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July 2010

THE ESSENTIAL MONTHLY FOR ALL AMERICANS

Est. 1976

®

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MUSIC • ARTS SPORTS • POLITICS RESTAURANT REVIEWS WHAT’S ON GUIDES

Brian Fortuna The ex-Strictly dancer talks to The American as he gets ready to Burn the Floor

Win Tickets to

The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue

End of an Ice Age

Blackhawks’ 49-year wait ends The Old Vic Theatre Company/Old Vic Productions plc, Sonia Friedman Productions Robert G. Bartner/Norman Tulchin present

Mercedes Jeff Goldblum ruehl


Let’s Hike or Bike for

children T O R A I S E F U N D S T O H E L P D I S A D V A N TA G E D A N D S I C K C H I L D R E N

Great Wall of HIKE or China Challenge BIKE YOU CHOOSE –

Join the Great Wall of China Hike OR the Great Wall of China Bike Ride

14-22 May 2011

Every step taken and every turn of the pedal will help four special children’s charities improve the lives of sick and disadvantaged children and young people.

The itineraries are different but both teams will meet for a magnificent end of challenge celebration in Beijing

Barnardo’s is a registered charity, No.216250 and SCO37605

Dreams Come True is a registered charity, No.800248

Kith & Kids is a registered charity, No.1080972

For more information and to register

www.actionforcharity.co.uk telephone: 0845 408 2698 e-mail: events@actionforcharity.co.uk

MedEquip4Kids is a registered charity, No.1102830

To take part you need to pay a registration fee of £250 and raise minimum funds of £3,200 for the charities.

Acting as agents for

Managed by

ction for charity

lifechangingevents


The American ®

Issue 687 – July 2010 Published by Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Publisher: Michael Burland +44 (0)1747 830328 editor@theamererican.co.uk Please contact us with your news or article ideas Advertising & Promotions: Sabrina Sully, Commercial Director +44 (0)1747 830520 sabrina.sully@blueedge.co.uk Subscriptions enquiries: Phone +44 (0)1747 830328, email theamerican@blueedge.co.uk Correspondents: Mary Bailey, Social mary@theamerican.co.uk Richard Gale, Sports Editor richard@theamerican.co.uk Alison Holmes, Politics alison@theamerican.co.uk Riki Evans Johnson, European riki@theamerican.co.uk Jeremy Lanaway, Hockey jeremy@theamerican.co.uk Estelle Lovatt, Arts estelle@theamerican.co.uk Dom Mills, Motorsports dom@theamerican.co.uk Jarlath O’Connell, Theater jarlath@theamerican.co.uk Virginia E. Schultz, Food & Drink virginia@theamerican.co.uk ©2010 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., 19 East Portway Industrial Estate, Andover, SP10 3LU www.advent-colour.co.uk Main cover image: Brian Fortuna and Ali Bastian (Photo by Hugo Glendinning); Inset: Antti Niemi celebrates (Photo courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks).

Welcome T

he oil spill is still a live issue, and looks like remaining that way through Fall. You can see live images of the gushing oil http://globalwarming.house.gov/spillcam. The latest estimate is of up to 60,000 barrels a day pouring out. Each barrel is 42 US gallons, so the upper end of the estimated leakage is 2,520,000 gallons of the sticky stuff, every day. It’s a big problem that deserves a big response. The view of The American is that there is something even more important than the wildlife and human livelihoods of the Gulf Coast at risk because of the disaster. Call it Anglo-American relations, call it the special relationship, the message to our business, cultural and political leaders must be, don’t let the oil disaster wreck something that we will all rely on in years to come. As the geopolitical center of the world heads east, the alliance of like-minded democratic peoples that support each other in times of trouble will become evermore valuable to us all. And let’s not forget that, despite having British in the name, BP’s ownership is 39% US and only 40% British. Happy Independence Day,

Michael Burland, Editor editor@theamerican.co.uk

SOME OF THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS

James Carroll Jordan is an American actor currently starring at the National Theatre. He has some personal insights into what it’s like behind the scenes at an acting Mecca.

Sharon Manitta is a conservator who has worked, among many things, on Nelson’s HMS Victory. She looks beneath the surface of the National Gallery’s latest exhibition.

Paris Brownlie has performed, choreographed and taught dance on stage and screen around the world. We welcome her as a new theater reviewer.

Don’t forget to check out The American online at www.theamerican.co.uk The entire contents of The American and www.theamerican.co.uk 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 or any loss arising from reliance on it. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.

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The American

In This Issue... The American • Issue 687 • July 2010

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News Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and a baby gorilla all feature in our news pages

10 Diary Dates Jimmy Vaughan brings one of his hot rods to Goodwood – and great ideas for Independence Day 13 Happy July 2nd How we could have been celebrating a different holiday 14 Swan-Upping If you were the Queen you’d want someone to count your swans too! 16 At The National Veteran American actor James Carroll Jordan is acting at the iconic London theatre – here’s how it feels

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17 God Bless America, in the Key of A Music for Independence Day 18 Profile: Debbi Baron Expatriate Debbi moved from L.A. to Paris, all for the love of fromage

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19 Arts All the best arts events selected for you, plus an in depth - indeed beneath the surface - look at artistic Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries

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The American

24 Wining & Dining A hip bar in the City, South African in SW1, and a Wow factor in Chiswick – plus the history of Maker’s Mark 30 Coffee Break Rocco pulls more than he expects in The Johnsons, our expat family cartoon 32 Music The British summer music scene is dominated by festivals. We find the best ones to go to with the family

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36 Reviews Two new plays and three revivals – some more successful than others. 44 Interview: Brian Fortuna American dance heartthrob Brian Fortuna talks to The American about making a new life – and finding love – in Britain 46 Politics Two of the biggest issues facing Americans are taxation and the Gulf oil spill crisis. We examine them both 50 Drive Time This month we look at alternative motoring – Jeff Koons’ Art BMW, the world’s faster lawnmower, Billy Connolly guides you home, and an artist paints with cars 52 Sports The NBA and NHL crown their champions, and college conferences reshuffle (a bit)

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56 American Organizations Your comprehensive guide and a profile of the northern branch of NSDAR 64 Paw Talk Our canine correspondent gets into more trouble over feathers and emeralds 3


The American

Arlington Cemetery Mistakes

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he U.S. Army is conducting an investigation which has so far found possibly hundreds of remains at Arlington National Cemetery that have been wrongly identified or buried in the wrong graves. Army Secretary John McHugh said that Arlington’s two civilian managers would have to resign. “I deeply apologize to the families of the honored fallen resting in that hallowed ground who may now question the care afforded to their loved ones,” Secretary McHugh said at a Pentagon news conference. A more thorough investigation will examine the graves in detail and rectify any mistakes, he added. He also announced the setting up of an independent advisory commission to be led by former senators and Army veterans Max Cleland and Bob Dole. The Army’s inspector general, Lt. Gen. Steven Whitcomb, headed the investigation and found that poor management had led to at least 211 remains being possibly mislabeled or misplaced. He said, “We found nothing that was intentional, criminal intent or intended sloppiness that caused this. But of all the things in the world, we see this as a zero defect operation. There could be more", he added. More than 300,000 people have been buried with military honors at the cemetery, including members of the armed forces who have fallen in conflicts from the Civil War up to Iraq and Afghanistan. Presidents and their wives, including members of the Kennedy family, have also been buried at Arlington. Concerned relations of those buried at Arlington may call the cemetery at +1-703-607-8000.

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Her Majesty The Queen at her desk in Buckingham Palace, c.1968 © RESERVED/THE ROYAL COLLECTION. PHOTOGRAPHER: JOAN WILLIAMS

Visit Buckingham Palace

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ach summer, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are opened to the public. And you’re invited! An added attraction for 2010 is The Queen’s Year, a special exhibition of robes, gifts, uniforms, dresses, jewellery, archive photography and film evoking the many and varied aspects of the sovereign’s work. It will give visitors a lively insight into the pageantry, tradition and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament, the Garter Day ceremony at Windsor Castle, Trooping the Colour, investitures, garden parties and State Visits. Among many highlights are: the

magnificent Great Sword of State, the Mace that precedes the Queen during the State Opening of Parliament; a uniform worn by the Queen at Trooping the Colour; ten of her Ascot hats; an evening gown worn to the 1962 Royal Film Performance of A West Side Story, the ‘Vladimir’ tiara, shown for the first time; and some unusual gifts presented to The Queen, including a Buckingham Palace Underground sign! This year the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace is from July 27 to October 1. For tickets go to www.royalcollection.org.uk

When Hendrix Met Handel

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imi Hendrix’s London home is being opening to the public to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death – for a short period only. George Handel lived at No. 25 Brook Street in London’s Mayfair for 36 years until he died in 1759. In 1968, Hendrix lived with his English girlfriend Kathy Etchingham next door at No. 23. Since then the two buildings have become one property. Handel House Museum employees use Jimi’s flat as administrative offices and it has previously been open only on special, one-off occasions. To mark the anniversary the staff will move out from September 15-26, taking their office furniture with them, to allow visitors to tour the flat. The main Hendrix in Britain exhibition, which will include handwritten lyrics, clothing and other memorabilia, will run from 25 August to 7 November. Tickets to the temporary opening of Hendrix’s flat cost £8. See www. handelhouse.org


T i Wi ck n et s

The American

The Old Vic Theatre Company/Old Vic Productions plc, Sonia Friedman Productions Robert G. Bartner/Norman Tulchin present

Mercedes Jeff Goldblum ruehl

The Prisoner of second avenue A comedy by Neil Simon 10 weeks only at the

Win a pair ofTheatre tickets to Vaudeville

The Prisoner of Second Avenue 30 June – 11 September 2010

secondavenuetheplay.com at the Vaudeville Theatre Photo by Robert Wilson. Design by Rose.

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ollowing his sell-out success in Speedthe-Plow at The Old Vic, Hollywood star Jeff Goldblum makes a hotlyanticipated return to the London stage, in Neil Simon’s brilliantly observed, award-winning comedy, The Prisoner of Second Avenue. Academy Award-winner Mercedes Ruehl also stars in this bittersweet, comic masterpiece about a man at breaking point. The play is directed by award-winning playwright and director Terry Johnson (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Rain Man and La Cage aux Folles).

To win a pair of tickets just answer the following: QUESTION Which dinosaur blockbuster movie did Jeff Goldblum star in? ANSWER A. Jurassic Park B. Godzilla C. 10,000 Years BC secondavenuetheplay.com

HOW TO ENTER Supported by For your chance to win a pair of tickets, send your answer with your contact details: Media Partner name, address, daytime telephone number and email address (optional) to reach us by mid-day, July 30, 2010. Email it to theamerican@blueedge.co.uk with PRISONER COMPETITION in the subject line. Or send a postcard to: PRISONER COMPETITION, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK. Prize consists of 2 tickets valid for Mon-Thurs performances until end August, subject to availability. Promoter reserves the right to substitute prize for that of an equal or greater value if necessary. 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.

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The American Newborn Western Lowland Gorilla sleeps in mommy’s arms

New Faces at Blackpool Zoo

Battle of Britain Remembered at RIAT

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lackpool Zoo, in the North West of England, is celebrating two special births at the same time as it opens its brand new sea lion pool. The birth of Blackpool’s first ever critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla was hugely anticipated by zoo staff and visitors after the pregnancy was announced in December. The baby, whose sex is yet to be confirmed, will spend a few weeks clinging to mom Miliki’s chest until it builds strength and co-ordination. Soon, aged between eight and twelve weeks, it will start to crawl and ride on its mother’s back before learning to walk at around nine months. The gorilla was born just one day after keepers found that Ivy the Pileated Gibbon had given birth to a healthy baby. As another endangered species that is very difficult to breed the announcement of this successful birth, the first in Blackpool, is very important for the zoo. The pool is the largest for sea lions in the UK. After a complete overhaul it has re-opened with its very own beach area and extended 250 seat amphitheatre. Stylish mock rock replaces concrete and new cascading waterfalls are proving very popular with the sea lions. Concrete walls and railings have been replaced with reinforced glass, so visitors have a fantastic view of the frolicking sea lions. A new male sea lion arrived May 19 to head up his harem of females.

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ogfights, an international flypast and a moving ‘missing man’ aircraft formation are among set pieces planned for the Royal International Air Tattoo, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain – the aerial conflict in which Britain and her allies fended off a potential German invasion. Hurricanes, Spitfires and Messerschmitts, will join the Red Arrows, a USAF F-22 Raptor, a Harrier and more for a unique aerial commemoration at RAF Fairford on July 17-18. A flypast representing the nations that took part in the historic conflict will form the centrepiece of a seven-and-a-half hour flying display. American pilots took part in the Battle, even though the U.S. had itself not joined the war. On the ground, a recreated Battle of Britain airfield will bring to life the

atmosphere during Britain’s ‘finest hour’. Re-enactors will recreate the sights and sounds of 1940 England, complete with historic aircraft, military vehicles and period entertainment. There will be live music, fairground rides, and the interactive Tri@RIAT area for youngsters. All under-16s go free and parking is free. For ticket details, visit www.airtattoo.com Air Tattoo Chief executive Tim Prince said it was important that the international aspect of the Battle of Britain was not overlooked: “Many people believe the Battle of Britain was fought simply between people from two nations – England and Germany – but pilots and aircrew from 17 nations took part in total. We believe the bravery and sacrifice of all those who took part should be recognised.”

Sulgrave Manor Hosts Colonial Dames

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ulgrave Manor, the birthplace of George Washington’s ancestors, hosted a celebration of the long-standing special relationship on May 31. Guests included US Friends of Sulgrave Manor and the National Society of Colonial Dames of America. They enjoyed Matins at the Church of Saint James the Less and, back at the Manor, the opening of ‘Setting up a Symbol’, a new exhibit on the Anglo-American initiative leading to the establishment of the Manor as a symbol of the friendship between the two nations. They then toured the Manor to see the recent changes and additions and over lunch heard an interesting talk by guest speaker, David Saint, an expert on the links between Northamptonshire and the USA. Following this was the preview of a new documentary on the Washingtons of Sulgrave Manor and the day ended with a Closing Flag Ceremony by United States Air Force Europe personnel from RAF Croughton.


The American

John Lennon Poetry Competition

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ueen Victoria celebrated her 191st Birthday when she returned to her place of birth, Kensington Palace in London, to launch a fundraising campaign. It’s goal is to raise £1 million, which will go toward a £12 million project that will see the story of her life told in the very rooms where she spent her childhood. ‘Welcome to Kensington – a palace for everyone’ is the most ambitious conservation project charity Historic Royal Palaces has ever undertaken. With £9.5m already raised, work began at the palace June 1. HRP is aiming to raise the final £2.5m (including £1m through the new public appeal) in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics in 2012. Members of the public can play their part in this exciting project by donating and sponsoring part of the exhibition. Many items that once belonged to the Queen will go on show in the new exhibition, including a pair of tiny baby shoes and a silk velvet tartan dress both worn by the young Princess, some of her toys and an exquisite shawl that belonged to the monarch.

Texas Rewrites History Schoolbooks

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ublic school students in Texas will learn less about slavery and the civil rights movement and more about free enterprise, the Bible and the Confederacy, in controversial changes to the school curriculum. The state’s board of education has approved a new curriculum for history and social studies, after months of argument and protests. Every 10 years the board reviews Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, a dossier of guidelines on what subjects should be taught in the States’ schools, and how teaching should be conducted. Conservative members, who make up a two thirds majority of the 15 person

board, believed that the curriculum had become biased toward a liberal views under previous boards. The overall aim is to be more positive about the South and its history. The political views of Confederate President Jefferson Davis are to be taught alongside those of Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War will be described as being fought mainly over states’ rights rather than slavery. A further suggestion, that the slave trade should be referred to as the Atlantic triangular trade, was not passed. Last year the board changed the science curriculum to reduce the emphasis on the teaching of evolution.

IMAGES COURTESY OF THE BEATLES STORY

Queen Victoria’s Royal Fundraiser

he UK’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will judge a new international poetry competition that will celebrate the life of John Lennon. Lennon was tagged the ‘literary’ Beatle, having published two books and written many poems. The worldwide hunt for ‘Liverpool Lennon Poet 2010’ will climax during the John Lennon Tribute Season, a twomonth cultural programme (October 9 to December 9) marking 70 years since Lennon’s birth and 30 years since his death. The competition is being organised by the Beatles Story, a Beatlesthemed visitor attraction, and Liverpool-born poet Roger Cliffe-Thompson. It will culminate in a Liverpool Lennon Performance Poetry Slam on November 6. There’s a separate Schools Poetry Competition on November 9. Poets from anywhere in the world can enter unpublished verses which celebrate Lennon’s life. Carol Ann Duffy will lead a team of judges who will award prizes in two categories: Performance Poet (Poems composed and performed in Liverpool by their writers) and Paper Poet (Poems submitted by email). The organisers hope to publish the poems in an anthology. The closing date for entries is 5pm, September 10th, 2010. For full entry details, terms and conditions go to www.beatlesstory.com


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 www.usembassy.org.uk

Ambassador gets accolade

Ambassador Louis Susman joined an illustrious club on May 26 when his caricature was added to the walls of The Palm Restaurant in Belgravia, London. Mr Susman and his wife Marjorie dined with the Palm’s co-owner and Chairman, CEO Wally Ganzi, and his wife Sandy. The ambassador was not the only notable character to eat a Palm meal recently. To commemorate the 1st anniversary of the restaurant in London, the team handed out free lunches on June 9 to taxi drivers. The cabbies enjoyed a lunchbox including a Prime Rib with Mozzerella & beefsteak tomatoes, rocket and garlic aioli ciabatta sandwich. The Palm certainly knows who to make friends with in London.

Embassy News

State Department on Facebook

Here is a new opportunity to use the internet to share some of your creative ideas with the U.S. State Department and voice your opinion on foreign affairs. The Department’s Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs which creates opportunities for dialogue between the Administration and the American public, has launched a Facebook page. The American people have demanded a government that they can be a part of, a government that works, and the State Department seeks to create just that - an atmosphere of inclusion and transparency, allowing Americans from across the country to share their views and to offer their stories and ideas regarding foreign affairs issues that concern them. This Facebook page provides information, updates and opportunities for you to see how the department is engaging the community on foreign affairs and how you can be involved. Log onto Facebook and search for U.S. State Department.

The MOVE Act

Democrats Abroad explains the new legislation and what you should do to protect your voting rights: The MOVE Act directly affects how YOU exercise your right to vote. Signed into law by President Obama in October 2009, MOVE takes effect after your state’s primary and before the election

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in November. MOVE both expands your rights as an Overseas Voter and requires you to request your ballots more often. It requires ALL states to provide voter registration applications online. For the November 2010 General Election, ALL states must provide for the electronic transmission of the blank ballot 45 days prior to the election. This means you should submit your FPCA again, making certain to mark the “electronic” option for receipt of the ballot and include your email address. The Act eliminates all Notary Requirements. It expands the opportunities for use of the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) in all Federal Elections, including primaries & special elections. This means once you have registered and requested your absentee ballot (by mail); vote the FWAB. When you receive your official state ballot, vote and return that too by mail. The state will only count one. The MOVE Act changes go into effect for the November Elections. Make sure you request an electronic version of your ballot after your state’s primary and don’t forget the basics – sign your form, and make sure that you’ve got the right amount of postage affixed to the envelope. One last thing – MOVE stands for Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment. Let’s make our votes count again this November – request your ballot today at www.VotefromAbroad.org


3279 The American 205 x 95 Summer:Layout 1 07/05/2010 11:00 AM Page 1

New Military ID Cards Slow in Coming

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everal military retirees have reportedly been frustrated when requesting new Department of Defense (DoD) ID cards that do not show the sponsor’s Social Security Number (SSN). A DoD press release (dated September 2009) explained that retirees’ could request new ID cards without SSNs as of January 1, 2010, but things are apparently not going as planned. According to representatives at local ID card offices, only military family members are currently receiving the new cards and it is unclear when they will be available to service members and retirees. If this concerns you, visit the RAPIDS site www.dmdc.osd.mil/ rsl/owa/home to find your nearest ID card center. The RAPIDS site locator provides a directory of over 1,500 locations around the world where you can renew or replace your military ID card. The directory also includes phone numbers, and shipmates are encouraged to call first to see if/when the new cards are available. Our thanks to the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) and London Post 1, American Legion, for this news.

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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 editor@theamerican.co.uk Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art exhibition. For 2010, its 242nd year, the exhibition continues the tradition of showcasing work by both emerging and established artists in all media including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. This year’ the theme is ‘Raw’. www.royalacademy.org.uk/ exhibitions/summer-exhibition/ to August 22 Exeter Summer Festival various, Exeter, Devon Sparkling acts from across the art, music, comedy and historical worlds. More than 40 events: dance, theatre, comedy, poetry, jazz, pop, visual art, world music, easy listening and classical music. Maceo Parker

(saxophonist for James Brown, Funkadelic and Prince) will star. www.exeter.gov.uk June 25 to July 10 Cabaret at Pizza on the Park Pizza on the Park, 11 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7QS Pizza on the Park is closing but it has been confirmed that it will be open until September. Summer shows include: Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett June 30 to July 3. Michael Peavoy June 27. Cassidy Janson July 11. Kelly Price July 18. Shona White July 25. Cabaret icon Al Pillay returns with a 3 night residency July 15-17. Simon Green and David Shrubsole’s hit show Simon Green – Traveling Light, direct from New York, July 22 to 24. Harry the Piano August 5 to 7. Gary Williams September 4th www.pizzaexpresslive.com 08456 027 017 June 27 to September 4

The UN at War: FDR’s Global UN Day 1942 House of Lords, London The SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy is joining with the United Nations Association UK (Westminster) to commemorate the first ever “United Nations Day” of 1942. The UN’s formal birth was the adoption in Washington D.C. on 1 January, 1942 of the Declaration by United Nations. From that day, 26 nations committed themselves to victory in war and cooperation in the ensuing peace. Dr Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS and the leading authority on the UN’s earliest years, will speak, with respondents Professor Chris Bellamy (Cranfield University) and Paul Lay (editor of History Today). 6.30pm http://www.soas.ac.uk June 30 London Literature Festival Southbank Centre, London London Literature Festival returns to Southbank Centre this summer, the highlight of the Centre’s unrivalled year-round literature and spoken word programme, and an essential date in the city’s cultural diary. Themes include Science and Writing, and Brazilian Words. For full program visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk    July 01 to July 18

British Looking Glasses, 1660 to 1820 Ronald Phillips Antiques, 26 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QL then Chelsea Barracks Leonard da Vinci called the mirror ‘the master of painters’, and the mirrors in this exhibition are some of the finest examples of craftsmanship and design between 1660 and 1820 ever to be put on sale. In the specialist book that accompanies the selling exhibition, Dr. Adam Bowett notes that little was known about the making or use of looking glass prior to 1600, although they occur in the inventories of noble and royal houses from about 1500. There are many pieces festooned with masks, cupides, shells, plumage, animals and foliage, most in an unbelievable state of preservation, as well as a number of exceptional Chinese reverse paintings made for the English market with their original frames. The exhibition opened on 9 June at Ronald Phillips Antiques, 26 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QL, and will be shown at ‘Masterpiece London’ at Chelsea Barracks from June 24 to 29 and a large selection will continue in the showrooms in Mayfair until the end of July. www.ronaldphillipsantiques.com  advice@ronaldphillips.co.uk  020 7493 2341

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Roman Baths by Torchlight Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath, BA1 1LZ As darkness falls, walk on 2000 year old pavements among the ruins of the Roman Baths lit by flickering torches, and explore Roman artefacts, see the steaming baths. www.romanbaths.co.uk 01225 477 785 July 1 to August 31 American Beer Festival The White Horse, 1-3 Parson’s Green, London, SW6 4UL Some of the best American beers, including some never before seen in Britain, inc. Goose Island brewery’s Bourbon County Stout, Yard’s, Flying Dog, Odell’s, Blue Moon, Left Hand and Stone. BBQ and hog roast. www.whitehorsesw6.com 020 7736 2115 July 2 to July 4 Goodwood Festival of Speed Goodwood House, West Sussex 80+ drivers and riders, 20+ World Champions with 70+ titles between them in most forms of motorsport.. US legends include double Daytona 500 winner and NASCAR stalwart Michael Waltrip and three-time Indy 500 victor Bobby Unser. See them attack Goodwood’s challenging hillclimb. Jimmie “Fabulous Thunderbirds” Vaughan will be there with one of his hot rods. Also a concourse d’elegance and much more. www.goodwood.com 01243 755055 July 2 to July 4 Cheltenham Music Festival various around Cheltenham One of the world’s most prestigious music festivals celebrates anniversaries of Schumann, Chopin, Wolf and Gesualdo. Also Vivaldi, Monteverdi and a Rodgers and Hammerstein Gala with Kim Criswell and the CBSO. cheltenhamfestivals.com July 2 to July 17

Bath Food & Drink Festival Royal Victoria Park, Bath More than 130 local and regional exhibitors showcasing a vast array of products, drinks and quality foods, as well as a Wine Theatre and a Champagne Garden Bar. www.visitbath.co.uk   July 3 to July 4 Armed Forces Weekend Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes MK3 6EB A new event for the home of the codebreakers of World War Two, this weekend is all about the work of the armed forces throughout the ages and how the modern-day forces and cadet corps serve in today’s world. Includes flypasts by a WWII Spitfire (3rd) and Dakota (4th), www.bletchleypark.org.uk  01908 640404 July 3 to July 4 Truckfest Bath & West Showground, Somerset A truck load of family fun with customised trucks, the Flying Gunners, Monster Trucks Big Foot and Slingshot, stunt drivers, and live entertainment as well as your favourite soap and TV stars. www.truckfest.co.uk   July 3 to July 4 Spirit of the Sea Maritime Festival Weymouth & Portland, Dorset Celebrating the area’s close relationship with the sea, the festival brings together a range of sporting activities, cultural events and entertainment, all on a maritime theme. Includes a seafood festival July 10 to 11 with fish and shellfish landed straight from the boats and cooked in the open by celebrity chefs. www.spiritofthesea.org.uk July 3 to July 16 John Adams Focus Barbican Centre, London The Barbican’s John Adams Focus features six Adams works in six performances. Part of the Great

Democrats Abroad UK 4th of July Picnic Portman Square Gardens, London WC1A A fun-filled afternoon of food, games, music and good old Americana, Democrats Abroad UK’s second 4th of July Picnic in the Square will be held on Sunday 4th July from 1 to 6pm. Cakes, cookies, hot and cold food, all with an American flair, will be available to purchase. The event will feature many day-long activities for children, including games, arts and crafts and face-painting. All are welcome to attend, though only US citizens can buy tickets. Guests are asked to bring their own blankets and picnic hampers. July 04 Performers 2009–2010 season. Dates in February, March and July. For full details: www.barbican.org.uk July 4 to July 31 Staffordshire Goes Stateside Symphony Hall, Birmingham A July 4th concert based around American Music, featuring Staffordshire’s Shaun Smith (a runner up in Britain’s Got Talent), a huge youth Symphony Orchestra and massed choirs from around the county. http://staffordshire.gov.uk 01785 278212 July 4 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show East Molesey, Middlesex The world’s largest annual garden and flower show, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, and celebrating

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The American

its 20th anniversary in 2010. Plants can be bought then left in the plant crèche to collect when you leave. www.rhs.org.uk   0844 338 7524 July 6 to 11 Alice’s Day 12 historic locations in Oxford Explore old and new interpretations of Lewis Carroll’s work. Children and

The American Museum in Britain Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD Housed in Georgian splendour at Claverton Manor in Bath, the American Museum in Britain remains the only museum outside the US to showcase the nation’s decorative arts. There are permanent exhibitions, Quilting Bees every Tuesday, kids’ activities and special July events: Celebrate Independence Day in the Old Country. 4th of July Celebration on the 4th itself, 12 noon to 5pm: an activity packed afternoon with the Crown Forces Drill Display (also on 3rd), a performance by Bayou Seco (a dynamic duo playing Cajun music from Louisiana, cowboy songs and a sprinkling of Tex-Mex ), games, food and an all round good time — don’t miss it!

Open 12.00-5.00pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays and month of August Claverton Manor near Bath. 01225 460503 info@americanmuseum.org www.americanmuseum.org

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adults alike will find plenty of frabjous fun in a day of Alice-related activities, from promenade performances and storytelling to book signing, walks, talks, exhibitions and live music. Includes Salvador Dali’s surreal take on Alice in a special exhibition in Oxford U’s historic Bodleian Library. www.thestorymuseum.org.uk   office@storymuseum.org.uk    01865 790050 July 10 Native American Pow Wow Bush Farm Bison Centre, West Knoyle, Wiltshire BA12 6AE See elk, raccoons, guanaco, rhea, prairie dogs and chipmunks as well as plains bison at this fabulous farm. Colin (actually Lord) Seaford spent time in the US and Canada with Plains Indians, and there are Native American people at the event. www.bisonfarm.co.uk  info@ bisonfarm.co.uk  01747 830263 July 10 to 11 Summer on HMS Belfast Tooley Street, London SE1 2JH HMS Belfast, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War and now a floating museum, has a Korea Anniversary July 12 to 17. Shipshape Science (Royal Society drop-in family science workshops) July 31 and August 7, 14, 21. Radar, an evening history talk about the the war-winning technology July 8. Summer Stowaways Trail, kids can search the ship, find small furry stowaways and discover where HMS Belfast was in the world when they stowed away, August 1 to 31. www.iwm.org.uk   020 7403 6246 July 12 to August 31 Great Yorkshire Show The Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate A classic British county show: cattle parade, international show jumping, heavy horses, scurry racing, fashion show, falconry, gun dog displays, livestock competitions, country crafts,

motorcycle display team, and live music. www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk     July 13 to July 15 Hebridean Maritime & Celtic Festivals Stornaway, Hebrides, Scotland Each year, the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland are teeming with exciting summer festivals. The Maritime Festival (www.sailhebrides.info) has long distance sailing, windsurfing, raft racing, stalls, exhibitions, rescue displays and more. The Celtic Festival (www. hebceltfest.com) takes place in the Victorian mock-Tudor Lewis Castle and features Runrig, Imelda May, Julie Fowlis and Treacherous Orchestra. Maritime July 12  to 17; Music 14 to 17 Royal International Air Tattoo RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire This year’s Air Tattoo features special celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, dubbed ‘Britain’s finest hour’ by Winston Churchill. The Tattoo will recognise the bravery of all those who fought; from Fighter Command, Bomber Command, Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm as well as their German and Italian counterparts. In total, men from 17 countries took part in the Battle of Britain, including the USA. www.airtattoo.com   July 17 to July 18 Eastbourne Extreme Eastbourne, East Sussex A free two day event with air, land and water outdoor pursuits offering taster sessions, demonstrations and national competitions – windsurfing and stand up paddlesurfing, jet skis, rowing, power boats, land yachts, mountain bikes, skating and stunt kites. www.eastbourneextreme.co.uk  July 17 to July 18 Diana’s Dresses Fashion Museum, Bennett Street, Bath BA1 2QH A special exhibition of ten dresses that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.


They span the 16 years that Diana was in the spotlight as one of the most famous women in the world and include dresses worn during Royal tours, evening dresses, and cocktail dresses by designers such as Versace. www.museumofcostume.co.uk 01225 477 789 July 17 to January 09, 2011 Glen Nevis River Race Fort William, Scotland An extreme challenge: participants navigate the icy waters of the River Nevis on inflatable airbeds, through the Gurgling Gorge, Dead Dog Pool, the Leg Breaker and the Lower Falls Leap waterfall. Expect to see inflatable sheep, crocodiles, whales and blow up women! Support, enjoy – and enter? www.nofussevents.co.uk    July 17 Billy Fiske — King of Speed Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis An inspiring new play telling the life story of the first American to join the RAF at the very start of WWII, and the first to die. One of Churchills Few, Fiske became the youngest American Olympic Gold medallist at 16, produced Hollywood movies, had a career in banking, was a motor racer, married a countess and mastered flying. There will be a Special VIP Charity night in aid of Tangmere Aviation Museum, July 23. www.alexandratheatre.co.uk 01243 861010 July 20 to July 25 American Civil War Round Table Civil Service Club, London SW1 Author and war historian Col James Falkner’s talk on The Appomattox Campaign, April 1865 will look at the campaign between Gen Lee leaving his lines at Petersburg, through the harrowing fighting withdrawal, to the human drama 0of the surrender to Gen Grant at the McLean House. 12.30pm www.americancivilwar.org.uk 01747 828719 July 24

An American eagle at Sulgrave Manor

Happy July 2nd, er, 4th Wendy Barnes, Director of the Washington ancestral home Sulgrave Manor, finds that we could have been celebrating two days earlier

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he second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Sounds like Independence Day, doesn’t it? And, indeed it was intended to be. This is what John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on 3rd July 1776, describing how he expected the Second Continental Congress’ adoption of the resolution of independence the previous day to be celebrated. But look again – the 2nd of July? Ask any American “when was the Declaration of Independence signed?” and they will tell you “4th July”. Wrong again! Most delegates signed on the 2nd August. The traditional 4th July commemoration has been described by Bill Bryson as “one of American history’s more singular mistakes’. So what did happen on the 4th? Why has it become Independence

Day? Well, after officially declaring independence on the 2nd, the Congress spent the rest of that day and the next debating the Declaration that had been prepared by John Adams and others in advance. They finally adopted an amended version on the 4th and so the first words in the document, at the head of every image of it, are : “IN CONGRESS, JULY 4th 1776”. It is interesting that it is the Declaration itself, perhaps because of its eloquent and rousing language, that has fixed the date of celebration rather than the legal moments of the resolution or the signing. Celebrate with Uncle Sam at the home of George Washington’s ancestors, Sulgrave Manor, on 4th July, from 11am to 4pm. Tap your feet to One Step Beyond’s Appalachian dancing. Listen to the close harmony of String of Pearls singing swing, jazz, cabaret and pop. Get up close to an American Bald Eagle. Feast on an American Barbeque. Or take the brand new “US Sulgrave Trail”, a self-guided tour of the many transatlantic links in the grounds and outer buildings. Admission with gift aid for UK taxpayers adult £8.25, child £3.85 and family (2 adults and up to 3 children) £22; without gift aid, £7.50, £3.50 and £20.

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The Royal Swan Upping Mary Bailey enjoys a unique 800 year old tradition on the Thames

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stood on the river bank and watched her swimming towards me. A female swan with her family. Every feather pristine white and perfectly arranged, her head was glossy ivory silk and her legs perfect amber. The cygnets were a mix of ruffled feathers in grey, beige and white. Her escort, the cob, had violence in his eyes but was equally well turned out. She surveyed me and her look said it all. “I have three difficult children and my mate can be bad tempered if not properly managed and yet I am always impeccably groomed… could you not tidy up a bit?”. I admire swans for the way they bring up their young and for the fact that many of them marry for life and are desolate if their mate dies. Occasional divorces - there was one in Richmond lately - are managed in a civilized way. The two couples became friends. All mute swans on the non tidal Thames once belonged to the Sovereign and were protected as a source of food. Swans are no longer eaten but I am told by friends they

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do NOT taste fishy... now how do they know? Each summer for over 800 years the new swans have been marked and inspected by the Queen’s Swan Marker (at present David Barber) and Markers from the Vintners Company and the Dyers Company of the city of London who now share ownership, as agreed by a 15th century Royal Charter. A fleet of six skiffs flying their proud banners leave from Shepperton on the third Monday in July and make their way upstream, reaching Abingdon Bridge on Friday. In their regalia of scarlet and gold the markers encircle a swan family to cries of, “all up!” then gently lift the cygnets from the water, weigh them, inspect them for ill health (any sick are taken to swan hospital), ring them and replace them to freedom. Male swans are very protective and there can be danger but I have seen upping done very gently and without any objection. As the boats pass Windsor, crews stand up to salute the Queen, Sei-

gneur of the Swans. It was with this rank she attended the Swan Upping in 2009, the first sovereign to do so in all of upping’s history, we believe. Following the skiffs is a fleet of small boats. To join a swan upping trip try French Brothers of Windsor (01753 851 900). Other onlookers watch from the bank and picnic or lunch at lovely riverside hotels like the Red Lion at Henley. The lucky few are guests of the Vintners or Dyers for the day. This year swan upping starts on 19th July and ideal viewing points are at Sunbury, Eton Boat House, Romney, Boulters Lock and Marlow. Timetables for the route are available from Buckingham Palace (www.royal.gov.uk). At the end, the officials count up the new swans to make sure numbers are maintained and that there is no substantial health threat to the birds. It is a lovely and ancient event and though doubtless it could all be done in a more slick, hurried and modern manner, something would be lost if we could not raise our glasses and cry “All up!’ H


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The American

At The National James Carroll Jordan, American actor, writes from his dressing room at the National Theatre, waiting for his call to go on

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eing here ranks right up there with the best experience an actor could wish for. But when the two shows I was in in Northampton got picked up for the spring season I didn’t think much of going to the National. I had played in New York, the West End and even at Spacey’s playground, the Old Vic, last year. It was just another venue to act in, wasn’t it? How wrong I was. My first hint was my agent Maxine’s reaction: “My God Jimmy, can I do things for you while you’re at the National?!”. My wife screamed : “I can’t wait to come and visit you sweetie! You’re not just an actor anymore, you’re an ACTOOR!” (in seventeen years of marriage, my wife has rarely expressed any interest in coming to any theatre or set I was working on). Finally David Suchet, an actor I highly respect, told me, ‘You will really enjoy your stay at the National, James. It is what I can only call an acting factory. It’s very special.’ From David that’s high praise. I began three weeks of rehearsals at the RSC rehearsal rooms in Clapham High Street with a heightened

curiosity. However, nothing special happened. We re-rehearsed our two shows and I came and went by train, all as usual. I was glad to reunite with the cast as we’d become close during our Northampton run, but nothing occurred to make me feel tingly. That changed when we finally shifted from Clapham to the National Theatre complex. We started with a meet and greet session with all the behind the scenes staff, except unfortunately the big poohbah Nick Hytner. Even without Nick it was hugely impressive. We had a tour of the complex and I found myself getting more excited as each new theatre and rehearsal space was revealed. The place is monstrous. And it is all geared to putting out first class theatre. There was nothing seedy or run down about any of it unlike some West End - and many provincial theatres I’ve worked in. To make things more delicious, it’s situated right on the River Thames with the long, lovely Victoria Walk to promenade on during breaks. The only better location I worked at was Hawaii when I did a Magnum 24 years ago. As theatre goes, it is the top. The National holds more delights – the people in it. Walking to my dressing room I read the cards on the other dressing room doors. It read like a who’s who of English theatre. Laurie Sansom keeps a close eye on the plays’ development “like a mother goose” COURTESY NATIONAL THEATRE

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Richard Briars, Simon Russell Beale, Fiona Shaw, some I had worked with like Simon Williams and Alex Jennings. In the cafeteria you never know who will sit down at your table. The other day I lunched with Richard Griffiths. With three theatres running simultaneously, and six to ten shows alternating in a repertory system, there is plenty of talent walking through the halls. Last night I was leaving with Richard Briers, whom I totally admire from Monarch Of The Glen. As we reached the stage door he saw a horde of fans waiting for him. He muttered, “‘Oh dear, they are going to chew me apart.” I gave him my sage advice, “Tell ‘em ‘No speak Engleesh!’”. As I left I looked back and saw him smiling gracefully and manfully giving autographs right and left. In our last week of previews Nicholas Hytner caught up with us after seeing our shows and gave us a thumbs up. He told us the audiences - people who have been coming to previews for years and are not easily satisfied - loved us. Now all we had to do was satisfy our director Laurie Sansom who had been hovering around us for the last three weeks like a mother goose, nervous for us. But the result of all this attention was to make us pretty much the best we could be. At the end of the rehearsals, Laurie was saying he only had to fine tune the rhythms of the show. We had rhythms?? All I knew is that we were honed to a razor sharpness and the audiences were right there with us, in the palm of our hands. We soon heard that we’d com-


God Bless America, in the key of A...

The finished article: James Carroll Jordan just about to ‘strangle’ Michael Thomson ROBERT DAY

pletely sold out the run and we’d been extended through July. That will make five glorious months at the National. Our press day consisted of a matinée of Beyond the Horizon followed by an evening show of Spring Storm. That suited me just fine as it got my tougher role of James Mayo the ranting farmer out of the way leaving me with the easier role of Heavenly’s dad. In spite of all our hard work and deep delving into the shows we were all nervous. We used those nerves to generate two fine performances and got wonderful reviews (all four and five stars) from the London papers and even from as far away as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business News TV channel. I was particularly pleased to see my photo in the Guardian, strangling my eldest son Andy (Mike Thompson) as he sprawled on the ground. The last time I made the papers was in a very West-End-Wendy photo of Jerry Hall and myself in a Cole Porter musical. This one was more manly, something I was proud to send back to my friends in the States. All the other actors and actresses, especially Liz White and Jacqueline King, got outstanding and well Mike Thompson, “a new Sean Connery” COURTESY NATIONAL THEATRE

deserved praise. The two young lads playing the leads in both shows were highly lauded too, boding well for their young careers. I take my hat off to Mike Malarkey and Michael Thompson for the hard work and talent they’ve brought to their parts. Malarkey, just out of drama school, performs like a veteran. Thompson seems like a fresher version of Sean Connery. I used to think that there were very few British actors aside from Caine and Connery who had what many of my American compatriots had, charisma and testosterone, but Thompson has all of that in spades. We’re all enjoying our season at the National Theatre. If you wish a grand night of theatre with a huge dose of good old American apple pie, come on down and see us. We are now running through July 24th so tickets can still be had if you move quickly! H

Craig Parker, associate professor of music at Kansas State University, looks at American patriotic music

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any factors make patriotic music appealing: memorable melodies, catchy and often repetitive rhythms, the emotional content of the lyrics, and, to a lesser extent, the occasion for which the music was written. But while most American patriotic pieces have lyrics, the most recognizable piece of American music around the world got lyrics after achieving popularity. John Phillip Sousa (pictured above), the American patriotic music composer known as The March King, composed The Stars and Stripes Forever in 1896-97 as an instrumental piece. It was played by his own professional concert band that toured America and the world for 40 years. The lyrics were added long after it became popular. When American orchestras tour internationally, they invariably play it as an encore to a symphonic concert, as the National Symphony Orchestra did recently during a tour of China.

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Other Sousa marches such as The Washington Post, Semper Fidelis, The Liberty Bell are also recognized around the world as evocations of the American spirit. Not all American patriotic music was born in the USA, though. Two of America’s best-known patriotic pieces use British melodies. My Country ‘Tis of Thee is based on God Save the Queen, while Francis Scott Key’s poem The Star-Spangled Banner, written during the War of 1812, was later set by John Stafford Smith to the old British drinking song, To Anacreon in Heaven. The Star-Spangled Banner did not become America’s official national anthem until 1931. Prior to that, Hail, Columbia (also known as The President’s March), Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean and The Star Spangled Banner all functioned as unofficial national anthems. Hail to the Chief is another British import. James Sanderson originally wrote it for an early 19th-century London production of a play based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Lady of the Lake. The American hymn tradition is responsible for some patriotic songs, including the melodies for Battle Hymn of the Republic – the greatest of all Civil War songs – and America, the Beautiful. One patriotic song now considered a classic didn’t catch on when first introduced. Irving Berlin’s God Bless America was originally written for a 1919 show and was forgotten for 20 years until he revised it in 1939. It also sparked another patriotic classic – in protest. Folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote This Land Is Your Land as a response to God Bless America, which Guthrie thought was a song for the wealthy who were not suffering from the Depression as millions of other Americans were. H

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PROFILE

The American

Debbi Baron Managing Director of Domaines & Terroirs, a company specializing in French cheese, food & wine journeys of discovery. Married, single or significant other: Significant other – Jean-Paul Bignand Children: Domaines & Terroirs! What brought you to Europe? In 1995, the time was right to shake up my world and embark on an adventure, so I relocated from Los Angeles to France to service the growing list of French clientele for my firm, the worldwide design firm Gensler. Arriving in Paris at the end of November 1995 to a foot of snow and a national transportation strike, I soon thereafter began commuting between Paris, the Emirates and our London office. What keeps me here in Europe is artisanal CHEESE! Your favorite restaurant & what five people, living or dead, you’d invite to dine with you there? The long-since defunct Parisian restaurant specializing in cheese – Androuët, with Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth I, Barack Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt.

If you could come back in another life, who would you be? Eleanor of Aquitaine. Favourite film? Way too hard to answer with just one! Dangerous Liaisons – for the karmic retribution; Shakespeare in Love – for fun; The Honest Courtesan – for Rufus Sewell. Your three favourite books? The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián y Morales (the path); The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (a parable); Le Guide des Fromages (the source). Who’s been the biggest influence in your life? Two people: my father who gave me an insatiable curiosity and a love for books, and my first boss, Ed Friedrichs, who told me that anything is possible – make an effort. Where’s your favourite place to holiday and why? Europe in general, France most of the time. In Europe one can find every kind of environment and deep cultural roots which can be explored through the local cheeses (with people, food & wine thrown in). When I’m not here, minus the deep roots, it is California for the same reasons. Who’s been the guiding force in your life? The universe with its infinite wisdom. Philosophy or motto in life? Philosophy: Present moment, only moment. Motto: If life were perfect, you wouldn’t have to live it, so get on with it! Favourite sandwich? A hunk of artisanal cheese with a good baguette or a rare garlic mayo burger at Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK). H  Compiled by Virginia E. Schultz


The American

Arts Choice By Estelle Lovatt and Michael Burland

Frederick Cayley Robinson: Acts of Mercy

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN 14 July to 17 October

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rederick Cayley Robinson is one of the most distinctive British painters of the early 20th century, yet this will be the first exhibition of his work to be shown in the United Kingdom for over 30 years. His masterpiece, Acts of Mercy, comprises four large-scale allegorical works commissioned for the new Middlesex Hospital. Their underlying message is of the sanctity of human altruism expressed through medical healing and the care of orphaned children. There are two pairs: in the first, The Doctor, one panel shows wounded soldiers

Daniele Crespi, The Sacrifice of Isaac, Oil on panel, 17 7/8 x 14 in., being sold by Piacenti Art Gallery at Master Paintings Week

and sailors outside a First World War hospital and in another a doctor is thanked by a kneeling mother and the daughter he has treated. In Orphans, girls sit quietly at an orphanage table, reminiscent of Leonardo’s Last Supper. Cayley Robinson’s works emulated the spiritual integrity and methods of the Old Masters he saw in the National Gallery, and to highlight this paintings by Piero della Francesca , Sandro Botticelli and Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes will be shown beside many of his works. – MB

Master Paintings

Various venues, Central London July 3 to 9 July Master Paintings Week is a collaboration between 28 leading galleries and auction houses, showing predominantly European paintings from the 15th to the 19th centuries. It coincides with Master Drawings London. All the galleries are in the heart of London’s Mayfair and St James’s, a short walk from one another. – MB

David Hockney’s Grimms’ Fairy Tales and Near and Far Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX 18 July - 5 September 2010

Frederick Cayley Robinson, Acts of Mercy: The Doctor, 1916 © THE TRUSTEES OF THE WELLCOME TRUST LTD

The RWA hosts two main exhibitions this summer. Near and Far is an exhibition by over 60 RWA members, exploring themes of travel and place. From Bristol to Bhutan to distant black holes; territories mapped from memory and imagination; journeys revealed and a sense of place are among the diverse subjects of this broad-ranging show. Grimms’ Fairy Tales is a series of 39 fantastical

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McAlpine Miller, American Dream no.1, 2009, Oil on canvas, 22x28 in.

McAlpine Miller: Memories and Futures

10 Grosvenor Street, London W1 4BJ 23 June to 13 October

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s much close-up-illusionist as painter, McAlpine Miller is a technically brilliant, very imaginative, Neo-Figurative Op artist. Painting on two or more planes, he takes from two realms. In the background are American comics and imagery, Walt Disney and Superheroes from Action Comics. Contrasting that, in the foreground, are images of stylish, cool, European-looking Supermodels or wholesome, faithful American ‘sweater girl’ next-door types. Backdrops of red, white and blue match the colours of the Stars and Stripes and encase hundreds of years of American moralism. Miller’s craftsmanship is phenomenal, painting with an illustrator’s precision and watercolourist’s layering, but all in oil paint. It’s an American tradition; think of the Wyeth family and Norman Rockwell. McAlpine Miller’s career has been both colourful and successful, exhibiting extensively in London, Europe and the USA, attracting the attention of collectors, worldwide. - EL

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David Hockney, The Haunted Castle, 1969, Etching in Black, 14 x 8 in. © DAVID HOCKNEY

etchings by one of the most popular British artists today, David Hockney. Hockney gives each story his own interpretation. Rather than illustrating the tales literally, he chooses vivid images to encapsulate a mood or detail. They were drawn directly onto copper plates by Hockney between May and November 1969. Some of the tales are familiar, like Rapunzel and Rumpelstilzchen; others, such as Old Rinkrank, Fundevogel and the Little Sea Hare are lesser known. In August there are Printmaking Workshops for children and adults inspired by Hockney’s work. On September 4, there is a lecture, ‘Crossing the Pond: Transatlantic Exchanges in Early 20th Century Art’ by Tricha Passes MA. – MB

The The Things Is (For 3) 9 July – 12 September 2010 Milton Keynes Gallery

This is a solo exhibition of works by “a London-based artist” - the anonymity is part of the presentation - who emerged in the early 1990s. Working with sound, performance, sculpture,

collage and photography, the artist creates narratives or systems which are played out in the form of installations, interventions and live events. The outcome is often humorous and playful, experimenting with language, image, form and identity. For Went To America Didn’t Say A Word (1999) he travelled to New York, stayed overnight and returned home, without uttering a word. This exhibition also contains three new installations and a sculptural piece that wraps around the exterior of the building. Another Another Ring Of Balls (2010), is a row of found magazine pages pasted around the walls of a room, each page containing a circular image, arranged in order of size. Woman Man Man Man Woman Woman Woman Man Man George M. Hester (2010) has pages from a book on a light box, the black and white images of nudes on the front and back of the paper appearing to merge to create hermaphrodites. One work invites visitors to leave their own mark: a denim carpet wrapped around the building records the footprints of visitors as they walk through the space. In another a fully functioning rock band’s equipment is set up, live, and ready to play. – MB Below: Man Woman Woman Man (2010), at the Milton Keynes Gallery


The American

Arts News By Estelle Lovatt

Shepherd Fairey – lawsuit latest

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Yael Bartana, Mur i Wieża (Wall and Tower), 2009, one channel RED transfer to 35mm film, duration: 16 min. COURTESY ANNET GELINK GALLERY AMSTERDAM

Artes Mundi The 4th Artes Mundi Prize for contemporary art, featured in The American before, has been awarded to Yael Bartana. The £40,000 prize was given to the Israeli artist at National Museum Cardiff. Artes Mundi aims to demonstrate that today’s artists can incorporate global issues as well as individual countries’ politics into their work. The judges said that Bartana was awarded the prize for her work of the last five to eight years which has consistently stimulated thinking about the human condition and adds to our understanding of humanity. Her complex visualizations using photography, film, video, sound and installation often focus upon the Israeli situation. She explores the details of everyday living and its rituals while relating them to the actions of the state and the constant presence of war and insecurity. – MB

Martin Creed One of Britain’s most popular modern artists, Creed’s work often reacts to the space it is being shown in, and uses readily available materials in a new way. He won the 2001 Turner Prize with Work No. 227: The Lights Going On and Off, and in 2008 created the famous Work No. 850, at Tate Britain, in which runners sprinted through the hall at 30-second intervals. This exhibition of recent and new work focuses on progressions of size, height and tone, and stacks of planks, chairs, tables, boxes, pieces of Lego and even musical notes. It’s all about growth, progress and movement. One highlight is a new work in which Creed turns the Gallery’s staircase into a synthesiser, each step playing a different note on the scale as the audience ascends or descends. – MB

Martin Creed, Work No. 997, 2009. COURTESY THE ARTIST AND HAUSER & WIRTH. PHOTO: BARBORA GERNY

.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, has said that the copyright clash between artist Shepherd Fairey and The Associated Press over the use of the Barack Obama “HOPE” picture should be resolved as quickly as possible, adding, “I have a feeling ... that whether it’s sooner or later, The Associated Press is going to win.” The artist sued AP, believing his artwork does not contravene AP’s copyrights. In the meantime, AP countersued seeking substantial damages, saying the uncredited, uncompensated use of their pictures violated copyright laws, and established a risk to journalism. Neither side supported the judge’s proposal to settle. It is alleged Fairey has earned about $2 million from the sale of items derived from “HOPE”. His legal representative, Geoffrey Stewart, said this wasn’t true, particularly since he donated proceeds to charities. In a financial award against him he would likely be bankrupt. Fairey is currently under criminal investigation after he admitted that he made a mistake about which AP photo he used as a starting point for “HOPE” which, he stated, was based on a photograph of Obama sat next to George Clooney, important as a photograph of Obama with someone else would need to be altered more than a photo of Obama alone. Incidentally, Fairey’s present art show, in Manhattan, had not a single Obama image, and it’s sold out. – EL

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Fakes and Mistakes Uncovered Conservator Sharon Manitta takes a close look at a fascinating exhibition

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he National Gallery is world famous for its extensive collection of paintings - paintings that are seen as objects that are often beautiful, sometimes representative of historical events or art movements. But a new exhibition called Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries shows paintings from its permanent collection in a new light. The idea was initiated by Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery and is a collaboration of the Science, Conservation and Curatorial Departments.

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The exhibition displays paintings from the 15th to the 19th century that have been found, through scientific analysis and historical research to be fraudulent, altered or redeemed to be genuine (when originally they were thought to be fakes or “of the school of ”). (Above:) THE BOTTICELLI – Sandro Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, c.1485… (and below) ... AND THE PRETENDER – an Allegory, probably c.1490-1550, by a follower of Botticelli BOTH IMAGES © NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON

At this point I need to confess my prejudice because as a conservator, I am always happy to see the results of scientific analysis that we often have to carry out shown to the public (no matter what discipline of conservation in which we work). This display explains in easily digestible units how paintings were examined, new information was found and how it adds to our knowledge and appreciation of that painting/artist. Planning for exhibitions can take a long time. This effort began over two years ago and started in the Scientific Research Department, which is under the leadership of the highly regarded Ashok Roy. He selected works from the permanent collection that had been examined over a number of years. But he wanted to make sure that the science was accessible to everyone so he asked Marjorie Weiseman, the National Gallery’s Curator of Dutch Paintings, to collaborate on the exhibition. Ms. Weiseman, an American who has been at the National Gallery for three and a half years, has written the text and the companion publication, A Closer Look Deception and


The American

Discoveries, that conveys the scientific story in a very understandable way. Both the exhibition and the publication are laid out in “bite-size” units so you don’t have to worry about technology overload. The exhibition is divided into six rooms, representing some of the major challenges faced by the experts from the Gallery’s different departments. Room 1 is called Deception and Deceit and concentrates on questions of disputed authorship and authenticity. Through the work of the Scientific Department, examination showed materials that weren’t available at the time of the supposed creation of the paintings. Transformations and Modifications, in Room 2, reveals how some paintings have been altered to satisfy changing tastes or interpretations (a practice that would be considered wildly unethical today). Mistakes are the focus of Room 3, the misattribution of paintings and examines how scientific analysis and connoisseurship (aka attributing a painting to a certain artist by the style of the painting) can work together to correct past mistakes. The Gallery has tempted us with the promise of revealing a new attribution to a painting that formerly was considered a Holbein. Secrets and Conundrums can be found in Room 4. Because assistants and apprentices in an artist’s workshop may have done some or all of a painting, it can be difficult to work out who did what. With new analytical procedures and equipment, a clearer idea of the hand(s) that created a work of art can be discovered. Room 5 has the wonderful name Being Botticelli (ah, the joys of alliteration!). Two paintings, both originally believed to be by Botticelli,

are displayed next to each other so that visitors can see the differences between the real and that of a follower of the artist. Finally in Room 6 we have Redemption and Recovery. Here, instead of finding fakes, paintings have been reattributed to the correct artist. With the popularity of television programs like the CSI and NCIS programs, analytical science has become accessible to more people. I hope that this exhibition will be enjoyed not only by those who already visit museums but also by people who will be curious to see how science and art are closely related. My one concern is that the terms “restorer” and “conservator” are used interchangeably in the text. They are not synonyms and I hope the difference (in the English language) between conservators (who have gone through extensive academic and scientific training) and restorers will be clarified. The term “restoration” is also used when discussing the treatment of paintings. This term can be used for one aspect of a conservation

treatment but it is not the universal term we hear in the media and should only be used in a few very specific situations. The exhibition will be open from June 30 to September 12, 2010 in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. Opening hours are Daily from 10am to 6pm, Friday until 9pm (Last admission 5:15 pm). The website www.nationalgallery.org.uk/closeexamination offers more background information. This is an exciting exhibition that is worth more than one visit and, in these difficult financial times, that is possible because admission is free. H Restorer Jill Dunkerton works on Andrea del Verrocchio and Lorenzo di Credi, The Virgin and Child with Two Angels, c. 1475. © NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON

Principal Scientific Officer Marika Spring uses a scanning electron microscope © NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON

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THE ANTHOLOGIST BAR & RESTAURANT

Reviewed by Virginia E. Schultz

I

was in the midst of reading The Anthologist, the book by Nicholson Baker, shortly before I went to review The Anthologist, the third restaurant opened by Drake & Morgan after the success of The Refinery and The Parlour. The book is fascinating, although for someone who knows nothing about iambic pentameter, rather confusing at times. However it has nothing to do with the restaurant, and it was only a coincidence that the word anthologist appeared twice within two days. Anthology means collection and there were certainly a collection of the young and beautiful enjoying themselves the times I’ve been there. The restaurant includes a spectacular bar, two cocktail lounges, a kitchen with chef’s table, a wine store and a rather unusual delicatessen. It also offers a seasonal all-day menu, vintage wines from around the world, cocktails and private rooms including one with a 1950 kitchen. The design is exposed brick, there are antique mirrors, a marble mixology table, a lover’s swing seat as well as an open kitchen where

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one can watch the chefs do what chefs usually do. It’s central in the City, not far from Bank Tube Station and the perfect place to wine and dine casually and then catch a train afterwards. Bread is always a sign that the food to follow will reflect the same quality, although £5.95 for a bread board seemed far too expensive. The antipasto board Verdi (£10.45) which included aubergines, courgettes, artichokes, sun ripened tomatoes, Puglia marinated olives, mozzarellas, extra olive oil, and Balsamic vinegar with those same breads was a far better bargain. So too was the antipasto board (£11.95) with a selection of cured meats. I went with one friend the first night and a few weeks later I stopped by with three others which gave me a pretty good idea what was on their very long menu. The linquine vongole with clams & chilli (£8.50) was excellent as was the Californian hot smoked salmon with spinach and pine nuts (£7.95), but forget the New York deli stack (£5.95) which included ham, turkey, salad, tomato and onions on focaccia.

The sole resemblance between what I’ve had in NY and here in London was the name. For some reason, when the English try anything with New York in its title, they fail, yet, when it comes to California there doesn’t seem to be a problem. I can also recommend the Anthologist beefburger with possibly the best beer battered onion rings I’ve had in ages. The brownies (£4.95) with vanilla ice cream and the Lemon Meringue Sundae (£4.95) were well worth forgetting my diet. Walk down the champagne-cased staircase, have a laughing moment on the swing chair, then make your way to Studio 58, the private room with the 50s kitchen where private parties and wine tasting events are planned. Supposedly, shades of the ’60s, they hope to have comics and poetry readings as well. Go for breakfast, browse the deli for marmalade, breads, cured meats or just stop for cocktails, it’s all there.

The Anthologist 58 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7BB 0845 468 0101 www.theanthologistbar.co.uk


The American

EXPAT NEED? CHECK ASSIGNEE SELECTED? CHECK TAX ADVISER? CHECK One of the less appealing things about sending your people overseas is that you, or they, suddenly have to become experts on the local tax system or risk falling foul of the law, incurring extra costs - or both. With BDO however, you and your people can benefit from coordinated tax advice. Advance planning will save you time and money and our specialist tax advisers are well equipped to ease the burden. Through BDO, the world’s fifth largest accountancy network, our Expatriate teams can provide you with assistance all over the world. To find out more about the tax service that travels with you, please contact Andrew Bailey on +44 (0)20 7893 2946 or andrew.bailey@bdo.co.uk BDO’s Expatriate Tax service is run by our Human Capital team, which also provides a full range of expertise in employment tax, reward planning and pensions. www.bdo.co.uk BDO LLP and BDO Northern Ireland are both separately authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to conduct investment business.

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

We offer corporate clients a 10% discount

We specialize in Wedding feasts with a difference 48 High Street, Cobham, Surrey

With riverside Italian Garden for al fresco dining

Book your table online on our website: www.lacapanna.co.uk 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”

01932 862121

– David Billington, Hello Magazine

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The American

Dining out at the

Bbar and Restaurant W

hen I first moved to London in 1979, I took visiting friends from the States on a tour of London. A few, however, took advantage of my hospitality and when they began to ask me to entertain their relatives and neighbours, I ended my free tour guide services except for very old friends like Dorothy and Thomas whom I first met in Puerto Rico before I had a sign of gray hair. This visit was to be their last hurrah in London; both are in their middle eighties, and they wanted to revisit many of the places they had been to in the past. Dorothy was born in South Africa and although she’s lived in the States for over thirty years, she still has her distinctive South African twang. After their tour of Buckingham Palace and seeing the changing of guards, I suggested we have lunch in nearby

Bbar and restaurant. I had been to this South African influenced restaurant a few weeks before and no one could have been more delighted than my friend when she discovered Bobotie spring rolls (£5.50) on the menu. Bobotie is a South African recipe with Malaysian origins and rather sweet. Delicious! I know a little about South African wines, which I love, but next to nothing about their food, so Dorothy did the ordering. We started with the spring rolls and then shared the sweetcorn fritters with avocado salsa (£7.00) that reminded me of those my grandmother used to make when I was a girl in Pennsylvania. Having reminisced about The Netherlands, where we both lived in the past, Thomas decided on the Cape Malay chicken satay with peanut sauce (£5.50).

For our main courses, I had pan fried smoked haddock fillet on leek risotto (£14.50), Thomas the Springbok haunch steak with sweet potato puree (£22.00), and Dorothy South African lamb with tomato bredie (£14.50) which she assured me was the best lamb she’d had in years. Dorothy had debated about having the Boerewor sausage with mash potatoes and sautéed onions (£14.50) instead of the lamb and to her delight, two spicy sausages appeared on a side dish for us to taste. ‘True South African hospitality’, she declared and a South African sitting at the table next to us agreed and lifted his glass to her. He and his companion were with the South African embassy and in no time the three of them were discussing their love of braais (South African barbecues) which they declared were superior to any other country. With our lunch, Dorothy and I had South African wine by the glass, all excellent. Thomas, however, had a glass of South African beer, a favourite tipple, especially when enjoying a braai. The only disappointment that afternoon was the Malva Pudding. I might add, our friendly and attentive waitress was willing to change it for something else, but we declined. Only a block from Victoria, Bbar and restaurant is the perfect place to have a pre-theatre dinner between 5pm and 7pm (2 courses costs £17, 3 courses £21).

43 Buckingham Palace Road London SW1W OPP Tel. 020 7958 7000 www.bbarlondon.com

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The American

Cellar Talk By Virginia E. Schultz

Making a Mark – Maker’s Mark Whisky

H

ere’s why I’m spelling whisky without an “e”. Firstly, that’s the way Maker’s Mark spells it. It is also the spelling preferred in my Unabridged Webster’s. However, many would insist that because Maker’s Mark is made in the States, not Scotland, it should have an “e”, as The New York Times style book and the Oxford English dictionary prefer. Whichever spelling, it is a shortened form of usequebaugh which the English borrowed from Gaelic and literally means “water of life”. However Maker’s Mark spells it, it makes very good bourbon. That was evident from the speed one of their distinctive red wax topped bottles, on our table at a recent dinner at The Palm Restaurant in London, was emptied, despite the lovely wines offered with our various courses. The Amuse Bouche was Maker’s Mark Glazed Chicken Livers, so I contin-

The historic Burks’ Makers Mark Distillery, near Loretto, Kentucky, now a National Historic Landmark.

ued sipping The Virginian (a bourbon and gin cocktail designed for me by bartender Alex Kratena) and found the match so perfect I will serve it as a first course at a birthday dinner. I’m a novice when it comes to bourbon, as I told Kevin Smith, Maker’s Mark’s Master Distiller, who was speaking to our group. I enjoy it not only to drink but to use in cooking. Bourbon is always added to the coca cola ham I make at Christmas. You could get drunk from the bourbon I add to my chocolate cake hot from the oven. And there is nothing lovelier to drink with hot milk on a cold winter night. It’s also a great gift to give to friends – even Scots. The bourbons we drink today are not the same as those my grandfather avoided because they were too course or sour tasting. Men like T.W. Samuels, father of today’s president of Maker’s Mark, changed the rawness into something richer and more complex. So determined was he to make a more “soft spoken bourbon”, he torched the 170 year old secret family recipe that had been passed down to him. His new formula, after much experimentation, was comprised of corn grown in identical soil to the distillery’s, and local grown winter wheat instead of traditional distiller’s rye. He also used pure iron-free limestone spring water. Having the right yeast was important too. Most distillers buy a stock yeast, but Maker’s Mark’s goes back to T.W.’s first bottle.

Maker’s Mark’s Master Distiller Kevin Smith and his wife Gretchen – bourbon lovers

The barrels are made from select American white oak, air dried for nine months including a summer. They are assembled and charred on the inside. Bourbons gain colour and flavour the longer they age, but too long it can become woody and unbalanced. Kevin had us taste the various phases Maker’s Mark goes through from the second distillation known as white dog, through under mature, fully mature and finally over mature. Maker’s Mark doesn’t believe in computers when tasting their bourbon. They believe the only accurate way to decide when the batch is to be bottled is to taste it regularly. From start to finish, that takes over four years. T.W.’s wife gave the name to Maker’s Mark. She collected English pewter and also 19th century bottles, many sealed in colourful wax, and came up with the idea of the famous wax seal. The Samuels’ Scotch-Irish heritage decided how they spell “whisky” and also dictated that, as in Scotland, it would be made in small batches of no more than 1000 gallons each – about 19 barrels. Today, Maker’s Mark is the only handmade bourbon in the world. I hope to visit the distillery in Loretto, Kentucky in the near future. I’ll drive along U.S. 68 to view the cliffs bordering the Kentucky River and visit some of the finest horse

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The American

farms in the world. The limestone, rich in the phosphorous and calcium that adds so much to bourbon, is also credited with building the strong skeletons of Kentucky’s other famous product... the Thoroughbred! H

DRINK OF THE MONTH THE PERFECT MINT JULEP The earliest mention of this drink is 1803. Early versions relied on cognac and brandy and it was the Southerners who replaced the imported spirits with bourbon that was served at the Kentucky Derby around 1875. The bourbon version has been the Derby’s official drink since the late 1930’s. 2 tsp sugar 2 tbs water 6-8 sprigs of fresh mint 4 to 5 oz bourbon Crushed ice Place sugar and water in a mixing glass and muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add all but one sprig of mint and crush slightly until flavour is released. Let stand a few minutes, then transfer to a frosted glass or pour into the traditional julep silver cup. Fill partially with ice, add bourbon, and stir lightly. Then fill the glass with ice. Garnish with the reserved mint.

WINE OF THE MONTH Jordan Chameleon Rose 2008 Inexpensive July for me is rosé month and this South African strawberry Shiraz combined with plummy Merlot is summer in the mouth. Kathy and Gary Jordan have been making wine since 1993 and another treat is their cherry, chocolate Jordan Cobblers Hill 2004, but on a hot summer evening watching the boats go by from my balcony on the Thames or a picnic at Glyndebourne, their Chameleon Rosé is the one to drink.

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Dining out at

Michael Nadra I

t was at Chez Bruce in Wandsworth I first tasted the cooking of Michael Nadra, who only two years before had graduated with an Honours Engineering Degree from Glasgow University. The restaurant at the time was the rarest of neighbourhood restaurants in that it competed with the finest dining establishments in

central London. Michael’s appointment as sous chef was quite an accomplishment for a young man whose experience started with a summer job at Sir Michael Caine’s The Canteen less than five years before. Michael’s talent did not go unnoticed by other restaurateurs and he was soon working at The Square in Mayfair and The Glasshouse in Kew before joining La Trompette as sous chef. There were further moves along the way including a three month contract to set up Oliver Peyton’s Villa Zevacco in Casablanca, before he finally took off on his own in 2005 to open Fish Hook, a modern seafood restaurant in Chiswick. The problem was, as Michael explained to Jennifer Atterbury and myself, he missed cooking with meat, and after the restaurant underwent refurbishment he reopened this year with his own name above the door. Meat and fish now share the same billing and there are excellent vegetarian dishes as I learned when I chose the Vegetarian Garden Tasting Menu, in honour of Chelsea Flower Show, which was on that week. There was also a regular tasting menu that I almost regretted not choosing when I saw the choices offered. Fortunately,


The American

Jennifer decided it was too good to turn down and I was able to taste the selection of both meat and fish offered. We started with a glass of Prosecco with Peach Schnapps & Strawberries (£8.00) that I liked and Jennifer didn’t. Her Amuse Bouche of salmon tartare was wonderful, but it was my Cauliflower & Black Truffle Veloute that had me suspecting I was in for a special treat that evening. Although I enjoyed the cocktail, I did agree with Jennifer it should have been colder and when her rather warm Sauvignon Blanc Staete Land 2008 from Marlborough, New Zealand arrived with her first course of Ham Hock Ravioli, she asked for a colder glass of wine. My Riesling, Tesch, Unplugged, however, was true peach and citrus that had been cooled to the perfect temperature and married deliciously with the salad of Bulgar Wheat & Puy Lentils with Mint and Pomegranate. In fact, it was almost good enough to tempt me into becoming a vegetarian. That is until Jennifer offered me a taste of her Seared Tuna with Soft Shell Crab and King Prawn Dumpling. The Twice Baked Goats Cheese Soufflé I had at the same time was excellent although I would have preferred it slightly cheesier, but it didn’t compare with Jennifer’s tuna. Perhaps because we had complained about the wine, the Albarino, Torroxal 2008, Rias Baixas, Spain arrived at the ideal temperature. “Wow!” was Jennifer’s response to her next course of Halibut with Brown Shrimps, Crushed New Potatoes, leeks and truffles. One taste and I couldn’t help but agree. I might add, her Chardonnay, Saint Veran 2007 was a match made in heaven for this dish. Although I seriously enjoyed the Ravioli of Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecan Nuts, one taste of that halibut and I knew then and there I’d never be a vegetarian.

Jennifer’s Aged Scotch Fillet Steak with triple cooked chips was cooked to medium rare perfection, although perhaps with more Sauce Poivarde than is necessary. With this she had a Sangiovese 2008 from Tuscany, Italy that was true drinking pleasure to the last sip. If I had a disappointment, it was the Pithivier of Wild Mushrooms, Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes and Cepe Sauce. The tiny cut up wild mushrooms seemed to have gotten lost in the rather heavy puffed pastry shell and I found myself digging them out and eating them with my mashed potatoes topped with the very tasty cepe sauce. Now, I’m not a sorbet lover, but the Lemon, Raspberry & Greek Yoghurt Sorbet we had at the end of our main course definitely changed my mind. Our Selection of Desserts were also excellent, especially the Chocolate Fondue Ice cream. Michael’s originality is not in star strutting dishes, but in his

sophisticated, yet down to earth cooking which reflects his training under some of the top chefs in London. One doesn’t have to have a tasting menu, but could start with an £8.50 starter of Sweetbreads & Foie Gras or Quail Three Ways and then go on to a main course of Duck Magret or Crisp Suckling Pig at £17. I might add, the vegetarian menu is not usually available, but if you are one, don’t hesitate to call Michael and put in your request for any special dish, meat, fish or vegetarian, you would like. Chiswick may be somewhat out of the way for many Londoners, but I have no doubt Michael Nadra is on its way to be the second restaurant in this small borough to earn a Michelin star.

Michael Nadra 6-8 Elliot Road, Chiswick, London W4 1PE. Tel. 020 8742 0766 www.restaurant-michaelnadra.co.uk

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The American

Coffee Break COFFEE BREAK QUIZ 1 Which country has more than 10,000 golf courses?

5 Which state is known as The Golden State?

2 When did the first woman run for President of the United States? a) 1872 b) 1908 c) 1952

6 Name 3 US states (out of 12) named after Indian tribes?

3 Who wrote:’These are the times that try men’s souls’: a) Thomas Jefferson b) Benjamin Franklin c) Thomas Paine? 4 How many Indians were there in the US when Columbus landed in 1492 (to the nearest 100,000)?

7 Which country has the greatest population density, yet is the second smallest in the world?

10 Which US artist, who painted many key events in US history, is most famous for Declaration of Independence used on the two dollar bill? 11 Which US singer was born Roberta Joan Anderson? 12 Name 4 of the 8 states which border Tennessee 13 What is Frederick Auguste Bartholdi famous for in the US? 14 Apart from the English Channel, where else in the world are the Channel Islands? 15 Name 5 US States that start with M

8 What do the following US presidents have in common: John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur?

16 (Way Down Upon the) Swanee River, composed by Stephen Foster in 1851, is the official song of which US state?

9 In which country did the first industrial revolution take place?

17 Where were the first cowboys in the US?

Coffee Break Quiz Answers: 1. The USA; 2. a) 1872 (Victoria Woodhull); 3. c) Thomas Paine (the opening lines of The Crisis, 1776); 4. Estimated as 1,115,000; 5. California; 6. Any 3 of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Utah, Texas, Massachusetts, and North and South Dakota; 7. Monaco; 8. None had Vice Presidents; 9. England; 10. John Trumbull; 11. Joni Mitchell; 12. Any 4 of Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky; 13. The Statue of Liberty (he was the sculptor); 14. 5 islands off the coast of S. California (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara); 15. 5 of Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana; 16. Florida; 17. Westchester County, N.Y (it was the revolutionary patriots’ term for pro-British raiders who stole cattle to sell to the British Army).

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The American

It happened one... July July 1, 1881 – The world’s first international telephone call is made between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine, United States. July 2, 1777 – Vermont becomes the first American territory to abolish slavery.

July 3, 1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile. July 4, 1886 – The people of France offer the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.

July 5, 1946 – The bikini is (re)introduced in Paris, France (it was a Roman invention). July 6, 1854 – The first convention of the United States Republican Party is held in Jackson, Michigan.

July 7, 1928 – Sliced bread is sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri. It is described as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped”.

July 8, 1776 – The Declaration of Independence is read aloud in Philadelphia, PA. and the Liberty Bell is rung. July 9, 1958 – Lituya Bay, Alaska, is hit by a mega-tsunami. The wave is recorded at 1720 feet (524 meters) high, making it the largest wave in history.

July 10, 1859 – Big Ben rings for the first time. Big Ben is actually the nickname of the great bell of the famous clock of the Houses of Parliament in London, not the tower. July 11, 1804 – US Vice President Aaron Burr fatally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

July 12, 1862 – The Medal of Honor is authorized by Congress.

July 13, 1985 – Vice President George H.W. Bush becomes Acting President for a day while President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery. July 14, 1881 – Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.

July 15, 1799 – The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain PierreFrançois Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.

July 16, 1918 – Tzar Nicholas II, his family, their doctor, servants and pet dog are shot by the Bolsheviks after being held captive for two months in a basement in Ekaterinberg, Russia. July 17, 1997 – The F.W. Woolworth Company closes after 117 years in business.

July 18, 1914 – The US Congress forms the Aviation Section, US Signal Corps, giving definite status to aircraft within the US Army for the first time. July 19, 1692 – Salem Witch Trials: Five women are hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. July 20, 1954 – At Geneva, Switzerland, an armistice is signed that ends fighting in Vietnam and divides the country along the 17th parallel.

July 21, 1865 – In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt, widely regarded as the first true western showdown.

July 22, 1587 – A second group of English settlers, who became the ‘Lost Colony’ and including Virginia Dare’s mother, arrive on Roanoke Island off

Big Ben rings for the first time in July 1859

North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.

July 23, 1995 – Comet Hale-Bopp is discovered - it becomes visible to the naked eye nearly a year later.

July 24, 1911 – Hiram Bingham III re-discovers Machu Picchu, “the Lost City of the Incas”.

July 25, 1909 – Louis Blériot makes the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine, flying from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes. July 26, 1953 – The Cuban Revolution starts when Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks.

July 27, 1866 – The Atlantic Cable is successfully completed, allowing transatlantic telegraph communication for the first time. July 28, 1996 – Kennewick Man, the remains of a prehistoric man, is accidently discovered near Kennewick, WA, by spectators attending the annual hydroplane races.

July 29, 1987 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President of France François Mitterrand sign the agreement to build a tunnel under the English Channel (Eurotunnel).

July 30, 1930 – In Montevideo, Uruguay wins the first Football World Cup. July 31, 1930 – The radio mystery program The Shadow is aired for the first time. H

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Latitude Southwold, Suffolk In East Anglia, it’s handy for the US bases but Latitude is worth a trip if you’re further afield. This is a lovely smaller-scale festival featuring top bands, playing on a lakeside stage or in fairy-lit woods, plus comedy, theatre and literary arenas, and evening film, cabaret and DJ sessions. There’s a dedicated children’s area puppet shows, storytelling, wild arts, circus skills, craft, Wildlife Detective trails, hunts, night time ‘bat events’, tree games, den-building, a parade, drumming and Wendy houses. Phew! There’s even a Baby & Toddler Tent and a Parent & Baby Chillout Tent which offers free fruit juice, water and sunblock for toddlers. They have baby changing and feeding facilities and even baby baths, a chill-out soundtrack and bedtime stories. There are family campsite and campervan zones, with ‘tuck shops’ (candy stores), a communal campfire, and early-morning entertainments for kids so parents can relax. www.latitudefestival.co.uk July 15-18

Trowbridge Village Pump Festival Wiltshire Trowbridge Village Pump Festival is now in its 37th year, having grown from a group of folkies in their local pub. It now provides four days of eclectic music on four stages, as well as children’s entertainment and late night cabaret. It has a very local feel and is very family friendly. Artists include Mary Black, Kid Creole, Show of Hands, Bellowhead, Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, The Waterson Family, and the shanty singing Cornishmen Fisherman’s Friends. Under-10s go free. www.trowbridgefestival.co.uk July 22-25

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MUSIC

A young fan safely enjoys the Trowbridge Village Pump Festival

Family Festival Frolics T

ime was that the music festival season in the UK meant Reading, Glastonbury and, er, that was about it apart from occasional Isle of Wights. Now you can’t move for the things. And there’s another difference. In days of yore festivals were mainly populated by young denim-clad people imbibing cheap lager and recreational chemicals. At many 21st century festivals you are more likely to trip over baby buggies and kids’ toys than comatose hippies. Yes, festivals have become ‘family friendly’. Here’s The American’s selection of the best ones around the UK for mom, dad and the kids. Generally they are smaller (less chance of losing a little one!) and quite a few are

GuilFest Guildford, Surrey

of the folk/alt tendency (less likely to blast little eardrums or involve moshing), but all welcome kids.

Camping made easy

At most of these festivals, you can hire out tents and tipis from Tangerine Fields. They reckon that festivals are all about great music, great friends and great times – and that you can enjoy them more when you arrive at a festival ground to find your home from home already filled with the comforts of brand new air beds, gazebos, sleeping bags and pillows. You have to reserve your tent in advance, but after that all you have to bring is your beer and/or children.

Perfectly placed for the large American contingent in Surrey and South London, GuilFest has won an award as UK Best Family Festival in 2006. It’s a great festival for grown ups too, but here’s a taste of what youngsters can expect in the KidZone. special VIP appearances from Peppa Pig on the Saturday and purple dinosaur Barney on Sunday; a fiddle-playing stuntman walking a slackwire above The Big Top; a one man circus doing a kids cabaret show; The Pirate Fairies; clowns; Theatre Des Bicyclettes, an evening fire show; Dancing Skeletons, Jo Dragon and Norman The Gnome! On Sunday they can see a theatre company performing Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Ickle Pigs, the UK African Acrobats Experience, and finish with a fancy dress parade around the festival. Adults might be so attracted by all this that they miss bands like Orbital, The Human League, Status Quo, 10CC, Nell Bryden (a favorite of The American), Hawkwind, and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. www.guilfest.co.uk July 16-18


The American

Eastleigh Music Festival Hampshire

Described as “a hidden gem”, and “a farreaching community & multi-cultural event”, it mainly offers modern folk music, attracting over 15,000 people to a programme of live music, workshops, food and entertainment. During the day on Saturday and all day Sunday the site is free with open access to all. Tickets are needed for Friday and Saturday nights. Artists include Cara Dillon, Jim Moray and Lau. www.eastleighmusicfestival.co.uk July 9-11

Larmer Tree Festival, and End of the Road Festival South-West Wiltshire

Larmer Tree says it offers music and culture. It’s set in beautiful country house gardens on the Wiltshire/Dorset border. Headliners include Toots and the Maytals, Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra with Alison Moyet, Martha Wainwright and Robert Cray. As with many festivals there is comedy, from Russell Howard and Rich (Otis Lee Crenshaw) Hall, and also a kids’ carnival procession, theatre, art and a dedicated kids’ zone. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk July 9-11 At the same site, at the end of the summer festival season, is End of the Road. The organisers say this year they are making it particularly family friendly, with a dedicated family camping area close to essentials like toilets, water and showers. The site has lots of open spaces and wooded areas to explore and a fantastic adventure playground. A dedicated children’s and family area has performances, workshops and kids’ activities in a safe corner of the site. There’s a particularly good choice

of American bands including Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, Wilco, Iron & Wine, Felice Brothers and Dengue Fever. www.endoftheroadfestival.com September 10-12

The Big Tent Festival Fife, Scotland

“Scotland’s environmental festival” has great, mainly Scottish and Irish, folk music, but headlining on Sunday night is Rosanne Cash, playing an intimate acoustic set with her husband John Leventhal. Ticket prices are very reasonable compared to most - only £56 for an adult three day camping if you sign up to their Green Discount scheme, and under 12s are free. There’s family camping, free buses run from the local railway stations, a dedicated children’s zone, a craft and wood zone, and poetry. www.bigtentfestival.co.uk July 23-25

Secret Garden Party Huntingdon

The wackiest of the bunch, it’s difficult to sum up SGP in a paragraph. Held in the grounds of a Georgian farmhouse by a lake and river, it describes itself as “a temporary community that is as free, irreverent, friendly and engaging as it is possible to be. It is conceived as a moment in the year where you can connect to your creative powers, explore your wildest fantasies and meet thousands of people who all want to meet you. It is a gathering that exists for only four days - away from cities and schedules, brands and boundaries – founded on participation and with the potential to change your life. It is a festival of the arts…where everyone is the artist.“ For kids, there is storytelling, theatre, comedy, art installations, snail racing, Space Hoppers, a

disco, Kids Camp with creative workshops, a ‘Young Revolutionary’s Parade’ with home-made costumes, a fashion show (ditto), pizza baking, and a ‘Hush Hush Hideaway’. Kids-only events include early-morning adventure walks and a pirate ship. Massage and healing spaces, yoga, saunas, hot tubs and dance classes will relax parents’ brains and there’s a bookable nanny service. A family camping area is located away from loud music and features campfire storytelling sessions. www.secretgardenparty.com July 22-25

Big Chill

Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire Relax in castle grounds among the Malvern Hills. It’s much more laid back than Glastonbury, with classical music nestling among popular music acts like Massive Attack, Lily Allen, Thom (Radiohead) Yorke and reggae superstar Gregory Isaacs. Parents can indulge in the Body & Soul Area while the offspring (the kids, not the band) enjoy the children’s area. New for this year are Big Warm storytelling sessions and songs around the campfire, a late-night outdoor cinema, and a Victorian funfair. Stay in the family campsite (which, as of this year, has a playground). www.bigchill.net/festival August 5-8

Kids play cards at The Green Man

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The Green Man festival is nestled among the hills of Wales’s Brecon Beacons

PICK THEOF LITTER

Green Man, Brecon Beacons, Wales N

ot as far-flung as it sounds (from southern England head west along the M4, over the Severn Bridge into Wales and turn right!) the Green Man festival is our choice of this year’s excellent crop for a number of reasons. The setting, in the lush surroundings of the Brecon Beacon hills of central Wales, is very beautiful. It’s an independent event. While there’s nothing wrong with those that take the multinational’s dollar, it all adds to the “right-on” feel. There is a nicely designed family camping area and a new Boutique Babysitting service, offering friendly babysitting run by fully qualified childcare professionals who give the kids a fun-packed “mini festival” of their own in two large climate controlled tipis equipped with soft flooring, blankets, bean bags and pillows. Finally, we like their attitude… the

organisers seem to have as much fun as their guests - look out for their River Thames boat party next May! Of course Green Man has some great acts too: we‘re looking forward to seeing 19 year old Avigdor ZahnerIsenberg, late of Long Beach, California and now Seattle based, with his band Avi Buffalo. (That’s right – The American is going to Green Man, with the kids, to put our money where our mouth is!) Other musts will be Flaming Lips, Doves, Joanna Newsom, Billy Bragg, Darwin Deez and, in the comedy tent, spaced out Welsh comic Milton Jones. There’s also a giant Bedouin marquee offering chai lattes, herbal shots and organic food served up with reggae, rap, jazz, folk, blues, hip hop, dub, world, techno and dance grooves, all courtesy of Chai Wallahs. www.greenman.net August 20-22


Cambridge Folk Festival

Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridgeshire Folk, blues and world music superstars include Kris Kristofferson, Natalie Merchant, Seasick Steve, Pink Martini (in a field?!). It has a great atmosphere, with a dedicated youth area called The Hub, a crèche, a children’s concert and a variety of kids’ workshops. www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk July 29 – August 1

Bestival

Robin Hill Countryside Adventure Park, Newport, Isle of Wight Eclectic music from Dizzee Rascal, Flaming Lips, Roxy Music, The Wailers, Gil Scott-Heron, Simian Mobile Disco and Chic. The Kids’ Area has natural crafts, face painting, a comic club, circus and clown shows, inflatables, a toddlers’ play area, and a crèche and, like most, it has a family campsite. www.bestival.net September 9-11

Glastonbury Somerset

The mother of all UK performing arts festivals, has just finished for 2010. It’s usually held every two years, to allow Michael Eavis’s fields (and his team) to recover. However it looks as if it will be held next year because in 2012 the Olympics will be held in Britain (taking all the trains and toilets, according to Eavis). Glasto has a Kidz Field, and the Theatre and Circus fields were designed for younger guests. There’s a special campsite, the Cockmill Meadow zone for families too, and some of the profits go to green charities. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk 2011

Company K C

ompany K, a gripping and emotioncharged story of a unit of American marines in World War1, is being released on retail DVD by Scanbox Entertainment on July 26. It is based on the classic novel by William March and his own experiences in the trenches of France. March’s book has long been considered one of the greatest war novels by an American author. The cast is headed by Ari Fliakos, Steve Cuiffo and Joe Delafield and the film is a stark reminder of the carnage and horrors of war in the First World War trenches. Sergeant Joseph Delaney (Fliakos) signs on with the US Marine Corps and the unit is shipped to the front line at Verdun, France. The unit immediately comes under attack, from a German biplane bomber then from mustard gas. Delaney is ordered to move forward but when the fighting subsides he’s taken to hospital behind the lines. Back in the trenches a new lieutenant, who senses the men have no respect for him, orders one of his sergeants to take some soldiers, advance to no man’s land and set up a machine gun nest. The Germans open fire, realising that the Marines have no chance of retreating back to their own lines. The incident turns many of the

men in Company K against their officers. For them the war becomes more and more of a test of sanity and survival which comes to a head when Delaney’s best friend Private Edward Carter (Cuiffo) murders an officer. When the war ends Delaney has his own burden of guilt to bear – a German soldier he killed in a forest when he knows he could have taken him prisoner instead. Delaney, Carter and their friend Private Emile Ayres (Delafield) must now learn to live the quiet life as civilians but they find its not as easy as they thought it would be to leave the memories of the war behind. “I have watched the reactions of many men to pain, hunger and death but all I have learned is that no two men react alike and that no one man comes through the experience unchanged” – William March ‘Company K’ has a 12 certificate and a recommended retail price of £12.99. The DVD comes with these Bonus Features: Three trailers, Five deleted scenes, A William March Documentary, Audio Commentary with Director Robert Clem. Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio http://www.companykthefilm.com/

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American Dream Bikes by Alan Cathcart

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‘generic’ title like this brings visions of large format coffee table books full of custom machines, drastically reduced in cheap High Street bookshops, aimed at those with just a casual interest in motorcycling. However, one should never stereotype anything, especially when Alan Cathcart is the author and Parker House the (American) publisher, both world renowned experts in producing quality motorcycle books. Admittedly this is a large format book full of superb photographs and something that can be dipped in and out of, but this is a serious work, profiling some of the more exotic and hand-built machines that have come out of the USA in recent years. Alongside large factory built machines like the Honda NRX1800 Valkerie Rune and a Harley XR1200, the Ecosse Heretic, the Roehr RV1250SC and Fischer MRX 650 that make this book stand out. Roland Sands’ KR V5 Tracker may look like a minimalist custom bike that could be found parked at Daytona Beach in March, but it is in reality a very quick motorcycle as Cathcart found out when he rode it! Twenty four bikes are tested and evaluated as only Cathcart can, providing a riding assessment and a great insight into the thinking and engineering behind the bikes. It is a great read and as petrol head extraordinaire Jay Leno who wrote the forward points out, Cathcart is the only one capable of providing a valid comparison across the whole spectrum of the worlds most exotic motorcycles from all genres. – IK Parker House Publishing (in USA), ISBN 978 1935 350 0019, available in the UK from Star Book Sales.

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The kitchen at elBulli, where Ferran Adria and his team weave gastronomic magic

Book Reviews by Virginia E Schultz, Ian Kerr, Michael Burland and Sabrina Sully

Food For Thought, Thought For Food Edited by Richard Hamilton and Vincente Todoli This is a book for food lovers and those who have had the pleasure of eating at elBulli, that connoisseurs as well as critics consider the number one restaurant in the world. Head Chef Ferran Adria runs what is undoubtedly one of the most controversial and experimental restaurants and receives over 1,000,000 reservations a year but is only able to accept 8,000. Heston Blumenthal at Fat Duck is often compared to Adria. Food for Thought, Thought for Food examines the essence of elBulli’s creativity. Richard Hamilton, one of pop-art’s legendary fathers, and Vicente Todoli, Director of Tate Modern explore the relationship between the restaurant and the world of art and Adria’s thoughts on gastronomic creativity and artistic creation. There are interesting photographs of the food created by this experimental chef as well as comments by the many well known people who have dined there. Even

the cover illustration is unusual, drawn by The Simpsons’ Matt Groening. It is a difficult read and I felt at times as though I was a guest at the Mad Hatter’s table. Still, reading this book made me even more curious about this intriguing restaurant in Spain and if I ever managed to get a reservation I shall take the book with me. – VS Actar, hardcover, 400 pages, £29.95.

Angelology

by Danielle Trussoni Angels are the new Vampires. In this tense thriller (think Dan Brown with vicious Angels) the angelologists – those who study the angelic races – battle against the beautiful but cruel Grigori family through the generations… these part-human angels live hundreds of years.


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Gabriella and Celestine are the most promising students of Angelology in France. It is 1939 and the Nazi threat is being aided and directed by the powerful Nephilim, the angelkind. Angelologists must hide their work and treasures and flee. But they must reach the greatest treasure before the Nazis. Time then fast-forwards to the present, when Gabriella’s granddaughter, Evangeline, intrigued by Abigail Rockefeller’s part in wartime events, talks to a researcher, which triggers the full force of the Nephilim once more. Well-written, detailed and fastpaced, it sweeps the reader along, and I greatly enjoyed it. It holds its internal logic well for the most part. But I felt the author, like many others, had compromised logic for spectacular potential film scenes, particularly the end chase scenes, which also seemed very edited-down and lost the feel of the characters and the book. – SS Michael Joseph, hardcover, 464 pages, £12.99

a casualty of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and brother-in-law Marcus. When a fire sweeps through a teenage lock-in party in a church, Andy is the hero as he leads children to safety, but there are deaths and serious injuries. It looks like arson and suspicion falls on Andy. Chapters from different key characters’ point of view, present and past, gradually paint the full story. Relationships past and present emerge, as does the very real feel of the location, as in all her books, and the mystery drives it on. The true story of the fire is discovered in the end, and on the way you care about all the main participants and learn a lot about ‘baby blues’ and FAS. Chamberlain, a psychotherapist, makes her characters come to life. She deals with big psychological subjects with huge sensitivity. – SS Mira Books, paperback, 496 pages £7.99

Before the Storm

by Hal Elliott Wert

by Diana Chamberlain

Set in the beach community of Topsail Island, off the coast of North Carolina, the main characters are a widow, daughter Maggie, son Andy,

format, printed on high grade art paper, it simply reproduces over 140 artists’ images of the President, followed by a Catalog section which describes each artist and explains their work in a paragraph, written by the author/collator. Wert has been a professor at Kansas Art Institute for nearly four decades. It is of even more interest to see the images and read the analysis now that the euphoria of Obama’s first days has subsided and the real, hard, oily, dirty world of politics has set in. It’s interesting to see how many of the images refer back to the psychedelic, brightly colored, positive world of pop art, including Ron English’s series Abraham Obama (one of which is reproduced here). This is a fabulous – and reasonably priced, given the quality - book for anyone interested in contemporary art or current affairs. – MB Zenith Press, hardback, 188 pages, £24.99

HOPE: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints A collection of – exactly as it says on the cover – posters and prints of Barack Obama, and indeed Michelle. This is an art book as much as it is political and cultural. In a large

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All My Sons

THEATER REVIEWS BY JARLATH O’CONNELL

By Arthur Miller • Apollo Theatre, London

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remiering in January 1947, Arthur Miller was so unsure of his prospects with this, his first major play, that he kept on his job in a factory. He didn’t need to for long as this play made his name. With the country still raw from World War II he challenged received notions about the nobility of all those who were caught up in it. He asked awkward questions about those who always manage to profit from war and he began to explore a seam he would return to regularly in his future work, namely our responsibility to each other. For Miller our responsibility goes beyond ourselves and our families to society at large and we ignore this at our peril.

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Joe Keller (David Suchet) a successful factory owner is alleged to have supplied World War II fighter planes with defective engine parts, leading to the deaths of innocent pilots, a crime for which he has allowed his business partner to take the fall. One of Keller’s sons, Larry, himself a pilot is thought to have been killed in action although no body has been recovered. Keller’s wife Kate (Zoe Wanamaker) can’t accept that her son is dead and equally is upset that her dead son’s fiancée Ann (Jemima Roper) has transferred her affections to her other son Chris (Stephen Campbell Moore). To complicate matters Ann happens to be the daughter of the ex business partner

who is now languishing in prison, a broken man. The play begins with Chris preparing for Ann’s visit in which he hopes he can get his mother’s blessing for their marriage. It ends with a revelation from Ann in a letter she received from Larry, which destroys the family. In this play Miller channelled Greek tragedy and Ibsen and O’Neill to create a perfect fusion of naturalism and big themes and in doing so set the template for much of modern drama. He brilliantly reveals the contradictions inherent in all his characters, and the lengths they go to to justify their actions. Steven Elder captures the unfulfilled yearning of the neighbour Dr Jim Lubey, who venerates Chris Keller and dreams of a more committed life in medical research. Claire Hackett steals every scene she is in as his practical and down to earth wife, Lydia, who moans, “I resent living next door to the Holy Family”. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor is the gawky neighbour Frank obsessed by horoscopes and feeding Kate’s obsession, and Daniel


PHOTOS: CATHERINE ASHMORE

PHOTOS: NOBBY CLARK

Lapaine brings a searing intensity to Ann’s disaffected brother George, who turns up raring for a fight but ends up getting disarmed, yet again, by Kate. In this scene Zoe Wanamaker, dressed for a special night out in her best red dress comes on like a venus flytrap and nails the character. Up till then she’s been a sleep-deprived zombie, knowing deep down her husband is guilty. When she sees the threat that George can pose she comes over as a lioness. Her triumph is nearly complete until a misjudged comment gives the game away. David Suchet brilliantly portrays the transformation of Joe from the confident local patriarch to a physically shrunken wreck of a man. We feel desperately for his plight and the play challenges us all to put ourselves in his place. The production is greatly enhanced by Bill Dudley’s uber-realistic set, a gigantic white clapboard house smothered in weeping willows. Director Howard Davies has returned to this play ten years after his triumph with it at the National. He has found new riches in it and a cast that will be hard to beat. My guess is that Suchet and Wanamaker will need to make room for new acting gongs on their mantelpieces.

Paradise Found Book by Richard Nelson • Music by Johann Strauss II, Lyrics by Ellen Fitzhughb • Menier Chocolate Factory, London

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he amazing success of the tiny and unsubsidised Menier Chocolate Factory has been the defining story of London theatre this past five years. This year’s Tony nominations for example are dominated by the Menier’s glorious reinvention of La Cage Aux Folles (11 nominations) and Trevor Nunn’s A Little Night Music (4 nominations). Their success attracted the attention of the great Hal Prince, the pre-eminent Broadway musical director of the past 50 years with a record 21 Tonys on his mantelpiece. He and Broadway’s top choreographer Susan Stroman (only 5 Tonys) have now used the Menier as their “out of town try out” for their latest musical endeavour. Prince’s name of course drew a stellar cast including the legendary Mandy Patinkin and Broadway veterans like Judy Kaye, Shuler Hensley, Nancy Opel and John McMartin whom we don’t see over here often enough. Kate Baldwin, this year’s Tony nominee for Finian’s Rainbow, is the romantic lead.

With this line-up, expectations were stratospheric but, sadly, they’ve come crashing to earth with a bang. This piece of cod Arabian Nights reinvented as burlesque and crossed with Viennese operetta is, to be kind, an honourable failure, but at least it gives us a chance to see this cast. Of course you can make a musical out of anything but the source material here didn’t bode well from the outset. Based on the novel The Tale of the 1002nd Night by Joseph Roth it has a book by top American playwright Richard Nelson and, bizarrely, music by the waltz king Johann Strauss II, presumably inspired by the setting. The pantomime plot revolves around an elderly 19th century Shah of Persia (John McMartin). Having lost his libido and got the blues, he is going through the motions of a state visit to Austria when he becomes besotted with the current young Empress. He requests his sidekick Eunuch (Mandy Patinkin finally finding a character to suit his

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falsetto) to have her brought to his tent. With the help of a local Baron (Hensley in fine voice) he arranges for Mizzi from the local bordello to stand in for the Empress and thus prevent a diplomatic incident. We also learn about the emotional entanglements of the troubled Baron and the Eunuch’s own fascination with romantic love. Patinkin gets the best song in the show “Without desire”, which is the Eunuch’s own exploration of the alien realm of the heart. “Life without feeling feels right,” he sings. If made more pivotal to the show this strand might just have saved it, instead, we get distracted with other tedious sub plots. Prince and Stroman stage it all with their customary élan and as usual the Menier seems to have a Midas touch when it comes to design.

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Beowulf Boritt (sets), Howell Binkley (lights) and Judith Dolan (costumes) manage to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The large cast try to divine every moment of truth they can from it but eventually, diminishing returns set in. Kate Baldwin, luscious in every sense of the word, is captivating as the love interest Mizzi and Judy Kaye shines as the wily old Bordello madam Frau Matzner. The great Shuler Hensley is pitch perfect as the Baron, looking like he strayed in from The Merry Widow. In the second act the show fatally changes gear from frothy comedy, which at least amuses, to tired melodrama, which just outstays its welcome. Sadly despite the efforts of all the chefs involved this piece of Viennoiserie comes out of the oven as a stodgy slab of sachertorte. H

L

et me preface this by saying I like a bit of comfort. I know it is sinful but I do. It’s why I have given up on Shakespeare’s Globe and why I am wary of site-specific theatre. (Katrina last year at the Oxo Tower was a notable exception). All that painstaking effort to get “health and safety” right in some awful, usually damp and derelict hellhole and all for what? For Hecuba? I wouldn’t mind if we were short of theatre spaces in this country but thanks to the National Lottery (and all those poor people buying tickets) we are awash with gloriously refurbished buildings most with gaping holes in their schedules and not much in them. So I was not in a good mood as I trod along to a cavernous series of tunnels that have been opened up for this show underneath Waterloo Station. One enters through a hole in the wall labelled Tunnel 228 and passes through chilly, dank, tunnels housing a series of eerie installations while commuter trains thunder overhead. Thankfully the one tunnel set aside for the ‘auditorium’ has comfy raked cinema seats but the smell and the mud does make its presence felt. Remember to dress down. All this was in aid of the Old Vic’s latest venture, a co-production with Norfolk’s High Tide Festival of debut play by the young playwright Beth Steel. We are in the dystopian future. Is there any other kind I hear you ask? I want someone to set up a prize for playwrights who write happy plays about the future, they could call it the Orwell-Got-It-Wrong Prize. Anyway, if dsytopian future wasn’t enough we


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The great Dearbhla Molloy, left, with Sam Hazeldine

PHOTOS: WILLIAM KNIGHT

By Beth Steel • A High Tide Festival/Old Vic production at the Old Vic Tunnels, London are also in Yorkshire, in the rain. Global warming has taken its toll and much of the country is underwater and government has been reduced to a number of fascist strongmen patrolling for “illegals” whilst most of the young men are away fighting a brutal war over a pipeline. This outpost, its numbers dwindling, struggles to retain a semblance of civilisation in the face of an inevitable onset of global war. They are fed and watered by the wise old Mrs Peel (the great Dearbhla Molloy) whose young charge Megan (Matti Houghton) gets romantically entangled with one of the young newcomers to the security team. Water is severely rationed (“you get a bath every birthday”) and they live off deer, all parts of the animal. Talking about the past is forbidden. Toimes is ‘aaaard.

The play purports to be a cleareyed look at how we might behave in such circumstances but it has one great flaw. If you create an imagined world you have to clearly delineate its parameters, as in the best sci-fi. There must be some internal logic. Here we are not told enough about what has happened or why they bother putting up with it all, so it is hard to engage emotionally with the dilemmas of this bunch of under written and sadly overacted characters. The usual retinue of dystopian climate change disaster scenarios are present but this litany of misery takes us nowhere dramatically. All credit is due to the extensive design team led by Takis, whose staging is extraordinary, but is sadly undercut by the banality of this play and its ‘shouty’ execution.

Matti Houghton, cooking up a dystopian future

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Novello Theatre • To September 5

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very member of the audience must have been a committed fan of dance in general, tap in particular or perhaps just there for Adam Garcia, because the atmosphere was electric. During the Overture a tap shoe ‘gobo’ moving lighting effect rotated and changed colour in place of the curtain, heightening the anticipation. Then, a spotlight, and Adam Garcia is welcomed with thunderous applause. He performs Foreman Solo and you know that this man has been hiding his light under a bushel. Adam made his name in the West End starring in Wicked, Grease and Saturday Night Fever and then became really well known nationally as a judge on the recent Sky TV series Got To Dance and it was there that he was inspired to get dancing again and, oh boy, can he dance! Now, I saw the show’s original creator and first leading man Dein Perry and his company present Tap

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Reviewed by Paris Brownlie • Pictures by Ralf Brinkhoff

Dogs at Sadler’s Wells in 2001 and I said then that it was the best Tap Dance show ever, bar none. It was one of the most powerful shows I have ever seen. Would this night be as memorable? Try Chippendales with angle grinders; Cirque de Soléil on a building site; Stomp with flickering feet. There is an important evolution in the history of dance that should be acknowledged here. Australia, David Atkins, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Dein Perry, Tap Dogs. This is Tap Dance as we simply do not understand it in the UK. Tap is subtly different in its teaching and practise in Britain as against East Coast America (Broadway) and West Coast (Hollywood and Las Vegas). Dein Perry has established another style that is unique and quintessentially Australian. In this show it also ranks as a perfect example of incredibly good choreography; blisteringly

hard rehearsal and utterly fabulous performance. The thirty one numbers run together in such a way that the order of the programme is confusing – so don’t try to read it – just sit back and let it all roll right over you. For example Torches starts off with just the torch beams coming down through a darkened stage. Intricate tap technique and finger clicking sets the rhythm that leads on to Tea for Two with audience participation and then, somehow, we’re in Upside Down and… no, you’ve got to be there. Metal Dance: no music just dry ice, atmosphere and lights – spot on! And I Beams: tapping on scaffolding, amazing but not easy, don’t try this at home. Foreman, 2IC, Enforcer, Funky, Rat and Kid are individual characters but there is a central theme of camaraderie and teamwork which is defined with syncopation and canon.


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There are two female percussionists on stage, Lyndsay Evans and Genevieve Wilkins, and they deliver as physical a performance as the dancers. Your eyes are on the dancers throughout but there are highlighted moments when the musicians suddenly seem alone on the stage. Rock on ladies! The lighting is wonderfully simple and atmospheric. The sets are intricate, industrial and they move. However the decibel level of the music is very high and there were a couple of times when the clarity of the taps was lost. The highlight for me was Slow Tap. All six dancers had total control of their taps (important dancers’ technical jargon). They were flicking water from the stage and it looked like the water was in slow motion. Five left the stage one by one, to leave Adam Garcia for his final solo. It was brilliant, it was scintillating, and it was tap dance at its absolute and very best. I am going back to see this show without my pen and notebook. I’m going back because I’m a dancer and a choreographer and a lover of good tap dancing. I hope to see you there.

Above: Adam Garcia performs a solo: “scintillating”

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Brian Fortuna The Philadelphia born ballroom dancer who has become a dance star in Britain talks to Michael Burland

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rian, it seem like you’re constantly on the move these days. Where are you at the moment? I’m in Edinburgh, on my live Strictly tour.

the other professionals. I have a new show, Burn The Floor. It’s a dream come true to have a starring role in the West End, let alone with a girl that I’m absolutely crazy about!

I hear you’re leaving Strictly Come Dancing? Yes, unfortunately. They decided to make some changes to the show where some of the professionals participate in group dances and others train the celebrities, and I wasn’t pleased with where I fitted in. It’s a personal decision, I didn’t consult with any of

You and Ali Bastion are now partners in life as well as on the dancefloor. It’s a fairy story isn’t it? Yeah, people start barfing, but it really has been a dream come true.

PH OS OT :H UG OG LE ND INN ING

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So it’s not a publicity stunt? Oh no! Ali and I are doing really well with one another, it’s worked out great. We met in a BBC TV studio, started rehearsals together, and it wasn’t too long after that something started to develop. It’s quite romantic! This is the first time we’ve been apart because I’m touring. I’ll only see Ali one day this week – it’s the longest we’ve ever been apart. From the day we met we didn’t separate a single day until March. The Strictly tour finishes on July 18th then we open Burn on the 21st. They’re actually overlapping, I’ll rehearse Burn in the morning then do the Strictly show in the evening. I saw Burn the Floor as a kid with my parents in Atlantic City. I watched in awe and I never dreamed I’d be starring in it in the West End. The UK Strictly fans took you to their hearts. Yeah, that’s why it’s a big disappointment to leave. When I came over

I expected to do one season. I figured, the public’s gonna hate me, I’m an American, but lo and behold, it really took off. That was two and a half years ago. I really enjoy it here – my only complaint is the weather! Would I stay forever? It’s definitely a possibility. I’m in a profession that could take me anywhere, which is difficult but it’s also exciting. Ali and I have agreed that it doesn’t matter what happens, we’re going to make it work. Whether we’re in California and Ali’s got an acting role there, or I’m doing some hosting here in London, or we end up in India, who knows? How did you start in dancing? I grew up into a ballroom dancing family, my mother was a former United States champion, my father was an amateur dance champ and they run very successful competitions. I grew up competing and training. In my late teens I got into Pro-Am, teaching in my mother’s studio, working with students and taking them into competition, always in ballroom. My Mom forced me to do ballroom, Latin, Salsa, some things I didn’t want to do but they have opened doors for me now, so thank God for that. Deep down I always wanted to be a television host – I love being on the mike. When I saw Dancing with the Stars for the first time I hadn’t seen the British version. I felt real excitement because I knew right away it was going to change our business forever. And it was an opportunity for me to go to Hollywood, or London, working on big stages and hosting shows. I flew out to L.A. as many times as I could to meet the producers, audition, try to get involved. I eventually got a role on the national


The American

tour they were doing across the US and Canada, then they put me onto Dancing with the Stars on TV. I danced with Miss USA. That led to another two tours, one of which I hosted, and a hosting role on the TV show with Miss USA. I sent two emails out, one to Italy and one to England, to say I’d be interested in participating in their shows. The Italians wrote back and said they were cancelling their show, then Strictly wrote back saying ‘Brian, we’d love to audition you, but you have to be here in five days’. The tour happened to finish in five days! I booked a plane ticket from the back of the tour bus, literally got off the bus, flew to England, auditioned, and the rest is history! You’re the only person to have been on ‘Strictly’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’. How do they differ? The budgets are astronomically different. The BBC is a public station. The ABC has more money than God so they get bigger stars, bigger bands. But my Mom likes the British show better. It has stayed more traditional, they don’t use as many tricks and crazy songs, the costumes are more traditional, and that works for the British public. People forget that even though we speak the same language, kind of, it’s a different public, and what works in the UK, doesn’t necessarily work in the US. Americans don’t mind if it goes a little more berserk. The American version is a bit more ‘Las Vegas’? That’s a good way of putting it. The judges, Len and Bruno, are fabulous, it’s wonderful how they bounce off each other, bless ‘em, and in America you have Carrie Ann Inaba. She’s a great woman. They’re missing of course, lovely Craig, who works great over here. Are the judges tougher on the dancers in Britain?

They’re tough generally, it’s one of the things that makes the show interesting. If the judges said everything was wonderful, people wouldn’t watch. It’s quite controversial when one of them insults a competitor, and although those comments may not be that constructive, they certainly build ratings. It’s not just a dance competition, Strictly is successful television. What do you miss about the States? I’ve started to feel a bit homesick this year. I come from an Italian family, I ate dinner with my parents every day since the day I was born. It’s tough to be away from your friends and your family, I miss driving a car, on hot days I miss air conditioning. But there’s so many cool things I’m experiencing that 90% of Americans never will. I’m looking out of my hotel window right now at a castle which is probably a couple of thousand years old! I love the history. I remember being on tour, I looked up and Stonehenge was right in front of me. I flipped out, stopped the car and had to get out to look at it. In London I lived in Bayswater, all the buildings were built in the late 1700s and they all had that gorgeous white architecture. I’ve been to Jersey, where I saw the most amazing night sky I’ve ever seen. I love to meet the different people, and I’m starting to understand the difference in all the accents. Prior to Strictly, my only experience of the UK was Blackpool… I won’t say anything else! I’d prefer to go home every couple of months, or spend a week at home after a project, but my projects have overlapped recently. You’ve given a lot of private dance lessons. Are you still able to fit that in? No, and I really miss it. I particularly love teaching children. I worked with

a lot of kids back home in New Jersey, I ran a program out in L.A., but I’ve only had about three days off in the last year. I’ve performed every single night and had time for nothing else. Is performing every day physically demanding? This year has been really hard. My body hurts every day, somewhere, but that’s part of being a performer. There’s also the opportunity to go out and have a standing ovation from 2,000 people every night, and that’s an incredible feeling! H

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Questions for

DOUGLAS SHULMAN Andy Sundberg, of the pressure group American Citizens Abroad, asks some questions of burning relevance to all American expats

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f I’d had the chance to attend the recent OECD International Tax Conference in Washington, D.C. on the 7th and 8th of June, these are the problems I would have raised, and the questions I would have posed to Douglas Shulman, the young man who is not only the head of the IRS, but also currently the head of the OECD Tax Committee. 1. THE COPYCAT PROBLEM: The United States believes it is equitable and appropriate to tax the worldwide income of its citizens who are bona fide residents of foreign countries. But there are also many people living in the U.S. with other nationalities, maybe more than one. They may be awaiting U.S. citizenship, or be natural born or naturalized U.S. citizens. Given the complexity of the inheritance of nationalities under different legal systems, many have identities as citizens of other countries too. Irish citizenship, and Swiss citizenship, to take but two examples, can cascade forward almost automatically for a couple of generations. “Mr. Shulman, what happens if other countries copy the U.S. model and start trying to tax the worldwide income of their direct or derivative “citizens” who are now living today in the U.S.?”

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2. THE MULTIPLE COMPLIANCE CHALLENGE: How about someone living in the U.S. who has three or more nationalities, one by birth in the USA, two others inherited from a mother and a father, maybe some more via grandparents? Suppose each of these countries follows the U.S. model and imposes a tax on the worldwide income of all of their citizens living in the U.S. “Mr. Shulman, how would such U.S. residents handle all of these parallel requests from multiple foreign governments, in multiple languages, for the payment of taxes on their worldwide incomes, in addition to the taxes that they are already expected to pay to the U.S. Government on the same income? How would they deal with moving exchange rates among several different currencies, and the valuations of capital gains or losses in these moving currencies? How would they prioritize the payment of taxes among several countries, and what international negotiations would be required to determine which country ranks above which other countries for such purposes? How would they cope with requests in several languages if each of these countries also adopted our FBAR-type reports for every bank account these individuals hold all over the world, and perhaps also have to identify every single transaction that takes place in every such account?”

3. THE U.S. TAX REVENUE TICKING TIME BOMB PROBLEM: Another result also seems probable if universal citizenship based taxation takes hold. Most likely there would be a much greater resultant outflow of money from the U.S. into the tax coffers of other governments than the amounts of tax that flow into the U.S. today from Americans living abroad who are subjected to our current double taxation system. “Mr. Shulman, isn’t this really a very nasty time bomb for the U.S. economy ticking away and just waiting to explode? Wouldn’t the inevitable result be a very deep wound to the economy of the U.S.?” 4. THE “JOHN DOE SUMMONS” BLOWBACK PROBLEM: Each of these other countries might well copy our U.S. model and start sending “John Doe Summons” to every bank in every State of the U.S., trying to identify all possibly relevant taxpayers. “Mr. Shulman, how would the thousands of banks all across the U.S. be able to handle such myriad requests in lots of different languages?” 5. T  HE “BETRAY YOUR NEIGHBOR” BLOWBACK PROBLEM: Still another probability is that each of these other countries might copy


The American

our U.S. model and start offering large bribes as incentives to folks living in the U.S. to denounce everyone of every other nationality suspected of not filing tax returns to their home country governments.

doing what it is doing now? If the leaders of other countries ask for your advice, are you really going to tell them: yes, copy our model? Or would you be willing to tell the Congress that we should stop this now before it is too late?”

“Mr. Shulman, how do you think the social structure of the U.S. could survive such massive amounts of on-going betrayals?”

8. THE ENDURING TAX LIABILITY CONUNDRUM FOR AMERICANS WHO FORMERLY HAD FOREIGN WORK PERMITS: Many U.S. citizens who have spent time abroad working for U.S. and/or foreign companies, or as entrepreneurs, teachers, religious workers, doctors, etc, had to obtain official work permits from the governments of these countries. It was normal that while they worked abroad they had to file local income tax returns and pay their required taxes to those governments. The U.S., however, insists that all those who ever had a Green Card to enable them to work in the U.S., even if it has now expired, and who have now returned to live abroad, must nevertheless still continue to file and pay U.S. income tax every year on all income they earn everywhere.

6.  THE WORLD ECONOMY GRINDING TO A HALT PROBLEM: This mess would not stop in the U.S.. It could also quickly become planetary as the economies of other countries also suffocate from myriad crossborder multiple taxation of the same income. “Mr. Shulman, in addition to the financial consequences if other countries follow our model, isn’t there also a risk that the economies of many countries might simply grind to a halt as individuals spend months of each year filling out more and more forms in more and more different languages?” 7. THE FOLLOW THE LEADER PROBLEM: Given this background, it seems likely that the world could be heading toward an inevitable Armageddon of insanity if everyone else were to adopt current U.S. tax practices. We are, of course, well known as a very stubborn nation, and it is very tough for us to admit that we might have made a mistake. Perhaps we are doomed to sit and watch as this weapon of selfdestruction keeps ticking away until someday, perhaps not far in the future, it all goes boom. “So my final questions, Mr. Shulman, are very simple ones. Given all of this, do you really think the U.S. should continue

“Mr. Shulman, my next question is this: If asked, would you recommend to other countries that they now copy the U.S. model, and thus start imposing their domestic income taxes on all future worldwide earnings and other revenue sources of all U.S. citizens who had ever received work permits and worked in their countries, even after they have now returned to the U.S., and even after these work permits have now expired?” 9. THE TAX IMPLICATIONS OF RENOUNCING FORMER FOREIGN WORK PERMITS: Let’s suppose that many other countries that never previously had a formal work permit renunciation process, (according to the State Department

Douglas Shulman, head of the IRS and the OECD Tax Committee, and thus in charge of the U.S. taxes you have to pay

there wasn’t any such procedure in the U.S. for an expired Green Card until the IRS said there must be), might now copy our practice in this area. “Mr. Shulman, would you encourage these other countries to adopt the U.S. model and require that all former Americans resident and working in the private sector of their countries be obliged to formally renounce their expired foreign work permits when they return to the U.S., and go through the same arduous renunciation process and pay all of the renunciation related taxes and other fees as now required by the U.S. when a nonAmerican formally surrenders an expired Green Card? Wouldn’t this multiple copycat renunciation process possibly lead to many bankruptcies for these Americans coming back to live in the U.S.?” H

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The American

DEEPWATER HORIZON Alan Miller calls for a grown up debate about how humankind manages and develops its global resources

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y now we all are aware of the facts surrounding the Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil rig accident. The deep well, leased by British Petroleum and operated by Transocean around 40 miles off of the Louisiana coast, experienced a huge surge of gas whereupon the “blowout protector”, the system created to limit problems, failed to work properly. The ignited gas exploded, 11 crew members were killed and the entire rig sank. While all this was going on, the pipeline that connects to the well was damaged, the cause of the ongoing leak of oil, estimated originally at 5,000 barrels a day and more recently at 12-15,000 barrels per day. There are a few other facts that need to be pointed out, for much of the debate around the accident imposes many dominant contemporary ideas onto the situation:

happen in life and business ● The harnessing of oil has improved the world beyond comparison ● British Petroleum is not Beyond Petroleum ● The level of technology and design

Many have been playing the “blame game” which is not smart. Initially there was a certain amount of shuffling between BP, Transocean, Halliburton (who cement the oil wells) and Cameron (who designed the blowout protector system). As things progressed, BP more formally took clear ownership of responsibility. Increasingly there have been voices trying to blame President Obama, but trying to label it as “Obama’s Katrina”, is juvenile and wrong. While the US Coastguard and Federal and State organizations all have their role to play, nobody is more informed, better equipped or as experienced as the people currently trying to resolve the accident. It is important that we keep in mind that accidents will happen. We have become accustomed ideologically, particularly in the west, to a world where things should never go wrong, but of course they do. The risks involved must be weighed

PHOTO: PATRICK KELLEY

● Accidents

involved and planning in deep sea drilling is on a par with space travel ● This is not the end of the world, but we can decide how we move on

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against the benefits accrued. The simple fact is that the world as we know it - particularly the American economy and society - runs on oil. This is a testament to how far we have come through this development and also how much further we can go. It has become fashionable to describe oil in terms such as filthy, dirty, toxic, and say that we are “addicted” to it. Here, the President and other political and business leaders would do well to state this clearly and boldly: we are a very long away from alternative fuels. We should of course pursue research and development in all areas of energy and technology, but right now wind and water are not tenable. Nuclear energy presents lots of potential (and risk) and requires far more investment. Meanwhile coal and oil are what make our world turn. Some, informed by Green Ideas fantasize about us living in the dark, in mud huts with minimal “carbon footprints” – but the achievements of humanity have been built on the back of development. Also, many spewing those Green Ideas do so from air conditioned sky scrapers in New York and London. Their main message is that China, India and the rest of the world should not follow suit. BP needs to take responsibility for its Public Relations and Marketing campaign, where it seems it almost forgot that it was in the oil business. “Beyond Petroleum”? Well, no not really. A little more honesty and clarity about why oil is so important, how it benefits us and what is involved all round can re-jig the current picture in which many declare that this is all just too risky, dangerous and complicated and that we should “stop”,


The American

and demonstrate how intelligent and innovative we are. Remarkable technology, planning and design are being harnessed to solve the DH accident. At 18,000 feet below the surface of the water, drilling and filling and plugging is engineering at its finest, and extremely difficult. Our attempts to solve the leak while not yet successful, attest to our skill and concern. It is worth noting also that one of the reasons for the move to drill further offshore was specifically due to lobbying by environmentalists. American journalist Henry P Wickham Jr. explains in The American Thinker that the large oil shale deposits in Western Colorado, Western Canada and Alaska’s North shore, less difficult areas, could be harnessed, but they will not, due to the lobbying of environmentalists. His argument interestingly asserts that had the planned oil pipe from Valdez, Alaska, been continued to the borders of the 48 states, it is far less likely the Exxon Valdez spill would have occurred. The DH event is now being called “the worst oil spill ever”, however with Exxon Valdez the spill was more acute because crude oil spilled out immediately. In 1979 the Ixtoc rig dispensed 500 million litres in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1991 Iraqi troops tried to prevent a US invasion by flooding the Persian Gulf with over 1.5 billion litres of oil. The prevailing image of the black mass, in our fearful and anxious times, has come to be seen as a metaphor for our folly. Dirty dumping by dirty humans hell bent on oily profits without regard to Mother Nature.

PHOTO: US COAST GUARD

Without any sense of irony, the White House and environmentalists criticize BP for saying it cannot currently resolve the problem, yet they continue to state that alternative sources of energy are not yet able to transform poverty around the world for the majority of people. If “cannot” is unacceptable for one, why is it not for the other? Herein lies the challenge for us all today. Throwing out accusations at “Big Oil” (or “Big Banks” or “Big Pharma” for that matter), does little to explain the specific nature of the particular problems we face and how to solve them. The prevailing cultural climate and political outlook today is one where big is seen as bad, technical and technological complexity is automatically seen as problematic, aspiration is re-cast as greed and humans are portrayed as gluttonous, polluting, evil creatures. The DH accident is a serious and important problem, but like all problems it is susceptible to rational human ingenuity and endeavor. Rather than use it as an excuse to further go down the road of lamenting our advances and arguing that the less developed areas of the world should not engage in cheap, plentiful extraction, we

should deal with the problem as best we can and recognize that the human project is risky and getting up in the morning may mean we run in to trouble. If we stay in the metaphorical bed, we cease to exist. A grown up debate and honest discussion about resources, wealth, production and society is desperately required, now, more than ever. H Alan Miller is the co-founder of London’s Old Truman Brewery Media Center and is Director of The NY Salon in New York (www.nysalon.org ). He sits on the London Regional Council of The Arts Council England.

Does the West have the right to deny industrial development to others, like these street dwellers in India? PHOTO: STEPHEN CODRINGTON.

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Koons Designs Racer Car number 79 at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France on June 12-13 was unusual. Not in engineering terms – it was a BMW M3 racing in the GT2 class, well prepared by Schnitzer Motorsport under the BMW Motorsport banner – but for its visual design. This was no ordinary race car. It was the 17th BMW Art Car. Artist Jeff Koons had unveiled and signed his creation in front of 300 international VIP guests on June 1 in the Centre Pompidou, one of the world’s most prestigious cultural and artistic institutions and the same place where Roy Lichtenstein presented the first Art Car back in 1977. For inspiration Koons collected images of race cars, speed and explosions. His resulting artwork is designed to be “evocative of power, motion and bursting energy”, and to “impart a dynamic appearance even when standing still”. Koons joined BMW’s American Le Mans Series race team to drive the car at Sebring, Florida, in February to further inspire his design, which was finally rendered in vinyl graphics. “These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy,” said Koons. “You can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car – it’s really to connect with that power.” The Art Car finished 49th of 55 who completed the grueling race, and 16th in class. Not a stunning result, but certainly a stunning car.

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Cutting Edge Speedster

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t’s an engineering marvel, and a triumph of guts over common sense. Project Runningblade has set a new world land speed record for a ride-on lawnmower at Pendine Sands on May 23. Yep, a lawnmower. You might think that it’s those crazy Brit eccentrics, at it again. But in fact Runningblade stole the title from the equally nutty American Bobby Cleveland who had held it since July 4th, 2006. Project Runningblade beat its own record. The new record is now 87.833mph. Doesn’t sound much? Well, imagine sitting on your home mower and driving across your paddock at just under 130 feet per second. Of course these guys don’t achieve such velocities trimming your daughter’s pony’s hay. Bobby Cleveland’s victory came at the American home of speed records, Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Runningblade beat him much closer to the team’s home, on the wet sands of Pendine Sands, South Wales. Runningblade’s driver was Don Wales, nephew of Donald Campbell

Above: Not a blade of grass to be seen… Don Wales with his record breaking ride

and grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, famous British world speed record smashers on land and water. Fittingly Malcolm beat the record three times on the beach at Pendine, the last time in 1927. Pendine ceased to be used for speed record attempts shortly afterwards when John Parry Thomas’s car Babs, in which he beat Campbell’s record, skidded, rolled over and killed him. Stephen Vokins, Project Runningblade’s Team Principal said: “We are delighted to have set this new world record. It is a triumph of British engineering, and my thanks go to Countax for building this magnificent machine, to Beaulieu [the National Motor Museum] who have supported us so well from the outset, and to all our other sponsors who have helped us achieve this marvellous record.” Project Runningblade is now on display in the National Motor Museum beside a collection of legendary world land speed record cars including Donald Campbell’s Bluebird. You can see Bobby Cleveland’s and Don Wales’s record runs on Youtube.


The American

Get There with the Big Yin

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useful piece of kit for drivers new to British roads can be a satellite navigation system. But if you don’t enjoy the nannying tone of the standard voice, why not have a laugh while negotiating a complicated set of roundabouts? TomTom can supply your gadget with the voice of Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. Billy dispenses indispensable advice such as: “Turn around when possible. It is advisable to turn your entire car around. Do not just turn around inside the car.” He even assures you he’s the real McCoy, “This really is Billy Connolly. It’s not the creepy guy you get on cheap birthday cards. It’s my real voice. No swearing, no dirty bits, I’ll keep you safe.” Other ‘help’ includes, “Make a U turn. None of this would have been necessary had you been listening a minute ago,” “You have reached your destination. You may thank me and remember that without me none of this would have been possible and you would have been hopelessly lost,” and “Toll charge. I’m only doing my job. Don’t shoot the messenger.” The download costs £8.99. If Connolly’s dulcet Glaswegian tones don’t do it for you, you can choose from many more including John Cleese, Snoop Dogg, KITT, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Kim Cattrall, and even Homer Simpson.

Popbangcolour!

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an Cook is an artist. Not so unusual. He specialises in cars. Again, not surprising. But Ian, who operates under the onomatopoeic ‘nom de peindre’ of Popbangcolour, doesn’t just paint pictures of cars. He paint pictures with cars. To be precise radio controlled cars, car tyres and toy car wheels. The American encountered Ian at a very cold Thruxton motor racing circuit, where we were watching the Silverline Chevrolet team acquit itself handsomely in the British Touring Car Championship. Thruxton is in a beautiful part of South West England, but when the wind blows it can feel very raw. Not the day to be kneeling

for long periods with fingerless wool gloves and wet paint on your bare fingers. But that’s what Ian did, all in the cause of Chevy art. A picture paints a thousand words, so here are two. In the one with the blue Chevrolet race car, Ian is hard at work at Thruxton surrounded by the tools of his unique trade. The red Chevy is the end result of a more comfortable time in the studio. You can see more of Ian’s work, and contact him – why not get him to paint a unique piece of art featuring your own wheels? – at www.popbangcolour.com PHOTO: SABRINA SULLY

Connolly: “how does a guy who drives a snowplough get to work in the morning?”

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The American

Sideline

Conference realignments, NCAA sanctions, and soccer on the television: three more ways for Richard L Gale to pass the time between football seasons.

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s you may already have read in the News section (I know, it’s hard to believe some people head for the news before the sport), Texas schools may be teaching social sciences and history a little differently soon. For a while there it looked like they might be taking a different perspective on math and geography too, especially when it came to sports conferences. For a few mad days in June it seemed possible – if not inevitable – that Texas might lead Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in a conference exodus that moved the Lone Star State to the West Coast, and left the Big 12 with a six-team membership. Of course, this kind of arithmetic isn’t unusual: the Big 10 has been going for years with that subtle little ‘11’ in its logo, and somewhere this month, a proud graphic designer sits sobbing after Nebraska ruined his work by becoming the twelfth team in the Big 10.

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When a second member of the real Big 12, Colorado, accepted an invitation from the would-be Pac-16, other members of the Big 12 discretely fetched their suitcases down from the attic. At least the media told it that way. With Boise State announcing their intention to leave the WAC for the MWC, it seemed that a mid-’90s-style seismic realignment was underway. Then economics kicked in. How much more revenue does a 16-team league generate than a 10 or 12-team league – and which teams get the bigger share? For anything below the elite teams, a common share of a little bit more is a little bit less when there’s more teams to share it with. It might work for Texas and Oklahoma, but the rest? When embattled Big 10 commissioner Dan Beebe suggested Texas and Oklahoma could stay right where they were and make some extra money with their own TV channels, a pervasive bout of sanity swept the South. For now, Texas stays. And A&M, and Tech, and the Oklahomas. The Pac-10 reached its minimum for a championship game by instead serenading Utah away from the Mountain West as their 12th team, and so everybody found their even numbers, just four teams

switched conferences, and everything quietened down. Maybe. At press time, the shape of college football in 2011 is still no given. With Nebraska and Colorado both gone for the North Division of the Big 12, and none of the South eager to shift across, a couple of slots are there for somebody. Texas Christian, Houston, and Southern Methodist would all make logical additions. By the sheer weight of State of Texas teams, the Big 12 might emerge from this stronger than ever. Survival of the fittest? You can call it evolution if you dare.

NCAA Slaps the Trojans

Finally, after years of questions and months of suspense, the NCAA’s infractions committee handed down its punishment over... whatever it was USC did. Sorry, long time ago – I’d just about forgotten (was it something to do with Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo)? The punishment includes a twoyear bowl ban; four years’ probation; the loss of 30 scholarships over 3 years; vacation of 12 wins from the ‘95 season (ah, it’s nice to have a vacation this time of year). USC were putting both a brave and outraged face on things, but with USC slipping 1st to 5th in the Pac10 last year, the rest of the conference could get ambition. Hey, they’d better: if Utah can get the kind of attention and results they have been this past few years with Mountain West-level recruiting, just think what they could accomplish in the Pac-10.


The American

Lakers Repeat By Sean L. Chaplin

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Clint Dempsey toys with English emotions PHOTO BY MICHAEL REGAN/GETTY IMAGES FOR SONY

Split Allegiances (...if any)

Okay, I chuckled a little. When England goalie Robert Green fumbled the ball and it rolled into the back of the net, I sniggered the way I did when Alexi Lalas nutted the ball in for the second goal against England back in 1993. I chortled the way I always do when England fails to live up to its unjustified expectations, and aggravatingly perpetuates the myth that the USA is not a ‘football’ nation (I guess somebody forgot to tell Clint Dempsey). It probably didn’t help my ephemeral sense of English patriotism that it was Fulham’s Dempsey, a previous interviewee of The American, that scored the goal that tied the USA-vEngland match. It probably doesn’t help that our editor has Scottish roots (ie not a natural England fan) or that this sports writer is Cornish and therefore tends to feel all Celtic when he’s called upon to chant ‘In-ger-land, In-ger-land, In-ger-land’ (which for the record, I have never done in my life). But mostly I laughed because England are just so good at being not quite good enough. Watching them fail to reach the level of their own ambitions

is a pretty entertaining sport in itself. Rooting for England’s soccer team is like rooting for eleven Tim Henmans (only less posh) to win Wimbledon. But we all know how this is going to end. The USA, plucky or lucky depending on your viewpoint, uplifted by the England draw, then throw it away with a second draw and a deflating loss (in any order) to go out of the tournament with 2 points. England will muddle onwards until dutifully rolling over on penalties against Germany or – worst of all – being trounced by Maradona’s Argentina. Really, am I going to sign up for that? So please, Team USA, please.... win your other two games, make the Round of 16, upset the British media’s stereotypes about how Americans don’t understand soccer, and be this World Cup’s ‘Cinderella’ story. So what if nobody notices back home – just do it for the Fulham fans. Stop Press: Another couple of draws for the USA and England in their second games. And unlike me as I type this, you, dear reader, know by now how those third games went... H

fitting end to a wonderful series played itself out here in Los Angeles as the two most storied franchises in NBA history faced off in a classic NBA final. When the dust settled, the Lakers had edged the Boston Celtics in a winner take all game seven at the Staples Center, 83-79. Finals MVP Kobe Bryant waved five fingers to the crowd to signify his fifth championship with the Lakers, and most certainly added to his Hall of Fame credentials with his uplifting play and flawless leadership, guiding his club to its first game seven win against their great rivals the Celtics. This latest triumph means the Lakers have won five of the last eleven NBA championships as well as only being one more championship away from tying the Celtics record of 17 overall. While not the best game to watch if you were a neutral – both clubs had difficulty scoring points – the end result was the best team won for a second consecutive time, with discussion of a three-peat sure to follow. However, that talk will have to wait as Kobe, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest savor this victory for the next few weeks, and enjoy a well deserved break. The real question on Lakers fans’ minds will be if coach Phil Jackson, the one who ran out of fingers for his 11 championship rings, will return next year as he has made it known he is weary of the regular season grind. If not, the Lakers might want to give Duke University Coach Krzyzewski a call before the glow of this latest championship loses its luster! H

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July Sports Diary Wimbledon London SW19 The world famous Wimbledon tennis tournament will already have commenced by the time you read these words, but some late evening outer court action can still be enjoyed if you’re quick. Or, just soak up the atmosphere at this firm part of the British summer social scene. www.wimbledon.org     June 21 to July 04 British Grand Prix Silverstone, Towcester, Northamptonshire NN12 8TN The premier rank of motorsport, according to many, at one of the UK’s greatest racing tracks. Brits Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button try to win their home Grand Prix as Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso give chase. www.silverstone.co.uk 0944 3728 200 July 11 The Open Golf Championship The Old Course, St Andrews The town of St Andrews is internationally recognised the world over as the Home Of Golf. Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter head the home contingent as Tiger and Phil come visiting. www.standrewsopen.com     July 15 to July 18 World Lacrosse Championship Manchester University Sports grounds This is going to be the biggest World Championships to date. 30 nations will compete for the title, including England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, the Iroquois Confederacy, and, of course, the USA. www.2010worldlacrosse.com 2010festival@englishlacrosse.co.uk   July 15 to July 24

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he clock finally struck midnight on the Philadelphia Flyers’ Cinderellaesque playoff run in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The team’s storybook ending was cut short by the downgrading of their fabled carriage into the dreaded pumpkin courtesy of an overtime goal scored by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. The tally ended the original-six team’s forty-nine-year drought, the longest Cup-less streak in the NHL, returning Lord Stanley’s mug to the Windy City for the first time since 1961.

believe it’s happening.’ ‘I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I never saw this coming,’ admitted Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi, echoing his teammates’ sense of shock and awe. Niemi ended up with less-thanstellar numbers in the post-season, low-lighted by a fifth-best .910 save percentage and a sixth-best 2.63 goalsagainst average, and he never had to steal a game in the end-to-end scorefests that the playoffs had become for his team. Despite his stats, however, he

‘What a feeling!’ exclaimed Kane, taking a brief reprieve from hugging his teammates and family and friends, who’d joined him in the on-ice celebrations. ‘I can’t believe it! It’s unbelievable! We just won the Stanley Cup!’ Kane’s teammate and captain, Jonathan Toews, who won an Olympic gold medal for Team Canada in February, and then earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most outstanding player, articulated the emotions evoked by winning hockey’s most coveted prize a little more completely, although the common theme of disbelief was still evident in his summation. ‘Oh my God – I’m speechless,’ Toews said, but fortunately managed to find a few words to describe the sensation of becoming a Stanley Cup champion at the tender age of twenty-two. ‘This team put on one heck of a run. We knew from day one of the season that we had the potential to go all the way, and to realise our goal – it’s just an amazing feeling. This is the best feeling you can get playing hockey. I just can’t

also finished the playoffs as the only goalie to earn the all-important sixteen wins, and in the process, he etched his name in hockey’s history books, becoming the first Finnish goalie ever to lift the Stanley Cup. ‘I never cared too much about what anybody thought,’ Niemi said when asked about his critics throughout the playoffs. ‘I’m just happy we were able to do this.’ The word of the day for the Blackhawks’ roster may be ‘disbelief’, but it’s hard to buy into the players’ surprise, especially since the team just got better and better as the playoffs progressed. They got the ball rolling with a quiet series win against the Nashville Predators, and then faced their first – and perhaps most taxing – challenge in Round 2, when they knocked off the Vancouver Canucks in six games. The round saw the rise of thorns in the side Andrew Ladd, David Bolland, and Dustin Byfuglien, who ended up scoring enough game-winning goals to put himself in the running for the

LONG TIME


The American

COURTESY OF THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

NHL Legends Call it A Career

NO SEE

The Stanley Cup Returns to the Windy City

Conn Smythe. The Blackhawks went on to steamroller the best-in-the-west San Jose Sharks, and then capped off their seemingly fated season by taking the Flyers in six. In the end, they made it look easy. The Blackhawks started their Cup journey last October, icing one of the most skill-laden rosters in recent NHL history – a fact that had been made possible by doing just the opposite for the better part of the previous decade – and then used their talents to finish third in the regular season with 113 points. They had plenty of skill and lots of grit, but their most valuable team trait turned out to be their heart. From rookie goaltender Niemi to one of the best defensive tandems in the league a la Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrooke to veteran John Madden (he of two previous Cup rings) to youthful leaders Toews and Kane to a coaching staff led by Joel Quenneville – everyone, to a man, was willing to

By Jeremy Lanaway leave it all on the ice to win the Stanley Cup. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy, who won four consecutive Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders in the early 1980s, not to mention two Conn Smythe Trophies, has gone on record to call the Blackhawks the NHL’s next dynasty, and he has reason to label the team with the outmoded ‘D’-word. The Blackhawks will lose many of its talented upstarts to salary cap spillage in the coming season, but its core group, which includes Toews, Kane, Keith, and Marian Hossa, will remain for years to come. The Blackhawks might not repeat their extraordinary dominance next season, as Bossy predicts, but there’s no doubt that they’ll be good enough to be in the running. Which is where an original-six team belongs.

E

very summer, the latest crop of prospects are celebrated with universal fanfare at the NHL Entry Draft, but season’s end also signifies an unavoidable rite of passage for a small group of NHL veterans who’ve decided to hang up their skates for good. The biggest name to call it quits this season is San Jose Sharks captain Rob Blake, who spent 20 years as one of the NHL’s top defencemen. The 40-year-old blueliner played for the LA Kings, the Colorado Avalanche, and finally the Sharks, making seven All-Star teams and winning the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defender in 1998. His 240 career goals put him tenth on the all-time scoring ladder. He won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2001 and a gold medal with Team Canada in 2002 in Salt Lake City. St Louis Blues power forward Keith Tkachuk has also drawn the curtain on his NHL career. Tkachuk tallied 538 goals and 525 assists in 1,200 games played, appearing in four Olympic Winter Games, and winning a silver medal. ‘The thing I’m most proud of is the fact that I’m retiring as a St Louis Blue,’ said the thirty-eight-year-old Tkachuk at an end-of-season presser. ‘St Louis is a great place to play and live. It’s been a great run playing for the Blues.’ It may be true that winners never quit and quitters never win, but it’s also true that there’s a big difference between quitting and retiring. It just takes some players longer to realise it. For example, Anaheim Ducks defender Scott Niedermayer (36) and forward Teemu Selanne (39) both remain on the fence about whether or not to return for another season, while the face of the Dallas Stars, Mike Modano (40), hasn’t made up his mind about taking on the challenge of playing professional hockey into his forties. H

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The American

Tail End

Paw Talk, or My Life as a Dog in London by Rebel. Trouble over feathers and emeralds

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he-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually tells me only unintelligent dogs become bored and clever ones find things to do when their human is gone. Yet, when I entertain myself in the only way a dog can she acts as if the world came to an end. Take this past Saturday. She-WhoMust-Be-Obeyed-Usually went out to the wedding of a friend’s daughter. Before leaving, she filled my double bowl with water and put down a dish of dried dog food which I detest. I mean, it’s a bunch of brown pellets filled with all kinds of vitamins and minerals which tastes worse than cold burnt toast. SheWho-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually takes

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her vitamins in pills, but I’m expected to have supplements in my main meal. Is that fair? For the first hour I do my guard round of the apartment. Worn out from my vigilance, I climb into my basket for a siesta. Several hours later, I’m wakened by the wig wag clock in the corner striking three. Lazily, I climb from my bed, do my rounds, have some water and stare at my ‘dinner’. Taking a few bites (a dog has to eat) I go to the sliding doors and watch a boat filled with people go by on the Thames. They all seem to be jumping up and down to some kind of weird tribal music that humans enjoy. Turning, I notice She-Who-MustBe-Obeyed-Usually left several hats on the sofa which she had been trying on that morning. One of them has feathers sticking out all over it. I stand on my hind legs and pull it to the floor. One of the feathers tickles my nose and annoyed, I toss the hat across the room. It floats through the air then lands on a side table, brushing onto the floor two double strands of beads with some kind of tiny sparkling green stones which she had gotten out of the safe that morning and forgot to put away. Suddenly, I’m no longer bored! I grab the string of beads and play with them like I do when She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually

teases me with a rope. It really is fun until the thread holding everything together breaks and the beads and stones go flying across the room and land all over the floor. I take a bite of a green stone, but when I try to swallow it I become sick and bring up the hamburger I had the night before over the Oriental rug. Deciding, I need to rest again, I go to the bedroom and jump onto the bed. She-Who-Must-BeObeyed-Usually has just bought a beautiful silk spread and I roll over it several times to clean myself off. Exhausted, I curl up on a silk and velvet pillow and sleep again… Suddenly, I’m wakened from a deep sleep by a scream. “Rebel, what have you done? You destroyed my hat, broke my pearl and emerald necklace and ruined the rug,” She-Who-MustBe-Obeyed-Usually cries as her heeled shoes go tapping across the parquet floor toward the bedroom. Then there is another scream. “Oh, I can’t believe it. My new £300 bedspread is ruined as well.” I have two choices. Try to get away – difficult in a small apartment – or pretend I’m sick. So, I lift my little white head, blink my big brown eyes and begin to cough. “Oh, Rebel, you swallowed one of the emeralds,” she whispers, picking me up and then shaking me up and down. “Oh, my little darling.” Of course, it meant a visit to Dr. Ram which cost her £100 for the X-Ray, but as soon as he assured her all was well, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually hugs me tightly and murmurs, “Thank goodness.” That night I dined on roast chicken basted with the last dregs from a bottle of 2005 Petrus and crushed carrots. Delicious! H


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The American July 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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