matter of shedding brother’s blood. Lincoln used Shakespeare’s writings to express his own most personal feelings and insights. The words of the guilt-wracked king in Hamlet may be Shakespeare’s but Lincoln used them as his own, acknowledging, at least to himself, the consequences of his own ambition. H


The American

Coffee Break CoFFee BReAk QUIZ 1 Which of the North American Great Lakes is missing - Superior, Erie, Michigan, Ontario…? 2 What was the first skyscraper built in New York to have over one hundred storeys? 3 In which film was the line “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” first used? 4 What city is known as the world’s chocolate capital? 5 What percentage of the world’s population live in the United States?

13 The Royal Mint, which mints the money in the UK, is the oldest British business – in what year was it founded? 14 What’s the name of the small town in which Clark Kent grew up?

6 In what magazine does Alfred E Newman appear?

15 Who said “Either this guy’s dead or my watch has stopped”?

7 What is the capital of the largest US state by area? 8 Air contains mostly which gas?

16 The ‘Green Jacket’ is presented to the winner of which sporting event??

9 Which leisure activity includes ‘The Stamp’ and ‘The Camel Walk’?

17 Which Hasbro ‘action figure’ got its name from a Robert Mitchum film?

10 Who wrote the song Ain’t Misbehavin’ ? 11 Which amateur player reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1977? 12 What clock was first introduced by the US National Bureau of Standards in 1949?

Answers below The Johnsons

COMPETITION WINNERS Voyageur Press Stereoscope 3-D book sets were won by Ellen Davidson of London W5 and Pamela Westbrook of Hartford, Cambridgeshire

Coffee Break Quiz Answers: 1. Huron; 2. Empire State Building; 3. Shane (said by Alan Ladd); 4. Hershey, Pennsylvania; 5. 5%; 6. MAD; 7. Juneau (Alaska); 8. Nitrogen; 9. Line Dancing; 10. Fats Waller; 11. John McEnroe (aged 18); 12. An atomic clock; 13. 886; 14. Smallville; 15. Groucho Marx; 16. US Masters (Golf); 17. G.I. Joe


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It happened one... February February 1, 1862 – Julia Ward Howe’s abolitionist “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is published for the first time in the Atlantic Monthly.

February 2, 1653 – New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated.

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, in Friendship 7 PHOTO: NASA

February 3, 1690 – The colony of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in America.

February 4, 1861 – In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six breakaway U.S. states form The Confederate States of America. February 5, 1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb is lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

February 6, 1959 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files the first patent for an integrated circuit. February 7, 1812 – The strongest in a series of earthquakes strikes New Madrid, Missouri.

February 8, 1837 – Richard Johnson becomes the first Vice President of the United States chosen by the United States Senate.

February 9, 1825 – After no presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the United States House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams President of the United States. February 10, 1933 – The New York City-based Postal Telegraph Company introduces the first singing telegram. February 11, 1752 – Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, opens.

February 12, 1733 – Englishman James Oglethorpe founds Georgia, the 13th colony of the Thirteen Colonies, and its first city at Savannah (known as Georgia Day).

February 13, 1894 – Auguste and Louis Lumière patent the Cinematographe, a combination movie camera and projector. February 14, 1849 – In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken. February 15, 1764 – The city of St. Louis, Missouri is established.

February 16, 1868 – In New York City the Jolly Corks organization is renamed the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. February 17, 1925 – Harold Ross and Jane Grant found The New Yorker magazine; the debut issue is dated February 21, 1925. February 18, 1884 – Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time.

February 19, 1861 – Serfdom is abolished in Russia.

February 20, 1962 – While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes.

February 21, 1878 – The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, CT. February 22, 1819 – Spain sells Florida to the US for $5million. February 23, 1903 – Cuba leases Guantánamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity”.

February 24, 1831 – The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act. The Choctaws in Mississippi cede land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West. February 25, 1836 – Samuel Colt receives an American patent for the Colt revolver.

February 26, 1917 – The Original Dixieland Jass (sic) Band records the first ever jazz record for the Victor Talking Machine Company, New York. (Name changed to ‘Jazz’ later in 1917) February 27, 1951 – The 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

February 28, 1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is incorporated, the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.. H


Taking tea at

The Criterion L

ondon has many historic restaurants, and The Criterion takes a proud place among them. Right in the centre of Piccadilly, next to the theatre of the same name, it started life at the end of the coaching era in 1873. In 2009 The Criterion had a re-launch with all its neo Byzantine glamour, artifacts and mirrors maintained and every modern comfort installed. Smart, enthusiastic young staff make you feel welcome as soon as you come in. As you leave the turmoil of modern Piccadilly it is like stepping onto a different age, an age when suff ragettes met to plan their campaigns, where Sir Conan Doyle sat to weave his stories of the memorable Sherlock Holmes and surely there were shouts of disagreement over the tea shared by Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George. This is where we were invited to take afternoon tea among tired shoppers, children accompanied by


dutiful godparents, business people meeting for a quiet chat and the like. When you go in you notice that the restaurant is very long and you have to reach the far end for the tea section. We were kindly escorted to our table. Our coats, which they took, were remembered and handed back to us correctly, just a small point but it’s surprising how often little details like this can spoil a visit if they are done incorrectly. We sat at a perfectly laid table and were offered the menu. Now tea is a very English ritual and has many forms. There is the afternoon tea, served here, which we enjoyed and then there is something called High Tea. This can contain cooked food, is usually served at a later hour and is popular with those who have had a heavy midday meal and don’t want a full dinner, or people who want to feed young children earlier than an evening meal.

By Mary Bailey

Prices vary; in the countryside you may get a good afternoon tea for £10, in London prices are higher with the meal more sophisticated. The Criterion offers theirs at £29 or £36 with a glass of champagne. If you go for the champagne – and it does make the experience more special - do ask for the pink, it is nice and more ‘tea-ish’. This puts up the price to that of a modest dinner, but it is optional. Twinings provide a choice of ten teas which is fun. I chose the traditional which was a lovely golden colour. My friend Margaret chose the Rooibos (redbush) and was not so happy, she found it insipid and tasteless and by the time the pretentious tea timer had done its work it was nearly cold. This might not have happened if they had had old fashioned tea cosies! The food was great, brown and white sandwiches with lovely fresh

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Aubergine Dining out at


bread, cucumber (of course), salmon, and egg and mayonnaise. The scones, two each, were hot, round and delicious. You fill them with ham or berries and clotted cream. This was real clotted cream, the type made by just letting the cream rise to the surface of rich milk. Perfectionists please note that you put the jam on the scone before the cream – at least I think so. Dispute can rage on this! Then there were masses of delicious cakes and tartlets. Margaret and I agree that The Criterion has a lovely leisurely atmosphere and the staff could not be nicer. Afternoon tea is served from 2.30 to 5.30 when they switch to pre theatre suppers. We both feel you should take an opportunity to indulge in a cream tea at the Criterion. Diet? What diet?

The Criterion, 224 Piccadilly, Piccadilly, London W1J 9HP 020 7930 0488

ubergine holds a lot of memories for me. It was here I was first introduced to Gordon Ramsey and recall being blown over by his food. After he made his dramatic exit, William Drabble took the helm and dining at the Aubergine continued to be a pleasure until he left early last year. Even though Nelly Pateras assured me Aubergine has continued to keep its high standards with Christopher Renou as Head Chef, I entered the restaurant with some trepidation. With its quiet tones of peachy beige and touches of purple, (think aubergine/egg plant) there is a relaxing atmosphere about the restaurant I have always enjoyed. Tables are well spaced and Nelly and I were able to talk without being drowned out by the other guests, Bread, crispy crust and freshly made, along with the champagne we ordered on entering arrived less than five minutes after we sat down. Nelly, after considering the pan fried fois gras, decided instead to start with the roasted scallops with cepes and reduction of beetroot vinaigrette while I had the Tortellini of lobster with courgettes. We expected the scallops to be lovely, but could a French chef take on an Italian dish and succeed? Yes, he can, I discovered on first taste. Our main course took longer to decide. It was game season and Mallard duck was on the menu. I adore wild duck, but it can be too gamey for my taste and I’m afraid this was. Nelly, however, loved it, saying it was perfectly cooked and tender, so this is only a

by Virginia E Schultz

11 Park Walk, Chelsea, London SW10 OAJ, 020 7352 3449 warning to others who may feel like me. However, the roasted John Dory with tarbais beans and chanterelles which replaced it was delicious. I thought about having a selection of French and British cheeses, but will power won out and instead ordered the confit of rhubarb, shortbread with pistachio and lime sorbet (which, thinking about it, probably had as many calories as the cheese). Nelly had the trio of sorbets, light, creamy, few calories, and you wonder why French women remain slim? We also had several excellent wines by the glass and I especially enjoyed the Mas Mudiglizia Carino Cotes du Roussillon. However, it was the Tokaji “Late Harvest” Hungary 2007 Disnoko that ended the dinner or a perfect note. Service, I might add, was also perfection itself. Head Chef Christopher Renou may give the appearance of being low key and somewhat easy going, but if he continues to serve the kind of food he did the day Nelly and I were there, he will be a rising star on the culinary scene in London. The restaurant, however, is expensive and dinner for two with house wine will cost the minimum of £50 per person. If your budget is tight, try the luncheon menu at £29 for three courses or £34 which includes a half bottle of wine per person, one of the best bargains in town.


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THe ABBeVILLe Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz


he gastro pub experience in the UK can vary from “fantastic food” to “you wish you had stopped by MacDonald’s” as one friend remarked after having a disastrous lunch in a lovely village an hour’s drive from London. Having experienced two catastrophic gastro pub lunches in the past three months, I must admit I entered The Abbeville in Clapham for dinner with some trepidation. Surprisingly, despite the fact it is rather large, there was an old fashioned charm about the place with its mixture of flea market finds and grandmother’s attic discoveries tucked away in the various nooks and crannies on several levels of the restaurant. Maxine Howe, always a romantic, suggested it would be the perfect place to come with a lover.


The Abbeville was the first tavern bought by school friends Tom Peake, Mark Reynolds and Nick Fox of Renaissance Pubs and the transformation - with a little help from interiors expert Hannah Lindsay - since I was there three years before was a pleasant surprise. There is also a new chef, Angelo Brotto, who previously worked at The Neal Street Restaurant and Harry’s Bar in Mayfair and gazing over the menu I began to appreciate why it was so crowded that evening. Certainly the menu was enticing and Maxine was immediately attracted to the Seared Scallops with pea puree, black pudding and apple salad (£8.25) while I debated between the Roasted Figs with goat cheese and honey (£6.50) or the Steamed Mussels with Suffolk Cider and Saff ron Sauce (£6.00/£12.00). The Mussels

won. There was no regret on my part and Maxine enjoyed her rather unusual dishes which went together better than she expected. As a main course, the dishes varied from seven hour braised lamb shoulder with carrots, caper and anchovy sauce (£14.50) to a burger with hand cut chips (£9.00). Maxine’s choice of Guinea fowl wrapped in bacon with leeks, porcini mushrooms and bubble and squeak (£12.75) was an unmitigated wow. My Abbeville fisherman’s pie, (smoked haddock, salmon and prawns) (£11.50), however, was disappointing. Sadly, this was the third time I’ve had fish pie in a gastro pub that has been a loser. If I was disappointed with my main course, I wasn’t with the desserts and they were worth every pence of £5 each. The apple crumble with

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Dining Out at

ice cream was just the way mother made it, or at least if I had an English mother it would be. Tangy sweet apples covered with a crispy crumble that was good to the last scrape on the plate. As for the Sticky Toffee Pudding...only one word...delicious! With the crumble I had a glass of Delaforce Bottle Vintage Port (£3.60 a glass) and Maxine a delightful sweet wine, 2005 VAT 5 Semillon from Australia (£4.30 a glass). To be honest, we should have switched wines. The Abbeville isn’t the easiest place to find, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Sunday lunch is very popular and reservations are needed, but be prepared for children. There is a selection of beers, including cask ales as well as wines. We stuck to house wines and both the white and red were excellent. On an added note, a friend told me they make the best bloody Mary on the south side of the river.

69 Abbeville Road, London SW4 9JW, 0208 6752201

Taillevent, Paris T

he last time I was in Taillevent was with my late husband on Valentine’s Day many years ago, when I had one of the best meals in my life. When I learned Jean-Claude Vrinat (pictured), who inherited the restaurant from his father, had recently died, and recalled the attention he had given a young American couple, I feared I was in for a disappointment. Fortunately, Valerie Vrinat d’Indy is following in her father’s footsteps and my fears were unwarranted. The decor of the C19th townhouse in the 8th arrondissement has changed slightly. Modern paintings line the walls, but the beautiful panelling is still there, although lightened. There are two dining rooms downstairs. Patricia chose The Lamennais Dining Room which is more traditional than the somewhat younger feeling Trianon Dining Room. There are also two small dining rooms for private functions which you reach by a beautiful wrought iron staircase. The restaurant (named after Guillaume Tirel, called Taillevent, who in the C14th wrote the first French cuisine cooking book on the order of King Charles V), has one of the world’s top wine lists. You can spend from €2000 on an Haut Brion to €30 for something slightly less prestigious, but it’s affordable compared with other Michelin restaurants. We started with house champagne and then with the help of our sommelier had a glass of white (€10 euros) and red wine (slightly more) to go with our various courses. I started with risotto d’epautre

aux truffles, as good as I’ve eaten anywhere, while Patricia had the langoustine ravioli. Perhaps because she is half-Italian she was disappointed and informed the waiter she ate better ravioli in a cheap café in Italy recently. He couldn’t have reacted more politely, even offering to change the dish for something else. Fortunately, the main course of Poulette de Bresse was too heavenly for even Patricia to complain about. As for my noisettes of d’agneau surrounded by baby artichokes and the most delicious gnocchi, words fail me it was so good. My chocolate mousse-like cake was gorgeous and Patricia’s selection of three sorbets were, she said, as good as she made – a compliment! We ended with lovely espresso and a glass of Tokaji. Service was excellent. The Taillevent is still the ideal restaurant to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Our two dinners totalled €350, Lunch Menu €80, Dinner Menu a la carte €120–140 (Drinks excluded), Discovery Menu: €190.

15 rue Lammenais, Paris 75008, France, +33 (0)l 44 95 15 01, 2

The American

Cellar Talk Libations by Virginia E. Schultz

“Without bread, without wine, love is nothing.” ~ French Proverb TIPS FOR STORING WINE

Virginia’s advice on how to keep quality wines in tip-top condition ● Always store in a cool, dark place. ● Keep bottles away from vibrations such as refrigerators, washing machines, driers etc. Under the stairs, especially when there are teenagers or a member of the family who stomps, is not wise. ● Storage temperature: 55 degrees Fahrenheit is best, 65 is fine, but 70 is too warm. And don’t store in a garage or someplace where the temperature rises and falls drastically during certain months of the year. Try to keep the temperature steady. A constant 65 is better than an irregular 55. ● Store bottles on the side or upside down so the cork is always moist. ● Remember there are some wines that should be drunk young and storing them too long could prove disastrous. ● Remember as well, that the wine you loved on your holiday may not taste the same back home. ● If you’re shipping wine to the States, choose a shipper with experience. A case of wine sitting on a dock in Miami in the middle of July, or in Chicago during the middle of January, can be undrinkable by the time it reaches your cellar.



ining out on Valentine’s day is often more frustrating than we plan. It is difficult enough making certain you’re free in the evening and there no last minute hitch to your plans without arriving at the restaurant and finding you have to stand at a crowded bar and wait for your turn until a table is available. Often this is where arguments start and the two of you end up glaring at each other the rest of the evening. Anything but romantic. Valentine’s Day is a busy time for most restaurants and the best are usually packed. It is lovely to go to a 2 star Michelin restaurant, but, frankly, unless you’re a regular customer or have a well-known name, choose to dine instead at one that isn’t continually mentioned in the social columns. Like it or not, the Paris Hiltons of this world will always get more attention than Mr and Mrs Tom Jones. Unless you’re the famous singer with that name. Giving the maitre-d’ a list of requests on arrival is also a mistake. Call several days ahead to make certain that favourite bottle of wine or champagne or even flowers are available. If you prefer a table where you have a little more privacy, ask when you call to make a reservation. Make certain, however, it isn’t near a door to the kitchen or anywhere else

where people will be going in or out or any privacy you’re seeking will be spoiled by the continual opening and closing of a door. If you still prefer that expensive restaurant and can’t get a reservation in the dining room, sit at the corner of the bar and indulge in a vintage bottle of champagne and Beluga caviar or share a huge plate of shell fish. This can be as much fun as a three course dinner, but, beware, it can be even more expensive. Or stay at home, turn on your favourite music and have that caviar and champagne in bed. That is, of course, you haven’t any children in the next bedroom or they have already left home. H

WINE OF THE MONTH LE NOMBRE D’OR CHAMPAGNE Expensive Phillip and Pierre have enlivened the conventional blends of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier which make 99 percent of Champagne’s vines by hunting down the last plots of the noble varietals of two centuries ago. Made of seven different grape varieties, it is as like drinking history in the glass.

The American

Arts News

By Estelle Lovatt

Saatchi and the Americans... A

t The Saatchi Gallery in London, Emily Prince’s artwork, ‘American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (but not Including the Wounded, nor the Iraqis nor the Afghans)’ is a tribute to American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004. With 5,158 pencil drawings – one for every fallen soldier to date – this ongoing memorial turns the statistics of the human cost of war back into fine art portraits of real lives. Paying homage to each soldier, each portrait, on coloured card, corresponds to the skin tone of every serviceman and includes their name, age, and place of origin. It also operates as a study of racial demographics. It will not be complete until American involvement in Iraq and


Afghanistan ends. Prince, an artist based in San Francisco, says “The numbers kept coming up in the daily reports. Five here, fourteen there, one day after over a thousand. It was no longer enough to know how many. I needed to see pictures of them, to familiarize myself just a tiny bit more with what was happening far from my warm home...spending time with each one...who is now gone. As an investigation it is little, and incomplete, addressing only the Americans who have died. Neither the Iraqis nor the Afghanis are pictured. However, this gap in my own representation does not symbolize any deliberate or meaningful exclusion. I feel deep sadness for the people of these nations.” Although the Iraq war officially began on March 20, 2003, the artist did not conceive her project until November 3, 2004; one day after President George W. Bush was elected for his second term in office. For more information about the project, visit Also at Saatchi’s, Richard Wilson’s black recycled engine oil installation, 20:50 (named after the type of oil) is back. Walking Moses-like into a room of waist-high black sump oil everything is reflected in the oily mirror. Responding to the architecture you have to think where the oil ends and the room begins.

Marc Chagall (1887-1985), Apocalypse en Lilas, Capriccio 1945/47. BEN URI COLLECTION, THE LONDON JEWISH MUSEUM OF ART, 2009

Lost Chagall Christ Painting While we’re on the subject of how the atrocities of war have inspired art, The Ben Uri; The London Jewish Museum of Art, has bought Chagall’s image capturing his private response to the end of the war, the Holocaust and his wife Bella’s death. “Apocalypse en Lilas, Capriccio”, 1945, is his rare lost and previously unseen masterwork. Now the BU is one of only four museums across the globe – including The Art Institute of Chicago – to be custodians of this hugely important but tiny body of work where Chagall employs a Jewish Christ between 1938 and 1945. This work, never recorded outside the archives, and never exhibited or published before, is, as Chairman David Glasser says, “A triumph! Chagall’s deeply personal expression of horror and mourning.” The Ben Uri is searching for a Central London gallery to exhibit the extraordinary wealth and depth of its Collection. To help, contact


The American

Arts Choice

Alberto Giacometti, L’Homme qui marche I, bronze © Sotheby’s

By Michael Burland

Giacometti Sculpture at Sotheby’s, London

Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA • February 3, evening. We don’t normally preview auctions, but Sotheby’s has something rather unusual this month. This is one of the most important sculptures by Alberto Giacometti ever to have come to auction. L’Homme qui marche I is a life-size work that is regarded as being among the most important of Giacometti’s bronzes. It originated as part of a public project that Giacometti was commissioned to do for the Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York. Coincidentally (given the Parallax item in this feature) a cast of L’Homme qui marche I was subsequently exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1962. This the first time that a Giacometti figure of a walking man in this size has come to auction in over twenty years. Not only that,

but this piece is a cast made in 1961during Giacometti‘s life and no life-time cast of the subject has ever been auctioned before. It was formerly part of the corporate collection of Dresdner Bank, who acquired it circa 1980. Commerzbank took over Dresdner in 2009. The sale estimate is between £12-18 million ($19-29m) and proceeds will go towards charities and selected museums in Germany. Also in the sale (and how many times would these two rate an ‘also’ mention?) are one of the most important landscapes by Gustav Klimt ever to come to auction, lost during WWII but now also estimated at £12-18 million and a rare still-life by Paul Cézanne estimated at £10-15 million.

Paul Nash: The Elements

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London SE21 7AD February 10 – May 9

Paul Nash, Bomber in the Corn, 1940, Pencil and watercolour on paper, 39.4 x 57.8cm, © Tate, London


Paul Nash, 1889 – 1946, was once notorious as an English Surrealist, but he is now one of the most admired of modern British artists. This exhibition will bring together around sixty of his finest paintings and watercolours, from the whole of his career, including his work as a war artist in both World Wars, a selection of Nash’s photographs, photographic collages, interiors, abstracts, political paintings of the 1930s and still lifes, as well as the landscapes for which he is best known. This is the first exhibition in London since 1975 devoted to all aspects of Nash’s painting.

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Super Renga Online, Ongoing

Edward Seago, The Butt & Oyster

A Hundred Years of Edward Seago At Home And Abroad

The Taylor Gallery, 28 Cork Street, London W1S 3NG • February15th to 20th British realist artists are experiencing a resurgence of interest, and to mark the centenary of Edward Seago (1910 – 1974), this selling exhibition consists of over 60 watercolours and oil paintings, including a large selection of works not seen in public for 30 to 40 years. Seago is regarded as amongst the very best of British landscape artists of the 20th Century. He traveled extensively and the paintings selected for this show are inspired by the sights he saw over his

broad career. Highlights include masterpieces as ‘The Gulf of Porto Cervo, Sardinia’, ‘Hyde Park in Winter’, ‘Summer in the Tuileries Gardens’. An outstanding watercolour of Seago’s East Anglian work is ‘The Elm Tree’, together with the oil ‘The Butt and Oyster, Pinmill, Suffolk’, which was one of Seago’s favourite East Anglian subjects. ‘The Harbour, Dieppe’, ‘Place de la Concorde, Paris’, and ‘The Beach at Torremolinos’, showcase his technique of capturing a moment in time.

Alan Summers, the Embassy of Japan’s roving “Japan-UK 150” haiku & renga poet no less, is currently in partnership with Bath Central Library to create the World’s longest renga poem: a Super Renga! Renga is a traditional Japanese group poem where everyone gives a verse linked to the previous one. US poets and librarians are heavily involved with this local Bath-based project including American haiku and renga poets Michael Dylan Welch from Washington State and Californian Jane Reichhold. Alan says, “We’d love you to join in! Email us at renga@withwords. for a verse to link onto, it’s fun!” You can get more information at The Renga Blog http://tiny. cc/TheSuperRenga

Parallax Offsite Programme: Free Workshops for International Art Professionals Milton Keynes • February 19-21

The Venice Biennale (Biennale di Venezia) is a series of events held in that beautiful Italian city, involving Contemporary Art, Dance, Architecture, Film, Music and Theatre. Parallax Venice has launched an Offsite Programme to continue its work. The first British event was held in Dundee in December. Following this in February is a programme in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, including alternative tours of Milton Keynes, a presentation of Parallax work to date, a collaborative workshop, a ‘Talk and See’ session, a symposium concerning the situation of art professionals in a global world and networking events. Parallax chose Milton Keynes as it is a ‘new town’ and is a unique context for artists to work and respond to. If you’re an artist, curator, critic, art historian or manager, see for details.

Alan Summers, pictured with sheets of Renga poems photo: With Words


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Kinetica Art Fair 2010

P3, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1. February 4-7 A nexus where art and technology meets, that’s one definition of Kinetica Art Fair. It’s the only place you’ll find a family of holographic light beings, sculpting and drawing robots, an orchestral milk float and a giant vertical electronic wave together in one place. It is the UK’s only art fair dedicated to “kinetic, robotic, sound, light and time-based art”. The organizers define this as “Art that has a life of its own”. To prove this is not a new phenomenon, on display will be original interactive installations from the 1968 exhibition of cybernetic art Cybernetic Serendipity such as Rosa the Robot, by Bruce Lacey and SAM (Sound Activated Mobile) by Edward Ihnatowicz. As well as the artworks themselves, by over 150 artists, you can enjoy talks, workshops and performances, and you can buy artworks ranging from £50 - £40,000. P3, a former 14,000sq ft former concrete testing facility, is London’s newest multi-disciplinary art space and is well worth a visit.


The American

Irving Penn Portraits

Wolfson Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London, WC2H 0HE 18 February – 6 June 2010

Nicola (‘Nicky’) Philipps, HRH Prince William and HRH Prince Harry, 2010 © National Portrait Gallery, London

New Portrait of Prince William and Prince Harry

Contemporary Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, 2 Saint Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE from 6 January 2010 Royalty is one of the biggest attractions to Americans and other visitors to Britain, and Princess Diana’s two sons are no exception. The first painted double-portrait of the future monarch, Prince William, and his brother Harry are on show for the first time in London. The portrait, by Nicola J ‘Nicky’ Philipps, was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery. It was painted from life and shows the Princes wearing the dress uniform of the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals), as they wore for their grandmother The Queen’s Birthday Parade in 2008. William is wearing the star and sash of the Order

of the Garter, the British order of chivalry founded in 1348. He is now training to be a Search and Rescue Pilot with the Royal Air Force. Prince Henry (usually known as Harry) is still a Lieutenant in the Blues and Royals and is training to become an Army Air Corps helicopter pilot. Nicky Philipps says: ‘It was a great privilege to be asked to paint the Princes for the National Portrait Gallery. They were very good company and although I was commissioned to paint them in their official context, I hope I have also captured some of the brotherly banter that characterised the sittings.’

Irving Penn, who died on October 7 last year at his home in Manhattan., was one of the greatest of portrait and fashion photographers. Born in 1917, in Plainfield, New Jersey, he is particularly known for his studies of major figures from generations of famous faces who worked in many genres of the arts. He worked for Vogue in New York in the 1940s and evolved a unique style, showing his subjects in simple, stark settings, very different from the complex settings or naturalistic scenes commonly used by his contemporaries. Later still he began to photograph his sitters in close-up or in half shadow, leading to iconic and memorable images. This is the largest ever exhibition of Penn’s portraits in Britain, and the first in a British museum for over 20 years. It features over 120 photographs from Penn’s seven-decade career ranging from his early portraits for Vogue in 1944 to some of his last work. Portraits include Truman Capote, Salvador Dalì, Marlene Dietrich, Christian Dior, T.S. Eliot, Duke Ellington, Alfred Hitchcock, Nicole Kidman, Willem de Kooning, Jessye Norman, Rudolf Nureyev, Edith Piaf, Pablo Picasso, Harold Pinter, Igor Stravinsky, and Tennessee Williams. Previously unpublished or exhibited works include an early portrait of fellow photographer Cecil Beaton with nude from 1946, writer Harold Pinter (1962), and the painter, Lee Krasner, photographed in 1972. If you are traveling to Italy later in the year, the exhibition will tour to Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome from July 1 to September 19.


The American

Megan Mullally Hits West End

Cuba comes to wintry Britain – Pasion De Buena Vista is on tour


egan Mullally, Karen Walker from Will & Grace, makes her West End debut in February. For the first time outside of the US, the acclaimed actress and performer will appear with her band, Supreme Music Program, in a new show at the Vaudeville Theatre. It’s a European and UK first, and will run for eight performances only, from February 16th-21st. Megan and Supreme Music Program have recorded three albums and performed across America at theatres such as The Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Seattle Symphony and the Goodman Theatre, Chicago. The new show includes songs from all three albums alongside previously unheard material. It is the first time they have toured outside the US, so this is a rare chance to catch the charismatic, versatile, Emmy awardwinning performer.

Megan Mullally makes a musical appearance on the West End stage


Pasion De Buena Vista Can you take the heat? We can’t get away from those steamy Latin rhythms this month!


asion De Buena Vista is a new show that mixes dance with music, sensational vocals with incredible rhythms. Salsa, rhumba and mamba combine to capture the essence of Cuba. African percussion, Spanish instrumentation and the trumpet sound of the American big bands of the ’40s and ’50s produce a thrilling melange of sound and movement. The Germans have already taken Pasion De Buena Vista to their hearts, propelling the show’s music up the charts. Now it’s Britain’s turn, and we’re sure that Americans over here will warm to its Caribbean charms too. The show features an eight piece band led by Antonio Castro along with three of the greatest Cuban singers – Maida Castadena, Inocente Fernandez-Jimenez and Tomas Sanchez – who have formerly performed with Cuban legends Ibrahim Ferrer, Juan De Marcos Gonzales and Compay Segundo. Joining them are dancers from Club Tropicana in Havana under the leadership of well known choreographer Francisco

Blanco Prada. It all promises to be a truly exhilarating live performance. The UK tour dates are February 9th Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall; 10th Cambridge, Corn Exchange; 11th High Wycombe, Swan Theatre; 12th Southend, Cliffs Pavilion; 13th Salisbury, City Hall; 14th Basingstoke, The Anvil; 16th Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre; 17th Northampton, Royal and Derngate; 18th Torquay, Princess; 19th Oxford, New Theatre; 23rd Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall; 24th Edinburgh, Playhouse; 25th, 26th & 27th Manchester, Palace Theatre; 28th London, London Palladium; March 1st Leicester, De Montfort Hall; 3rd Stoke-on-Trent; Regent Theatre; 4th Cardiff, St. David’s Hall; 5th Birmingham, Alexandra Theatre; 6th York, Grand Opera House; 7th Buxton, Opera House; 9th Portsmouth, Guildhall; 10th Bristol, Colston Hall; 11th Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall; 12th Croydon, Fairfield Halls; 13th Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall; 14th Liverpool, Empire Theatre; 16th Grimsby Auditorium; 17th Southport Theatre.

The American

Sadler’s Wells

Dance Sensations


f you’re reading this issue of The American in the first week after it’s out, there’s just time to sample a selection of dance from around the world, everything from salsa and ballet to hip hop and contemporary dance, on one stage over one very special preview weekend, January 30th and 31st. Sadler’s Wells Sampled has justly become a highlight of London’s dance calendar, especially at these low prices – only £10, or £5 for proms standing tickets. The 2010 line-up includes the dancers of hugely popular Cuban dance show Havana Rakatan, French hip hop crew Phase T; First Soloists from Birmingham Royal Ballet and an eagerly anticipated performance by Taiwanese choreographer Shu-Yi Chou, the winner of the first ever Sadler’s Wells Online Global Dance Contest by the general public. There will also be workshops, offering beginners the opportunity to have a go at learning salsa, hip hop, street dance and flamenco for just £2 per session.

Havana Rakatan follow Sampled with a season at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre from February 4th to March 6th. And Sadler’s Wells have more salsa-flavored dance with its Flamenco Festival London 2010, from February 13th to 27th. There is a great selection of new work, much of it never seen in this country before. The flamenco fortnight opens with the UK premiere of Cambio de Tercio by the award-winning choreographers Rojas and Rodríguez of Nuevo Ballet Español. There is a new work by Eva Yerbabuena, one of the world’s greatest flamenco dancers. Seville-born dancer Rafaela

Belen Lopez Photo: Bernardo Doral

Carrasco presents another UK premiere, Vamos Al Tiroteo, set to a selection of popular Spanish songs. María Pagés, the modernizing flamenco dancer, performs an intimate new work Autorretrato inspired by the process that painters follow when creating a self-portrait. The festival concludes with the Gala Flamenca featuring some of the most important new figures in flamenco. The celebrated young dancer Pastora Galván will be performing alongside Manuel Liñán, a performer known for his dramatic choreography, the passionate and glamorous Belén López and Rocío Molina, one of the finest soloists around today. H



The American

The American Interview

David Grindley David Grindley has spent many years living in New York and producing plays on Broadway. Michael Burland spoke to him as he rehearsed the London revival of Six Degrees of Separation David, how was it, working on Six Degrees over Christmas and the New Year? We started rehearsing November 30th so we had quite a long time before Christmas. People had Christmas with families, but we’ve had exactly the right amount of time for rehearsals. Being able to go straight into the theatre after New Year and have something to get your teeth into is just great. At the end of this week John Guare the writer of Six Degrees returns, having been with us at the beginning of rehearsals. It makes a real difference because the actors know it’s blessed by

the playwright and they can speak to the source. Hopefully he’ll be pleasantly surprised at the progress we’ve made. Is it unusual these days for an author to be involved in what is not a brand new play? It depends on the production. This is the first time that this play has been produced in New York or London since the original production in 1990. Has John changed the play at all, twenty years on? Not really. We’re setting it in period. Period revivals work in two ways. We’ll

Anthony Head, Ian Redford and Lesley Manville rehears Six Degrees of Separation


look at the 1990 clothes and hairstyles, and the social circumstances, and go, “Did we really wear that hair, those clothes, were the shoulder pads really that big?” By the same token, we’ll go, “‘My gosh, some of those things really haven’t changed’” The play was written just before the last great recession. So much about the play is attuned to where we are at the moment, for example the iconography of Sidney Poitier in the play is very similar to that of Barack Obama. And with the World Wide Web, the sense of interconnectedness that the play speaks of is even greater now. It’s a play about imagination. The character of Paul, played by Obi Abili, pretends to be Sidney Poitier’s son, which is fraudulent. But the play focuses on him as a man with limited resources, who transforms himself into something completely different and gets away with it. That’s the force of the imagination. These days we’re on the web all the time, my kids are on their Nintendos, imagination is being less and less relied upon. The play reminds us of just what resources we have within ourselves if we allow our heads to explore them. Is that an analogy for The American Dream? Exactly! It’s very similar to Gatsby, a very strong American narrative that you can come from nowhere, with no history, and become a major force in society, become significant in some way. You just need to matter at that particular moment in time to come to the fore. I’ve noticed it with actors in New York and LA. The potential for Americans to reinvent themselves seems to be within the DNA of the country. Six Degrees is a very American piece, with American characters, it’s set in an apartment overlooking Central Park, yet your actors are not?

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No, all the leads are played by Brits, although Tony Head spent much of the ’90s in LA doing Buffy. Actors on both sides of the pond are brilliant at getting into each other’s skins. I think by spending so much time in New York I have a sensibility of what that Upper East Side New York mentality is, and convey that to the actors. Most of them have played in New York, so they’re very attuned to that. But I did English plays in New York and it’s incredible how well versed the Americans are at being able to be English. That’s another benefit of the world becoming closer. I was always very keen that we should do it with Brits. The part of Ouisa is so closely associated with Stockard Channing, who played it originally in New York, then London, then did the movie. To have Lesley Manville play that role was very exciting to me, one of the finest actors of her generation, ripe for the challenge to step into Stockard’s shoes and make it her own. Although Six Degrees was inspired by real life, it’s not just a straightforward dramatic representation. No, it’s important to say that. In the real life incident, in 1983, David Hampton was trying to get into Studio 54, the infamous nightclub on 54th Street. The owner used to stand outside and pick the beautiful people. Hampton called out that he was the son of Sidney Poitier, and his friend the son of Gregory Peck. The ruse worked so well he started working his way into people’s homes, taking money from them, very successfully. His activity became fundamentally criminal. John’s take on that was that the Paul character just wants to have experience. He gets the keys to the kingdom, he can enter into upscale people’s lives previously denied him, and he’s consumed by the excitement. There’s a kind of naivety, a boyishness to him. There’s nothing fun-

damentally criminal at play but because he wants to celebrate experience at every given moment things happen that he’s not prepared for, that can then be perceived as criminal. In the play, he meets two young people who are just trying to make it in New York. He persuades one of them to take out all the rich couple’s money and they blow it on a fantastic single night out in New York. The young man, feeling guilty, takes his own life. That’s not at Paul’s prompting, but the consequences of his actions ends in tragedy. Paul is much more ambivalent for an audience than someone like David Hampton who could be pigeon-holed as a guy who finds a fantastic con and exploits it for all it’s worth, purely for his own selfish materialist ends. The character of Paul is black, Does that still have meaning? I think it does. Race, as you know, continues to be a very major issue in the US, and even here. You notice that there is only one black actor on stage with a cast of fifteen others around him, and he has to be extra-charming at the beginning so that he doesn’t unsettle them. And it’s fascinating how easily he is pigeon-holed by the characters as a criminal when they feel they’ve been taken advantage of. It remains a fascinating insight into the way the liberal emancipated Upper East Side, predominantly white people, react to African-Americans. You said that Barack Obama has taken over the mantle of Sidney Poitier. What does Poitier represent to the white characters?

David Grindley, in rehearsal

They revere him, because he doesn’t threaten them. I think that’s the same with Obama. Both are inspirational, but the way they talk about Poitier says more about the characters’ conceits than about Poitier himself. They feel comfortable with him, but just because they revere Poitier - or Obama – it doesn’t necessarily mean that race isn’t an issue in their mindset anymore. After the success on Broadway, Six Degrees transferred very successfully to the West End, then it was a successful film with Will Smith. Have you any plans to do the same sort of thing, and move over to the film world? Well I have had some camera experience, maybe, who knows. If the opportunity was offered and if the script was right I’d love to do it. The possibility of doing a small, singlecamera character-led drama has been mentioned to me so we’ll see how things go. H


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Legally Blonde The Musical


Savoy Theatre, London • Music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach


migod you guyz, I’ve just been to this great show. It’s got like Sheridan Smith who is like TOTALLY channelling Jane Krakowsi you wouldn’t belieeeeeve. And OMG! It has Duncan James from Blue. There, on stage. I mean, wouldn’t you just DIE! (Enough of the valley girl speak already – Ed.) Above: Alex Gaumond as Emmett Forrest and Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods Photo by Ellie Kurttz

Right: Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods and Pongo as Bruiser Photo by Ellie Kurttz


I went with a friend from LA, now resident in London, and he told me that valley speak was one of the reasons he emigrated. You have been warned. Based on the surprise hit movie of 2001, starring Reece Witherspoon, it opened on Broadway in 2007 to wide acclaim. The American creative team have now brought it to London but are using a British cast, all of whom are excellent. The plot revolves around Elle

The TheAmerican American

Woods (Sheridan Smith) an uber-blonde Californian fashionista who has it all. Or thinks she does. Expecting a proposal from perfect beau Warner Huntingdon III (Duncan James, with a wobbly accent) she ends up getting dumped in favour of a frumpy society girl (the kind “who wears black when nobody is dead”), so he can impress his parents. Never one to accept defeat, Elle sets out to get into Harvard Law School and win him back. On the way she learns that there is more to life than Warner. Yes, it’s a ‘Journey’, like The Odyssey ...only pinker. Sam Goldwyn once said “if you want to send a message use Western Union, not one of my movies”. If this show has a message at all, it is to be yourself, or more precisely to fight for the right to wear pink, if you happen to be a highflying lawyer. (Note to self: I must ask a high flying lawyer I know if this represents a sort of liberation, or not?) The book, music and lyrics are, shall we say, undistinguished, but the show is redeemed by excellent direction, choreography and performances. Director/Choreographer Jerry Mitchell is Broadway A-list now and it shows. His choreography for Elle’s sorority girlfriends (also a Greek Chorus no less) wittily mocks valley girls tryin’ to get down with those R&B grooves. The show also has its finger on the pulse. Elle quips that “back in California we’re not exactly trailer trash you know. Simon Cowell is our neighbour” and Anglo American relations get sorely tested in the courtroom refrain “Gay or European?” The pace doesn’t sag for a second and the costumes, design and hair (of course) are perfect. Mitchell gets great performances out his British cast. Jill Halfpenny (Strictly Come Dancing winner) brings a great voice to the working class friend-of-the-heroine archetype and does an hilarious Oirish number which deservedly pokes fun at Riverdance and Enya, providing great comic relief. Also, resplendent in lycra, is Aoife Mulholland, the Irish blonde runner-up from How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? (I don’t watch them, I promise). She is Brooke Wyndham, Queen of the Workout DVDs (“what doesn’t kill ya, makes you hotter”), and the defendant in the trial where Elle finally proves her mettle. A star is born however with

Sheridan Smith as Elle. Following her triumph in Little Shop of Horrors at the Menier, she carries the show here and has the confidence of a Hollywood star. She personifies pink. Finally a note to all fathers/husbands/boyfriends who might be dreading this: Be not afraid. This is not High School Musical 2. It has wit, some intelligence and an easy charm and she’ll love ya for taking her. H

Below: Jill Halfpenny as Paulette and Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods Photo by Ellie Kurttz.tif


The American

Greta Garbo Came to Donegal By Frank McGuinness Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, London


he Swedish born star of American stage and TV, Caroline Lagerfelt, has been cast as the legendary Greta Garbo in Frank McGuinness’ latest pastoral excursion to the emerald isle, staged at Kilburn’s lively Tricycle Theatre. Garbo did actually visit Donegal in the mid seventies as a guest of the then owner of the exquisite Glenveagh Castle. Here McGuinness moves the action back to 1967 (just before the “Troubles”) and imagines the impact the morose Swede would have had on the locals.


Caroline Lagerfelt stands out as Greta Garbo in an impressive cast

She arrives at the home of Sir Matthew, a fading aristo artist, who is trying to offload his Big House. There she gets embroiled in the lives of the family who work for him. There’s Paulie (Michelle Fairley), the earth-mother housekeeper, holding it all together, her disaffected brother James, the chauffeur, who is trapped in a loveless marriage with the fiery Sylvia. The latter is played by the star of The Commitments, Angeline Ball, who also sings gets to sing, divinely. We also meet Colette (Lisa Diveney, pictured below), the bright young daughter, yearning to get away from them all to study medicine at University College Dublin and last but not least, the strapping Harry , a gay cockney ex boxer who happens to be the toy-boy to the master of the house. This ain’t Synge. The vision of 60’s Ireland set out by McGuinness here is simply perverse and the play is a sad disappointment. He completely misrepresents both the class system and the sexual politics which prevailed at the time and the piece ends up as a kind warmed up Friel (but without the poetry) crossed with ‘Gay’

agitprop theatre of the Seventies. The locals display none of the deference they surely would have shown to someone of Garbo’s stature and the idea that the ice queen who “vanted to be alone” would sit in a kitchen and tolerate the family squabbles of this unedifying lot is quite baffling. Would Garbo also be so mean to the servants? Small tourist places in rural Ireland had a strict caste system where tourists were concerned. I know because I grew up in one. Bars and hotels were strictly segregated then and the golf player and his caddy for example moved in separate social spheres. (Jarlath grew up in Waterville, County Kerry, where Charlie Chaplin spent all his summers in the 1960s, so he knows the background. He adds, “These were the days before package holidays. Waterville was a really classy resort back then, populated by American millionaires and visiting gentry” –Ed.) The sexual politics of the play are troubling to say the least. In the first scene while the prim Paulie bakes her soda bread in the kitchen, Joe, the hunk, enters stark naked and a casual

The American

Book ReVIeWS By Virginia E Schultz Made In Italy Food & Stories

by Giorgio Locatelli with Sheila Keating

Tom McKay (Harry Caulfield) & Daniel Gerroll (Matthew Dover) ALL PHOTOS: TRISTRAM KENTON

conversation ensues with the women of the house. In 1960s Donegal! Delightful and all as he is, this stretches credibility beyond breaking point. Furthermore the play is lumbered with gay subplots which crash land like asteroids destroying any attempt at realism and yet not working as fantasy either. Paulie even has a Sapphic tryst with the great Garbo herself, in between soda bread baking. With no real anchor to the piece the characters in the play all fail to convince. Their erudition is the author’s, not their own. This is an impressive cast – Caroline Lagerfelt in particular stands out – but they struggle valiantly with dialogue which goes nowhere. Some of it is cringe inducing, such as Sir Matthew’s observation about the burgeoning civil rights marches in Derry that “There is a change coming to these dark parts”. The play ends with a drawn out scene of departure (echoes of The Cherry Orchard) after which Paulie exclaims: “Greta Garbo came to Donegal and left us as she found us”. You put your finger on it Paulie. H

“An Italian’s role in life is to feed people. A lot. We can’t help it.” Locatelli writes. Having grown up next door to a family of Italian Americans, I can vouch for that. Locatelli whose appearances on TV have made him well known in the UK has written what is the most thorough Italian cookbook I’ve used in years. On first glance, I found the recipes appeared difficult, but when I followed them carefully I ended up cooking some of the best Italian dishes to come out of my kitchen. If there was a problem, it was because while preparing a dish I forgot what I was doing, having got caught up on Locatelli’s comments on food and life. Not for a beginner, but a definite must cookbook for anyone who eats and enjoys life. Fourth Estate, London, £30

True Colors

by Kristin Hannah


rue Colors tells the story of love, jealousy and rivalry among three sisters, Winona, Aurora and Vivi Anne, of Oyster Shores, Washington, and the emotional consequences of their lives after their mother’s death. Their father, Henry Grey, is a hard, stern man whose only interest is the Grey name and the preservation of the ranch that has been in the family for three generations.

He appreciates his daughters only where they reflect his values and strengths. The brightest of the three sisters and the best lawyer in town, Winona cannot win the approval of her father no matter how tries. Aurora hides her own unhappiness, caused by a loveless marriage, to keep peace in her family. Only the youngest, Vivi Anne, the dreamer, seems to have everything she wants in life, including winning Luke, the man Winona has loved since she was a girl. Then Dallas, a man with a chequered past, comes to Oyster Shores and for the first time Vivi Anne learns what love is about. “That Indian”, her father sneers, but she finds something in Dallas she needs more than even the love of her family. In following her heart, she and Winona separate. Even after Dallas is accused of murder and jailed for life, Winona is convinced it is all for the better for her sister and her nephew, Noah. The anger, the resentment remains until one day, her nephew, now a teenager, asks Winona to help free his father. Torn between bitterness and guilt, she reluctantly agrees. Kristin Hannah has written a tale of love, loyalty and forgiveness and as in her previous novels, keeps you awake until the early hours of the morning. St. Martin’s Press, $26.00


The American

the CITY that

never Smokes

Alan Miller splits his time between London and, mainly, New York. He takes a look at the culture of State intervention in his favorite city.



grew up with the image of New York City being a place of excitement and adventure, if somewhat dangerous, with innovative creators of fashion, music and the arts – in short, a place of visionaries and, dare I say it today, an eye towards the future. Having lived primarily in NYC for a few years now, it is of course true that it is now nice to be able to walk in the parks and not be mugged or tread on syringes in Times Square. But at what cost has this occurred? When New York Mayor Bloomberg passed the legislation to ban smoking in public places (on the grounds that second-hand or “passive” smoking would impact workers, mainly) I asked various New Yorkers what they thought of it – and also how it managed to get passed in a city so passionate about rights and freedoms. There was general bewilderment, some mentioned the fall out from 9/11 fear diverting their attention, however generally it seemed that as people recognized smoking itself was bad for people, there was no real battle. There has been much discussion to what extent second hand smoke is really a problem epidemiologically


although even then, the fact that we have air extractors that are extremely efficient may have suggested there were other remedies to the question.1 Recently however, bureaucrats have become even bolder and increasingly it is apparent that rather than being about “health” the anti smoking obsession is far more of a Morality Play. Thus, Dr. Thomas A. Farley New York city’s health commissioner can confidently argue for a ban on smoking at city parks and even beaches (where legislation may be able to be passed simply by the Parks Commission) now that is has become de rigueur to present smokers as somehow “beyond the pale”. Like the thrust around obesity in the USA and Europe and alcohol, particularly in Britain, politicians and bureaucrats who seem to be so rudder-less in other key areas of life – such as how to resolve poverty, build new houses, improve education substantially or overcome the recession – seem to gain some semblance of coherence and clarity, with an “us” (good nonsmoking, slim, ‘moderate’ drinkers – meaning wealthier in new realspeak) versus a “them” the bulging, smoking, drinking slobs of society. Not unlike

the Temperance Movement of old, this secular version seeks to divide the world between the morally deserving and undeserving. Where once Good vs. Evil took the form of the Cold War and set the demarcating lines between Left and Right across the world, with politicians and citizens far clearer about what they believed in and should strive for, nowadays it is increasingly popular for the personal and private sphere to become the legislating ground of small-minded “leaders”. A quick glance at a variety of cities across America demonstrates of course it is not just New York (or Paris or London) where this is the latest rage, for Bangor, in the heart of rural Maine, banned smoking in all cars carrying ‘children’ (which means anyone under 18). Brewer, also in Maine, followed hot on Bangor’s heels and has banned smoking in Housing Authority dwellings. Motorvehicle smoking bans were introduced in Arkansas and Texas and apartment bans have also occurred in California. It seems so ironic that the city known for its “If I can make it

The American

there…”, can-do attitude that is so intertwined with the American Dream, where autonomous independent adults can strive drawing on the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, has made it a leitmotif to increasingly interfere in our private lives. Not only have we had Trans Fat bans (and the earlier Cabaret Dancing Licensing Acts that pretty much curtailed any real frisson in New York nightlife) but bans have extended to salt and sugar with sights now set on soda drinks. It seems that while our leaders are incapable of presenting inspiring and innovative approaches and ideas to meet the opportunities and challenges of our present and future they are very comfortable to impose a set of

moral rules guide-lining what we eat, drink and how we play. New York is certainly not alone, as David Harsanyi explores in his hilariously titled book Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooder, Priggish Moralists and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children and of course Britain is very high up on the list of Nannying – or some would now say Bullying Intervention – in personal behavior.2 What ever one thinks about the smartness of smoking or eating fast food from time to time, it is

somewhat outrageous that we accept that citizens are to be treated like children, needing bureaucratic gurus to show them the moral path. Give me the feisty old “Noo Yoika” any day to a land where we are supposed to cower and beg in our private lives and fear lighting up in our own homes. As that old song goes, “It’s up to you, New York…” H Alan Miller is Director of The NY Salon ( ) in NYC and CoFounder of London’s Truman Brewery Art and Media Center and sits on the London Regional Arts Council Board.

Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98, British Medical Journal, May 2003 – 2 Bully State, The End of Tolerance by Brian Monteith (details Scottish legislation) 1


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lease place all keys, coins and metal objects from your pockets in the plastic containers’. A familiar mantra for the modern traveler, but then the guard added, ‘Your pockets must be empty. Check for paper, gum, wrappers or tickets. Nothing should remain in your pockets. I repeat, your pockets must be completely empty’. At that point I looked up with more attention and realized that people were not merely stepping through the ubiquitous post-modern version of the ‘arches’ namely the gunmetal grey, gun metal detectors. The

Nowhere to Hide

By Alison Holmes

– the difference a decade makes

people in front of me were, instead, being slowly turned sideways, asked to spread their legs and put their fingertips to their ears, elbows out. The guard might as well have asked them to ‘assume the position’ so spreadeagled were my fellow passengers. I blinked to be sure of what I was seeing. This was Tulsa, Oklahoma, for crying out loud. But no, everyone was being shepherded into the machine, carefully placed and prompted, presumably to get their bits at the most advantageous angle and so the unseen operator could get his own slightly spooky, two-tone version of the ‘full Monty’ of the people wishing to fly. The Tulsa scanners had only opened for business two days previously, and seemed to be working smoothly. The Oklahomans around me, being very law-abiding and some of the most stubbornly Republican citizens in the country, took little notice of the small sign that suggested if one wanted a ‘separate search’ they should ask a guard. A useful idea though, one could argue, an offer that sounded rather ominous and made problematic by the fact


Above: Long lines form for security screening at Denver International Airport photo: Greg O’Beirne

that the guards were, in fact, positioned on the far side of the large scanner. There was some comfort in the thought that travelers in Albuquerque, N.M.; Las Vegas; Miami; San Francisco; Salt Lake City were also facing the same guinea pig training for these new and expensive machines, while scanners were being used at 34 additional airports as secondary screens. Looking at this second list a bit further: Atlanta; Dallas/ Fort Worth; Denver; Detroit; Indianapolis; Jacksonville and Tampa, FL.; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Richmond, VA, and Baltimore and Reagan National in Washington D.C., one assumes they divined some kind of formula for the ratio of size of airport and level of disruption to security, and opted to wait until they had trained the flying public as to how to approach these beasts, as well as waiting to get more of a sense of the brewing debate on safety, efficacy and constitutionality before fully rolling them out. That said, orders for body scanners will also be going up in the four countries that Homeland

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Security has designated as ‘sponsors of terrorism’ e.g. Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, as well as in the ten ‘countries of interest’, namely: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. Again, one hopes this list was created with some semblance of fact and analysis and not merely from a list of primarily Muslim countries pinned to a dart board in a Virginia federal office staff room – though the lists don’t overly inspire one’s hopes on either of those counts. In terms of international response, the UK was caught up in the underpants bomber story by virtue of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s period of study in London. And, as an involved player, Gordon Brown was certainly not willing to be left behind – so to speak. The Prime Minister thus quickly ordered body scanners for Heathrow to be in place ‘as soon as practical’ as well as other security measures including the re-screening of transit passengers – no small endeavour given that airport’s role as ‘transit lounge’ of the world. So far, the response of the traveling public has been relatively subdued. Some complain about the invasion of privacy, but more suggest that any measure to guard against tragedy is never too far. The roll-out has been swift and relatively painless in the smaller airports, though it remains to be seen how much it slows traffic in busier locations. It is also early days and the tone could change very quickly if or when the innocent find themselves wronged or scanner images appear on the web. The most serious charge however, remains outstanding: would the new technology have kept up with the most recent attempt? Or, are we, once again, creating only a temporary inconvenience for the terrorist at the expense of further hobbling the freedoms of the traveling public? Worryingly, the most likely answers seem to be no and yes. Even these bits of kit cannot detect low-density materials such as powders, liquids, thin pieces of plastic or things that resemble skin. Nor can they detect any materials concealed internally. In this specific case, the conflicting opinion comes down to the

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the ‘underpants bomber’ U.S. Marshals Service

fact that it would ultimately have been down to the technician on duty to spot the ‘padding’ added by the powder to Mr Abdulmutallab’s nether regions. Hardly the call a tech would rush to make given the consequences of a mistaken search. Once again we come back to the old story of dots that remained unconnected in the days and weeks leading up to the incident and the real challenges of combating terrorism in this deluge-of-information age. Using technology to find the gun or the powder – or the marzipan or dish washing liquid, both substances used in Northern Irish bombs and clearly impossible to ban or detect – may save the few, but it doesn’t stop the production of bombs or indeed the production of martyrs. The process of separating those who take their views to the airwaves from those who actually take them to the airports is the question, and the answer as elusive as ever. Only a few short months ago the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall and the ending of the Cold War. That was a war in which the UK and the US stood ‘shoulder to shoulder’ against their shared enemies of communism and the tyrants who denied their people not only freedom, but the progress that comes from prosperity. In hindsight, we are beginning to view that time almost with nostalgia as we contrast it with our arrival at the end of the first decade in this quickly aging century. Once again, the UK and the US act in concert, but are struggling against enemies who are less defined, grieving for victims who have become more scattered and in fear of even more dire consequences. Tragically, our responses to fears of guns and powders and even of scanners or violations of privacy are as short-sighted as they are naive. It is the radicalization of youth all over the world in support of causes that have only destruction at their core that should occupy our policymakers as they are the real source of our danger. For the first time, the question of a mother’s exhortation to her son as to the state of his underwear is a national as well as an international policy issue. H


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his year, 2010, the United States will once again carry out a national population census as the Constitution requires every ten years. Then, when the basic numbers are assembled, that hoary arcane process will once again take place to redistribute the 435 seats in the House of Representatives in as fair and equitable a manner as possible. Good luck! (Note: the Congress can decide to change the number of House Members if and when it so desires). According to the most recent estimate of the Census Bureau, as of 1 July 2009 the total domestic population of the United States has increased by about 25.6 million during the last decade. (Some more will have been added too by the time the Census officially takes place this year). This shows an estimated increase of more than 9% during this last decade. On a regional basis, States in the Northeast and MidWest have smaller percentages of the total national population now than ten years ago. States in the South and West have grown more important. On a State by State basis, the big winners in increased population are Texas, California, and Florida. The most stagnant with almost no growth at all have been North Dakota, Rhode Island, Louisiana and West Virginia. So what might happen now in terms of gains and losses of Members

House Winners and Losers of the House of Representatives? In 2000 the average number of individuals per House Member for the 435 seats was 646,000. The average now has risen to 704,000 for the same 435 seats. Given that the Constitution requires that every State, no matter how small, gets at least one House Member, the seven smallest states will get to keep their House Members, even though four of them have a smaller total State population than the national average. Eliminating these seven smallest States gives an average population per Member of Congress for the other 43 States of the same approximate size of 704,000. Therefore, taking into consideration the changes in population distribution in these other 43 States during the last ten years, it looks like some of these States have too many House Members and others too few. Possible Winners: My back of the envelope calculations suggest that the redistribution this year might give five States a total of seven new House Seats. These winners are Texas (with possibly three new House seats), and one new seat each for Utah, Arizona, Georgia and Florida. Pennsylvania welcomes comparatively fewer folk, so it may lose a House seat photo: Ergo Sum


By Andy Sundberg

Above: Texas voters could get three new Congressmen to represent them in the House Photo: Lars Plougmann

Possible Losers: To bring the implied over-representation levels for some States down closer to the national average, and take seven existing House seats away from them to award them to the winners listed above, is seems likely that five States might end up losing House seat allocations this time. My guess is that these five States could be New York and Ohio (who might each lose two seats), plus California, Michigan and Pennsylvania who might each lose one House seat. It is bizarre that California might actually be a loser this time around given that their State population has actually grown quite substantially during the last ten years. Paradoxically, however, it appears that California was generously over represented last time around and a loss of a House Seat this time might be required to bring this State’s average representation back closer to the new national mean. Anyway, these are just rough estimates and the final result will probably be somewhat different. This is a little New Year’s present just in case you might have wondered how all of this might eventually turn out. H

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Ken Block Rallies to the Cause


Europe’s First (US-powered) Dragster


lly” the Allard Chrysler was Europe’s first dragster. After years of neglect, she is being restored to her former glory by the Allard Chrysler Action Group. Recently, ACAG Patron Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer, and supporters of the project gathered at Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum to celebrate recent landmarks. ACAG Chairman Brian Taylor highlighted recent links with America’s renowned retro dragster enthusiasts’ foundation, Project 1320. Now, through the efforts of its directors – a Who’s Who of American drag racing legends – the foundation will actively raise awareness in the USA about Ally’s restoration, getting parts manufacturers involved and raising funds for events where the car will exchange places with its American contemporary, “Mooneyes”. Brian read out a message of support from Project 1320 Chairman, Traci Hrudka: “It is indeed an honour for me, as well as members of the Project 1320 board, to be able to form this extraordinary alliance with the Allard Chrysler Action Group to bring a part of our joint history together. Between us, we can bring fifty years of drag racing back to life and cement the link between the

home of drag racing here in the USA and the car that provided the sport’s bridge to the rest of Europe.” A major announcement was the commissioning of the building of Ally’s 354 Chrysler Hemi engine by Booth Arons Racing Enterprises in Michigan. Funding for this has come from the sale of prints and paintings of the car by leading artists Tommy Vaagen and Paul Whitehouse. Both artists joined Nick Mason to hand over the original paintings to the delighted purchaser, Nick Davies. More funds came from ACAG’s winning of insurance company Performance Direct’s “Non Standard Award”, which was presented to Nick Mason on the day. The day also marked the formal re-uniting of the Allard Chrysler and the SEMA Trophy, which the car’s creator Sydney Allard raced for in 1963. The gilded Trophy was subsequently awarded to Britain’s top drag racers in the early 1970s before it was superseded. It was rediscovered by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club who donated it to the National Motor Museum. This presentation, to Doug Hill of the museum, was made by Sydney Allard’s son, Alan who is also a former driver of the car.

alifornian X Games superstar Ken Block will compete in the 2010 World Rally Championship, driving for the Monster World Rally Team in a Ford Focus RS. Rally fans say their sport requires the most multi-talented drivers. It has become a true forum for the best of the best - the new season, starting in Sweden on February 12, has attracted Block and former Formula 1 star Kimi Räikkönen alongside six-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb. “Racing in the World Rally Championship has always been a dream of mine but I’d still be dreaming if I promised podiums in the near future,” said Block. “I will be going head-to-head with the greatest drivers on the planet. And sure, I will be giving it my all but my main objective for 2010 is to develop into a competitive driver for 2011 and beyond.” Simon Long of WRC promoters North One Sport said, “Ken Block is an iconic figure in US motorsport. This provides us with huge opportunities to promote and grow the appeal of the WRC in North America and across the globe.”


The American


he Aston Martin DB9 is arguably the most gorgeous car made today (would it be too much to say ever?). And under its beauty it certainly has a lot of activity going on. That pretty much lives up to the definition of a swan – swimming serenely while paddling like stink under the water. Was this the inspiration for the name of Aston’s latest concept/show car? Not a ripsnorting 600 horsepower monster, but a luxury commuter vehicle. The Cygnet’s brief was to be a creative, environmentally conscious solution. It had to be small, yet have the presence that the Aston badge demands. Cygnet also had to be highly fuel efficient. This would truly be the offspring of the swan – if they can make it happen. To achieve all this starting from scratch would have been a mammoth task for any manufacturer, let alone a small ‘boutique’ outfit like Aston, so they have taken a sensible route

Aston Martin Cygnet Concept by basing Cygnet on a small, reliable, efficient and safe (five-star NCAP safety rating) base – Toyota’s excellent iQ. The design, using the iQ’s platform and its standard lights, was penned by Aston’s in-house Gaydon design group, led by the talented Marek Reichman. The show car certainly looks solid and classy, using plenty of ‘big’ Aston design elements in the smaller format. That is more difficult to pull off than

One-make Racing for Chevy Cruze


his could be your chance to race an American brand in the UK. The Chevrolet Cruze has already competed in World Touring Car, winning the Marrakech race piloted by Brit Rob Huff. Rob is behind a new, affordable one-make race series, the Cruze Cup. The other organizer is Paul McMillan whose Maxtreme Racing operation is offering privateer drivers the opportunity to compete in the new series. “Our aim is to offer drivers a chance to show their skills in equally matched cars in a fairly high profile series,” said McMillan. “The fact this is a car with racing pedigree, but is little different to what’s found in showrooms makes it all the more exciting.” The Cruze Cup consists of seven rounds of three 20-minute races at circuits across the UK, starting at Rockingham, Northants, on April 10-11. It will be run as part of the Dunlop Sport Maxx cup, meaning the races will be aired on television. Each car is based on a standard showroom spec 1.8-litre Cruze, with KW racing suspension and Rimstock wheels. Mechanically, they are little different to standard cars, and as each vehicle will be identical the series is all about driver skill. The series’ website is Potential participants can contact Paul Macmillan at


you might expect (think of Peugeot’s recent efforts). Having said that, does the Aston Martin grille on the small body look strangely like BMW’s MINI to you? And perhaps a more muted interior would be better – but, hey, this is a show car! Although billed as a concept, Cygnet is expected to be on sale before the end of 2010, initially to existing Aston Martin owners and those with cars on order, but after an introductory period it will probably go on general sale. Aston has planned for between 1000 and 2000 sales a year. The early cars will go to the UK and Europe, exclusively through Aston dealers. Aston boss Ulrich Bez says the Cygnet is “a unique combination of opposites, and a novel transport solution. This concept is akin to an exclusive tender for a luxury yacht. It allows us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market.”

The American

Water Fuelled Cars

Dream Breakfasts for Petrolheads


oodwood Motor Circuit has announced dates for this year’s series of its popular Goodwood Breakfast Club. The idea is that you can enjoy an eclectic mix of vehicles, trade stands and a tempting breakfast menu. (The American’s editorial team can verify this claim! – ed). If you have an interesting vehicle, bring it along. A selection of vehicles, appropriate to each monthly theme, will be parked-up and displayed within the Motor Circuit (regular vehicles go to the public car parking area just across the road). Most Breakfast Clubs will be held on the first Sunday of the month at historic Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex, a short and extremely pretty drive from London. The June and August meets will be on the last Sunday of the month so as not to clash with preparations for the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival. Following the first successful December Breakfast Club meeting a few weeks ago, a Festive end-of-year meet, with Christmas market, will form a regular part of the calendar. The first of the Goodwood Breakfast Club meetings for 2010 will take place on Sunday March 7, catering for any pre-1973 tax-exempt vehicle. As in previous years, admission to the Breakfast Club remains free, and all visitors are welcome. This year’s dates and themes are: 7 March: ‘Tax-free Sunday – for all pre1973 classics’. 4 April: ‘Sporting Family Favourites – four-seater fun’. 2 May: ‘Everything but the Car – from bikes to buses, tractors to trucks; nothing is too bizarre’. 6 June: ‘Supercar Sunday – the ultimate performance machines; cars and bikes’ (pictured). 27 June*: ‘Soft Top Sunday – a taste of the British summer for all open-top cars’. (4 July: Not held due to Goodwood Festival of Speed).

1 August: ‘Performance Car Legends – post-1970 driver’s cars, including track day favourites’. 29 August*: ‘Classic Sunday – pre-1966 vehicles in the spirit of Goodwood’s golden days. (5 September: Not held due to Goodwood Revival preparations.) 3 October: ‘Souped-up Sunday – modified and custom vehicles of all ages’. 7 November: ‘Deutsch Marques! – a tribute to Germany’s finest motoring marvels’. 5 December: ‘Christmas Cracker Special – cherished cars and Santa’s sled.

Could water powered vehicles be the way forward in the real world? Clean technology provider Ultra Green believes so, and it is putting its money where its mouth is in a joint venture with OM Energy Ltd. Electro Hydrogen Generator (EHG) technology may have taken a step forward to becoming a practical reality. An electrolyte is added to water, turning the hydrogen and oxygen molecules into charged ions which are separated using centrifugal force and strong magnets. The oxygen ions move to the outside of the EHG, the hydrogen to the inside. An electrical current, generated by the ionic separation, removes the charge from the ions, turning the hydrogen and oxygen into separate gases. The hydrogen is collected and added to the vehicle’s fuel supply. The EHG should generate 20 per cent of the fuel requirements of the vehicle as well as improving the combustion efficiency of the engine. Hydrogen burns far more quickly than gasoline or diesel. When hydrogen is mixed with conventional fuel, the flame spreads throughout the combustion chamber more rapidly, so the engine gets more miles per gallon. Although this sounds like something for nothing, or even a perpetual motion machine, it is in fact using waste heat from the engine to power the process. Ultra Green OM plan to demonstrate a military vehicle fitted with EHG this year then commercialise the technology. A water powered automobile could be sitting outside your house in a few years time.


West Coast Shockwaves Pho to © Jo

h n Pyl e


f we thought the ousting of Weis at Notre Dame and the end of the Bowden era at Florida State were significant, along came Leach’s firing at Texas Tech, only to be trumped by Urban Meyer’s decision (and then qualification) to ease up at Florida. Bowl season? Who noticed? The scores became the sideshow to coaching dramas. Alabama’s Nick Saban had barely lofted the BCS National Championship Trophy before the rumors began that Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll was about to move up the coast to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The news came as a surprise, not least to sitting Seahawks head coach Jim Mora, sacked after just one season in the job. By the time Mora could tell Seattle’s KJR-AM radio “I was very stunned – I don’t know that it’s even hit me yet”, the Seahawks had announced his replacement.

The Rooney Rule

The Seahawks moved so swiftly to poach Carroll from the college ranks that it inspired instant debate on whether the spirit of the ‘Rooney


Pete Carroll’s move from Southern Cal to Seattle changes both the pro and college football landscape. Richard L Gale looks at the move and its aftermath, and assesses Coach Carroll’s mixed Trojans legacy. Rule’ had been applied. In theory all head coaching jobs in the NFL should include a minority candidate for the vacancy. While Seahawks Chief Executive Tod Leiweke did squeeze a visit with Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier between the rumor that Carroll would be arriving in Seattle and the announcement that he had, the hire was conducted with the kind of straight-line speed usually reserved for Al Davis draft picks. Asked about minority hiring at the Carroll announcement, Seattle’s Leiweke revealed that the Seahawks had approached NBC analyst and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy about the role of President one month prior to Carroll’s hiring as coach. Ironically, only a day before, Dungy had been questioning Washington’s own application of the Rooney Rule in the hiring of Mike Shanahan over internal minority candidate Jerry Gray. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that both Washington and Seattle had been ‘in compliance’ with the Rooney Rule.

Southern Cal’s ‘Carroll Era’

Just three days after Carroll was welcomed to Seattle, USC landed their next head coach with the luring of former Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, ripped away from Tennessee. Though Kiffin’s one season with the Vols proves him quite capable of creating his own controversies (recruiting practices, comments about rivals, and the off-field behaviour of players) USC will have difficulty moving on from the Carroll era just yet. The conclusion of a three-year NCAA investigation into USC’s athletics department is expected this coming month. Part of the investigation has reportedly focused on gifts allegedly given to running back Reggie Bush by a would-be agent while he was at USC. More recently, the LA Times has reported that one of its own staff saw present USC tailback Joe McKnight driving a car that had been supplied by a California businessman (tattletales!). This all threatens to overshadow the glory years of Carroll’s tenure: the 97-19 record, the seven bowl victories, two national champion-

ships (one AP, one consensus), as well as winning the Pac-10 in all of his nine seasons except the first and the last. The coach they practically lucked into (Dennis Erickson, Mike Bellotti, and Mike Riley were also approached) took a team that had fallen from Pac-10 relevance and made them into a conference and national powerhouse. His recruiting classes were an annual haul, his rosters dripping with future pro stars. Quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinhart, and running back Bush all won Heisman trophies. So some of the players may have been given incentives? Maybe its time for the NCAA to take a more contextual view of things. With no NFL team in town, Carroll’s USC was LA’s pro team. The Trojans were a part of Tinseltown under Carroll, from the media stars on the sidelines to the football stars on the field. Was the most glamorous team in college football expected to have players living an ascetic lifestyle? What happened to incentive to stay in school? After Tennessee’s incident-heavy season under Lane Kiffin, USC’s new hire may only encourage the NCAA to lay down the law. But while scholarship sanctions may curb the superstar roster depth of the Carroll era, the Kiffin’s high profile tendencies mean the Trojans won’t lose that Hollywood allure overnight.

Carroll’s Second Visit


If we’re cynical and suppose that Pete Carroll left town before life became difficult and his market value diminished (we can’t blame future sanctions for the 5th-place finish USC just suffered in the Pac-10), there are no guarantees that he will find life in Seattle an easy deal – though a reported $6-7m a year certainly helps. The Seahawks have


posted back-to-back losing seasons – 4-12 under Mike Holmgren and 5-11 under Mora – in one of the NFL’s weakest divisions. The team needs to rebuild its offensive line, lacks a franchise back and has a 34-year old passer who threw as many picks as scores this season, with no next generation in sight. And this being the NFL, Carroll’s enthusiastic recruitment patter won’t swing it. He does at least have three of the first 40 picks in the draft, and he may finally land the QB he failed to sign last time around, Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen ...or perhaps select his own former tailback McKnight, who has declared early. Last year at this time, Carroll questioned Trojans QB Mark Sanchez’s decision to leave early. This week Sanchez, a rookie success with the New York Jets, joked: “Speaking of Coach Carroll, I just want everyone to know, I completely disagree with his decision to go to the NFL. Statistics show that its not a good choice.” Hmm, heavy irony. Carroll’s previous professional stats with the Jets and Patriots are a pedestrian 33-31. He’ll need better than that to make waves this time around. H

The American

The athletes generate millions of dollars for these universities. When you have stadiums that hold 90k plus and they’re selling out every game, they’re making milions just off ticket sales alone, and then TV and the marketing endorsements – and the players are sitting there playing for free. They’re putting their bodies on the line every game. – Reggie Bush, speaking to The American in 2008



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hirty years after an unlikely group of amateur hockey players pulled off the now-legendary ‘Miracle on Ice’ by defeating Russia’s fearsome juggernaut, Team USA is going for gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Attaining podium success won’t be as miraculous as the feat in Lake Placid, New York, given the fact that Team USA’s roster includes some of the NHL’s hottest young talent, but you can bet that the latest rebuild of the team will be looking back to 1980 for inspiration. ‘Anything is possible when a group believes in itself the way they did,’ explains head coach Ron Wilson, extolling the achievement of the 1980 team. General manager Brian Burke announced the roster on New Year’s Day after the Winter Classic, and he proved that he’s a man of his word by fulfilling his promise to inject the squad with youth, inking upstarts Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), Jack Johnson (Kings), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks), Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils), Bobby Ryan (Anaheim Ducks), and Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche), along with goaltenders Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres) and Jonathan Quick


Team USA have cast aside their veterans and now boast a roster of twenty-something speedsters. Jeremy Lanaway reports on the new generation of Olympic medal-chasers. (Kings), all of whom are making their mark in the NHL despite being shy of the thirty-year marker. ‘We’re the youngest team in the tournament,’ Wilson explains. ‘We can use that to our advantage.’ However, by opening the door on the youth movement, Burke has had to close the door on a core of veterans who have carried the torch for the red, white, and blue for years, including the all-time scoring leader among American players Mike Modano (Dallas Stars), Scott Gomez (Montreal Canadiens), Bill Guerin (Pittsburgh Penguins), Brian Rolston (Devils), Keith Tkachuk (St Louis Blues), and Doug Weight (New York Islanders). Burke salutes the outstanding service of these former mainstays for Team USA, who helped the club to win the 1996 World Cup and the silver medal at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, but he also recognises that they’ve had their time to shine, a fact that was painfully highlighted by their eighthplace finish in Turin in 2006, a failure

that had been suffered only one other time in the programme’s history. ‘We’ve had a generation of players who have represented our country with great ferocity and have answered the bell every time,’ Burke says. ‘To steal a line from Tom Brokaw, “This was our greatest generation” as far as what’s been accomplished the last fifteen years by that group of the [Brian] Leetches, the [Chris] Chelioses, the [Tony] Amontes, and on and on.’ Burke is known for his surliness, but even his trademark scowl can’t hide the excitement that he feels to have the opportunity to represent his country. ‘I was never good enough to represent my country in international competition as a player,’ he says. ‘They asked me if I would be GM, and I said, “I will fold towels to help the programme.” I would’ve done anything they asked me to do. When I was asked to do this, I was ecstatic. I still am.’ Being young usually equates to being fast, and the skaters on Team USA are no exception. Like the players

The American

on the miracle team of 1980, the nextgeneration Americans will need to use their speed as a weapon, not only to beat defenders on the outside and gain the zone, but also to race southward on the back-check. Speedsters like Kane, Kesler, and Stastny have the explosiveness to keep opponents on the heels of their blades, a fact that hasn’t escaped the notice of many hockey pundits. ‘I’ve never seen such speed. I’ve never seen such smart ice movement of the puck,’ says Roy Macgregor, a hockey writer for Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper. ‘Come [February], you’d better watch out for the Americans.’ Turning the page on Team USA has also given the team the underdog status that Burke relishes. He can’t help but use the 1980 team as a model. ‘No one took them seriously and look what they did,’ says Burke, shifting his scowl to a smirk. ‘We have to emulate that, and imitate that, and get that same passion and teamwork. There

won’t be a dime bet on us in Vegas, not a penny, and that’s fine with us. If we can slip in under the radar and surprise some people, that’s fine with me. We’ll be the youngest team in the tournament, but we’re going there to win.’ To have any hope of realising Burke’s ambitions, Team USA will need to do a lot better than they did at last year’s World Championships, where they relinquished the bronze medal to Sweden in the medal round. It was the first real test of Burke’s baby-faced unit, and even though they returned from the tournament empty-handed, Burke views the experience as a stepping stone toward the team’s destined success. ‘I really believe we deserved better than a fourth-place finish,’ says Burke.

‘We outplayed Sweden badly in the bronze game, but we gave up a couple bad goals, and we lost. From my perspective, if you go to a tournament like that, you have to go with a group of guys who are committed and want to win, and our guys did that. Our guys gave us everything they had.’ ‘We’re going to Vancouver to win, and that’s the bottom line,’ assures shutdown specialist Kesler, a speedy, veracious Selke Trophy nominee who’s expected to centre the club’s checking line. ‘Anything else won’t be good enough.’ Burke couldn’t say it better himself: ‘We’re going there to win, period. I can’t say that often enough. We believe in our group. There’s no point doing this if you don’t believe you can win. There’s no point going.’ H

Bobby Ryan (left) and Paul Stastny (right) Photo: Ross Dettman


The American P R O M O T I O N A L F E AT U R E


Celebrate ESPN’s anniversary with “30 for 30” – 30 films from 30 top filmmakers airing throughout 2010


n its thirty years of existence, ESPN has been an integral part of an ever-changing sports landscape. To celebrate 30 years of growth, both globally and in the United States, ESPN presents 30 for 30, a fascinating documentary series spotlighting 30 top filmmakers telling intimate stories that form part of the greater mosaic that is global sports over the past 30 years. Each storyteller – among them famed directors such as Academy Award winner Barry Levinson, documentarians Albert Maysles and Barbara Koppel, and Hollywood names like Frank Marshall and Ron Shelton – turns their lens on trends, issues and athletes, some well-known within U.S. borders and others famous on the international stage as well, bringing their personal viewpoint to the bigger

picture of what sports has meant to American and world culture from 1979 to today. Films featured this month on ESPN America, airing February 16 – March 1, include Kings Ransom, the story of the trade that brought Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles, overnight transforming the NHL; The Band that Wouldn’t Die, Levinson’s investigation into the story behind the Colts’ abandonment of Baltimore; Muhammad and Larry, Maysles’ moving portrait of the end of an era as an aging Ali prepared to fight for an unprecedented fourth heavyweight title against his former sparring partner, Larry Holmes; and The Legend of Jimmy the Greek, a look at sports gambling and the rise (and tragic fall) of the biggest name in sports handicapping.

1. Kings Ransom

Directed by Peter Berg On August 9, 1988, the NHL was forever changed with the single stroke of a pen. The Edmonton Oilers, fresh off their fourth Stanley Cup victory in five years, sent Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian national treasure and the greatest ever hockey player, to the Los Angeles Kings. As bewildered Oilers fans struggled to make sense of the unthinkable, fans in LA were rushing to purchase season tickets at a rate so fast it overwhelmed the Kings box office. Overnight, a league often relegated to “little brother” status exploded from 21 teams to 30. Acclaimed director Peter Berg presents the captivating story of the trade that knocked the wind out of an entire country, and placed a star-studded city right at the humble feet of a 27-year-old kid, known simply as “The Great One.” Tune in on February 16 at 7pm

Kings Ransom – the tale of the Gretzky trade is the first of ESPN’s 30 for 30 season

2. The Band that Wouldn’t Die Directed by Barry Levinson

In late March of 1984, a moving company secretly packed up the Baltimore Colts’ belongings and its fleet of vans snuck off in the darkness of the early morning. Leaving a city of deeply devoted fans in shock and disbelief. What caused owner Robert Irsay


The American

to turn his back on a town that was as closely linked to its team as any in the NFL? Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson (“Diner”, “The Natural”), himself a long-standing Baltimore Colts fanatic, will probe that question in light of the changing relationship of sports to community. Tune in on February 17 at 7pm

3 . Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL? Directed by Mike Tollin

In 1983 the upstart United States Football League (USFL) had the audacity to challenge the almighty NFL. The new 12-team league plucked three straight Heisman Trophy winners away from the NFL and played before crowds that averaged 25,000, and a respectable TV audience. But with success came expansion and new owners, including a high profile and impatient real estate baron. Soon, the USFL was reduced to waging a desperate anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL. Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Mike Tollin – himself once a USFL employee – will showcase the influence of those three years on football history and attempt to answer the question, “Who Killed the USFL?” Tune in on February 18 at 7pm

4. Muhammad and Larry Directed by Albert Maysles

In October of 1980 Muhammad Ali was preparing to fight for an unprecedented fourth heavyweight title against his friend and former sparring partner Larry Holmes. To say that the great Ali was in the twilight

of his career would be generous; most of his admiring fans, friends and fight scribes considered his bravado delusional. In the weeks of training before the fight, documentarians Albert and David Maysles took an intimate look at Ali trying to convince the world and perhaps himself, that he was still “The Greatest.” At the same time, they documented the mild-mannered Holmes as he confidently prepared to put an end to the career of a man for whom he had an abiding and deep affection. It was not fully comprehended what the Maysles brothers had actually captured on film and the Maysles footage never received a public screening or airing. However, in the intervening years, the magnitude of this footage is now clear. Here for the first time is the unseen filmed build up to that fight, accompanied by freshly shot interviews by Albert Maysles with members from both the Ali and Holmes camps, as well as prime witnesses to this poignant foolhardy attempt at courage. Tune in on February 19 at 7pm

6. The Legend of Jimmy the Greek Directed by Fritz Mitchell

Born in Steubenville, Ohio, to Greek immigrants, Jimmy Snyder overcame childhood tragedy, moved to Las Vegas, and eventually became the biggest name in the world of sports handicapping. When CBS added him as an “analyst” on “The NFL Today,” Jimmy “The Greek” not only further increased his stature as a sort of national folk hero, but he gained an air of respectability never before associated with gamblers. Peabody Awardwinning filmmaker Fritz Mitchell, who broke in as an intern on “The NFL Today,” will examine Snyder’s impact on the growth of sports gambling, while also taking a fresh look at The Greek’s tragic downfall. Tune in on February 23 at 7pm

5. Without Bias

Directed by Kirk Fraser When Len Bias dropped dead two days after the 1986 NBA Draft, he forever altered our perception of casual drug use and became the tipping point of America’s drug crisis in the mid-’80s. Instead of becoming an NBA star, he became a one-man deterrent, the athlete who reminded everyone just how dangerous drug use can be. Amazingly, questions still linger about his death nearly a quarter-century later. How good could he have been in the pro ranks? How could a University of Maryland superstar and Boston Celtics lottery pick be derailed by a cocaine binge? In the most ambitious, comprehensive and uncompromising account of Bias’ life and death ever captured on film, up-andcoming director Kirk Fraser utilizes dozens of interviews with Bias’ closest teammates, friends and family in an effort to determine exactly what happened on that fateful night. Tune in on February 22 at 7pm

7. The U

Directed by Billy Corben Throughout the ’80s, Miami, Florida, was at the center of a racial and cultural shift taking place throughout the country. Overwhelmed by riots and tensions, it was a city in flux, and the University of Miami football team served as a microcosm for this evolution. Coach Howard Schnellenberger scoured some of the toughest ghettos in Florida to recruit mostly black players for his team. These Hurricanes took on largerthan-life personalities and won four national titles from 1983 to 1991. Filmmaker Billy Corben, a Miami native and University of Miami alum, will tell the story of how these “Bad Boys” of football changed the attitude of the game, and how this serene campus was transformed into “The U.”  Tune in on February 24 at 7pm


The American

Tail end

Paw Talk, or My Life as a Dog in London by Rebel. In her 100th Paw Talk column, Rebel’s in love!


t’s a day after Valentine’s Day and I am wrapped up in a blanket with a terrible cold. But it’s all to do with Hogan, a Yellow Labrador Retriever guide dog I met at the Coliseum while we were waiting for our mistresses, so it is worth it. Hogan is so handsome my heart does a double beat just thinking of him. Guide dogs are often allowed in theatre, restaurants and public transportation where other dogs are not allowed, which was how we met at the Coliseum. It was freezing cold and the driver who was meeting SheWho-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually after the theatre tucked me under his coat and went inside to wait in the warm. There in the lobby stood Hogan, tall, blonde, the dog of my dreams. From the way he looked at me, I saw he liked what he saw. As soon as the man put me down I walked over and told him I was a journalist. His reply was low and rumbling and a shiver ran straight down my spine and up my tail. He told me as a guide dog he was on duty twenty-four hours a day, but he had a wonderful mistress and it didn’t seem like work. Before we parted, he gave me his address and telephone number, ‘just in case you want to call me’. Since then we talked almost every day by telephone. Knowing he couldn’t get away on Valentine’s Day, I decided to see him. Luck was on my side. When talking to my Corgi friend at Buckingham Palace


I learned she was going to a private luncheon in the same restaurant with her mistress whose name I swore never to mention and the Mayor of London. SheWho-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually was reviewing a restaurant only a few doors away! As always, she left the window of our car slightly open. As soon as she was gone I climbed out in time to meet my Corgi friend as she was getting out of a huge black limousine. With all the excitement because of my Corgi’s mistress I was able to sneak into the restaurant unnoticed. My Corgi friend gave me two bones from a State dinner the night before and then to take attention away from me began to bark loudly. While everyone was looking at her I sneaked into the dining room and made my way under the tables until I got to where Hogan was waiting. We were having the most delightful luncheon until the manager spotted my white tail sticking out from under the table. Grabbing me by my tail, he held me in the air as if I was some kind of wild animal. Hogan began to bark angrily as did a Maltese

and a Poodle under nearby tables. As a guide dog, Hogan couldn’t leave his mistress’s side and told me had never felt more helpless as he watched me being roughly carried from the dining room. The manager threw me into the street where I landed in a huge dirty puddle. Shivering and cold, I crawled back to our car where I waited underneath until She-Who-Must-Be-ObeyedUsually finally returned. By that time my nose was warm and I was shivering and she had to take me to see Dr. Ram. But, it was worth it because that night Hogan called and we are planning to see each other soon. His uncle, who recently retired as a guide dog, will take over his duties one evening. Scout, my best Westie pal, says it’s ridiculous because we’re so different, but I don’t listen to her. But then, what woman does when she’s in love? H

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The American February 2010  

The American has been published in Britain since 1976. It is the only monthly magazine / website / community for Americans visiting and livi...

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