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January 2012


Est. 1976




Tyne Daly

on her Maria Callas Master Class Win tickets to Kronos Quartet’s American-themed concerts Matilda hits the West End to rave reviews

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©2012 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., 19 East Portway Industrial Estate, Andover, SP10 3LU ISSN 2045-5968 Cover: Tyne Daly (photo by Joan Marcus). Circular inset: Eleanor Worthington Cox and Lauren Ward star in Matilda the Musical. Square inset: Kronon Quartet (photo © Zoran Orlic)

Welcome A

nd welcome to 2012! It’s been a long time coming – 5,125 years according to some – but 2012 will see the end of the world as it is swallowed by a black hole or hit by a hitherto unknown planet. Or alternatively it’s the beginning of a new era in which will launches into a new spiritual age. So say various interpreters of the prophecies of the ancient Mayan civilization. On the other hand, “There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012,” says a distinguished Mayanist scholar. You pays your money and takes your choice. The American is working on the assumption that it will be just another interesting year here on planet Earth and we’ll continue to try to “educate, inform and entertain” our readers (to steal a quote from the founder of the BBC, Lord Reith). We’d love to hear from you too, so email any news/article ideas/complaints/random thoughts to And why not take out a subscription and get a regular copy sent to you? If the gloom-mongers are correct and the world is destroyed during the year, we’ll give you your money back! Enjoy your magazine,


James Carroll Jordan is an American actor living and working in London. This month he interviews Tyne Daly and indulges in some memories of a California earthquake and, ohhh, those Olsen girls.

Sir Robert Worcester is one of the most knowledgeable and influential psephologists in the world. The founder of the MORI research organisation, he continues his series on the 2012 presidential election.

Jarlath O’Connell is an Olivier Award judge and The American’s theater reviewer. His pithy and witty theater reviews each month tell you what’s hot – and what’s not.

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



The American

In This Issue... The American • Issue 705 • January 2012

36 34

4 News Our contributors report from the Occupy protests in London, New York and rural California 8 Diary Dates Places to go, things to see, including the London New Year Parade 11 Special Ticket Offer Get 2 for 1 tickets to the The Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair 12 Canceled Flight? Snow Joke How to plan ahead for traveling in bad weather, and how to survive it if your flight is nixed 13 Keep Holiday Cheer All Year Avoid the post-Christmas blues


14 Sorry, Sorry, Sorry! One of the ‘common words’ that divide Americans and Brits 16 Childhood’s End How post-war austerity Britain was enlivened by American products brought by returning stewards on Cunard liners 20 Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On Memories of a Californian earthquake




The American

22 Arts Choice Fabulous exhibitions for the new year, from huge new David Hockney landscapes to an enormous flying artwork over King’s Cross 25 Wining and Dining There’s a definite spicy tinge in the air as we review the most interesting restaurants and bring you recipes from top chefs

45 7

32 Coffee Break Get those grey cells working


33 Music Reviews of great albums and previews of great live concerts 35 Competition Win tickets to see the most exciting ensemble in modern classical music: the Kronos Quartet


42 A Master Class with Tyne Daly The actress brings her Maria Callas play to the West End and chats with an old friend 45 Politics The latest on the presidential hopefuls – and would you qualify for the top job?


37 Reviews A leading man who has movie star looks, sings like a dream and moves like a young Gene Kelly – catch our review of Crazy For You, hot ticket Matilda, and more

42 25

48 Drive Time Vauxhall’s GTC, the hot hatch you might want to get to know better 50 Sports 2011 in Review; NHL realignment; and the Bowl Season Schedule 57 American Organizations Useful and fun societies for you to join


The American

Phone Hacked? Here’s How To Beat The Scammers USAF Brings Christmas Cheer


special children’s Christmas party was held December 3rd at Imperial War Museum Duxford. A group of seriously and terminally ill children from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk had an unforgettable experience as airmen and women from the 48th Fighter Wing of the United States Air Force in Europe told them what it’s like to fly some of the most amazing airplanes in the world, then helped them try on some of the pilots’ own flying equipment and played games with them. Everybody joined in with the lively carol singing, and then the big moment came – Santa arrived aboard the IWM Duxford fire truck. Santa met all the children, heard their Christmas wish lists and handed out presents. The party continues the tradition of children’s Christmas parties at Duxford that dates back to the Second World War. On Christmas Day 1943, the 78th Fighter Group, United States Army Air Force (USAAF), based at RAF Duxford, hosted a party for local children. The airmen ‘adopted’ seven children who had been orphaned during the war, donating $400 for each child which paid for school and two meals a day for four years.




ir Robert Worcester is an experienced traveler and nobody’s fool, yet even someone as savvy as him can fall foul of a sophisticated scam. Last year his phone was hacked and everyone on his contact list was spammed with a message asking for money to be sent to ‘bail him out’. He had supposedly put his passport, money and credit cards in a suitcase (as if!) and then had it stolen. Unless his friends sent money to a ‘desk clerk’ in a hotel in Madrid, he would be stuck there forever. The bad guys also stripped out the phone contact list and emails so he could not warn them they were being scammed. It took two days to get them back, although Bob praises Yahoo for their help. Many anxious friends offered to send money; under the law in Britain, only when someone does so can the police act, as the Met informed Bob. Others deleted it straight away, realizing it was a hoax. A friend who had also been hacked told Bob that about ten days after the emails the scammers phoned his contact list pleading on his behalf for funds. Best advice if this happens to you: just hang up on them. Here are Bob’s suggestions if you are hacked. With luck you’ll never have to use this list, but if you do it could make a crisis a little easier. 1. Get onto it straight away. Tell your phone supplier, and get them to

recover your lost emails and contact list. Do it immediately or you’ll lose it. 2. Get a new, very strong, nonobvious password combination that dictionary software can’t crack if you want to keep your current email address. Or junk it and switch your account. Use a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols and do not use a real word. 3. Notify your banks to cancel your credit cards and issue new cards with new passwords. Bob’s hacker emailed his bank contacts asking them to expedite a new credit card to him care of my ‘hotel’. 4. Write passwords down in a very safe place. 5. Do not close your spammed email account until you’ve recovered your missing files, contact numbers and histories, if then. 6. And once you’ve got it back, send out a note to all your contacts; a good idea is to send it to yourself in the TO: box, and the rest in the BCC: box, to protect their privacy.


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1) Eligible military personnel includes Active Duty members and Reserves, including their spouses, of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard. 2) Excludes Chevrolet Volt. 3) GM requires eligibility for USAA P&C insurance. Offer expires 12/31/11. Not available with some other offers. See dealer for details. Excludes Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, Volt and all Cadillac models. 4) Tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment extra. See dealer for details. USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates. USAA, the USAA logo and other USAA marks contained herein are registered trademarks of the United Services Automobile Association. The marks of General Motors, its divisions, slogans, emblems, vehicle model names, vehicle body designs and other marks appearing in this advertisement are the trademarks and/or service marks of General Motors, its subsidiaries, affiliates or licensors. ©2011 General Motors. Buckle up, America!

American and British Occupy London protestors marked Thanksgiving with a peaceful demonstration on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, during a service attended by the US Ambassador. LONDON PHOTO: SARAH PETERS

Occupy London activists protest at St Pauls Thanksgiving service. Sarah Peters was there. As members of the American community gathered at St. Pauls Cathedral to celebrate Thanksgiving, a group of Occupy London activists protested on the cathedral’s steps calling for ‘an end to US/UK imperialism’ and freedom for Bradley Manning. Manning, a United States army soldier who was raised in Wales and has dual U.S. and UK citizenship, was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 on suspicion of passing restricted material to WikiLeaks. He has subsequently been charged with a further 22 offences including “aiding the enemy,” which can carry the death penalty. He has been found fit to face court martial and is, as The American went to press, in custody awaiting trial. He has been supported by peace groups, civil liberties organizations and human rights campaigners. A spokesman for the Occupy LSX movement said that Manning should be released, or at least have a public trial, not a military tribunal.


Occupy Updates Three of The American’s correspondents have been on the scene at Occupy movement protests in London, New York and California. Here are their personal views. Alan Miller witnesses protestors evicted from Zuccotti Park, NYC


n Tuesday 15 November, at around 1am, police evicted Occupiers at Zuccotti Park, citing unsanitary conditions complained of by the city and the park owner. The State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman upheld the city’s eviction of the protesters after an emergency appeal by the National Lawyers Guild, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg reiterated his concern with the health and safety conditions. I was there later in the day when the protesters were relaying through their “mic check” (where an announcement is made by someone and repeated by the crowd, a strange mix between agit-prop theater and something more Orwellian-seeming) the latest legal ramifications. The site, while occupied by the police, was surrounded by Occupiers, less than before, though still some elements were chanting and singing. What is so striking is how difficult it is to get any sense from various participants about what they actually stand for. One

group I spoke with included a young man with a paper entitled “Revolution”. Surely, I asked, a revolution needs stated aims and objectives, a plan and leadership? “We think the ideas and movement that is here will come together and...then affect the government.” ...Mmm. But, I asked a woman close by, with the ‘99%’ paper button tacked on her, does everyone agree on what to do? “No,” she told me, “That’s just it. There are lots of different views here and this is what it is all about.”, OK. The most energetic aspect was the drums and trumpet intermittently playing. Admittedly many had been up since the early hours and were tired but the distinct lack of any kind of strategizing and debate about ideas married to the fact that nobody will take responsibility for a position is a big problem for anyone wanting ‘change’. Glenn Greenwald, the attorney and author, has lambasted those who criticize the ‘movement’ for not having clear ideas, saying early movements seldom have clarity on such matters. The thing is, historically, certain demands and

The American

Alison Holmes gives a view of the Occupy protests from Northern California

Right: Retired captain of Philadelphia police joins the Zuccotti Park protestors NEW YORK PHOTOS: ALAN MILLER

ideas were always clear. The right to vote for all. Equality in the work place. Even opposing the Vietnam war, while having lots of views, had a clear central message. Signs declaring “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come” sound very nice, but what exactly is that idea? The resounding idea is that financiers are evil and nasty, Wall Street is corrupt and greedy bankers are responsible for all our woes. This is a very mainstream view, as it happens, and not in the least radical. It has become fashionable to blame the bankers while abdicating from a more rigorous analysis of what is happening, how and why. More than that though, in this strange world where so-called radicals share the world-view of fashionable elites who seem to deplore anything of scale and size in the market and hark to a smaller more localized set up, I can’t help thinking that the political economist Mr Karl Marx would have had little truck with such notions. His view was that the benefit of capitalism was its ability to transform the productive capacity in society - to produce more for all humanity. These days, a crazy moment has occurred where even capitalists are ashamed to talk about unfettered growth and development. These types of arguments, about what society needs, why, in which way and how we

can go about getting it, are the stuff that we need to grapple with. As I was leaving the Zuccotti Park area people were announcing that other potential sites were being considered. On Tuesday night police let people back in to the park, as Mayor Bloomberg had announced, without tents or tarps, with new signs mounted by Broofkield Properties, the owner. Throughout, it seems that so many in the press and wider society have been sympathetic to OWS. While they and Occupy Portland and Occupy Oakland all were removed in close unison (organization of the authorities being clear) many are asking the question, where to next? As I have regularly argued in The American, I believe that people make history and do so when they shape it themselves, on the streets. However, to do so, people have to be clear about what they want, why it matters, how to convince people to join them and why they are right. Saying “oh that’s just their point of view” about someone supposedly on your ‘side’ is sad and pathetic. Lets have a rallying of a Battle of Ideas. Lets engage in the intellectual and practical arena of arguing and fighting for our ideas. Let battle commence...

It turns out the passer by, the surrounding businesses and public access points are easier targets for ‘direct action’ than the senior politician, the big banks and the intangible international institution. They are more harmed by it too. Not to mention the simple human reality that ‘when you gotta go you gotta go’ and any doorway or public garden will do... The public grows tired of angst and disorder. Oakland in particular – a few hundred, but not a million miles away from our corner of the Redwood forest – provides a dark warning as to what may be the way backward for us all. The camps are being chided, cajoled and bullied to move along, figuratively in the debate and literally off the streets. Heath and safety, public order, decency and nuisance laws are being scrutinized for the best way to balance the constitutional rights of assembly, speech and protest with the rights of those who just want to get on with the legitimate business of their lives. Unseemly scenes unfold, violence breaks out, and citizen is pitted against citizen in a caricature of the goals and ideals of the original movement. Still, the morality play is clearly far from over. Presidents of campuses, mayors of towns, and the ‘pillars of the community’ across the community of America have faced a grim holiday season stepping over and in the unpleasantness of the 99% as they continue to lurch from one strategy to another to deal with a movement whose goals are noble, but whose voice becomes ever more discordant. H


The American

Diary Dates

Your Guide To The Month Ahead

Get your event listed free in The American – call the editor on +44 (0)1747 830520, or email details to New Year’s Eve / Hogmanay Across the UK DECEMBER 31, 2011

New Year’s Eve is a massive celebration in Britain, with public and private parties everywhere. Particularly in Scotland, where it is called Hogmanay. Listed as ‘one of the top 100 things to do before you die’ Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party brings Princes Street and the Gardens alive with festivities, around

100,000 revellers gathering to bring in 2009 in style. One of the world’s biggest outdoor parties it includes candle-lit concerts, ceilidhs and rock-bands.

Candlelit Concert in St Giles’ Cathedral St Giles’ Cathedral, Royal Mile, Edinburgh Contact? DECEMBER 31, 2011

This year’s concert in the candlelit atmosphere of St Giles’ celebrates the

The Loony Dook Queensferry, Edinburgh JANUARY 01, 2012

As cold as it looks! New Year’s Day swimmers in front of the iconic Edinburgh Bridge  © PADDY PATTERSON


You don’t have to be a loony, mad or brave… but it helps. Celebrate 2012 by taking part in the breathtaking Queensferry Loony Dook, the annual splash in the River Forth. Over the past 25 years, thousands of people have taken the plunge raising thousands of pounds for charities across the UK. Take part in the Dookers Parade through the High Street finding in the Freezing Forth under the gaze of the iconic Forth Bridges. Spectators are welcome to cheer on the brave Loony Dookers at various free vantage points along the route, or down at the beach. Other Loony Dooks also mark the start of each new year in Scotland.

music of Handel and Mozart. Handel’s virtuosic Dixit Dominus is partnered by Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de Confessore, with its famous Laudate Dominum movement. The famous St Giles’ organ will also be heard in Handel’s Organ Concerto Op 4 No 2 in B flat. (Not suitable for babies or young children.) 7.30pm.

The New Year Games Edinburgh’s Old Town JANUARY 1

In Scotland, Hogmanay is a more important celebration than Christmas. For those who are capable the day after the New Year’s Eve celebrations there are fun and games in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, The National Museum of Scotland, The Hub, Dance Base, and St Giles’ Cathedral. There’s something for everyone, adults and families alike: scurrying, sneaking, throwing, jumping, sliding, folding, frolicking and more. Win points for your team in games created by Scottish artists, in some of Edinburgh’s most beautiful buildings. It’s all free and the games run from 2pm to 5.15pm.

Winter Wassail with the Gabrieli Consort & Players Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London 020 7401 9919 JANUARY 1-3

Winter Wassail is the ancient custom of coming together to drink from the wassail bowl at the turn of the year. Gabrieli Consort & Players present an entertaining programme of seasonal pieces inspired by words from Shakespeare, Hardy and Chaucer, to evoke medieval, Elizabethan and Victorian eras. Wrap up warm!

London International Boat Show

Prokofiev Festival

ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London 0871 230 7140

Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX


Vladimir Jurowski spearheads the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a major festival, Sergei Prokofiev: Man of the People?. With contributions from Principal Guest Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the six all-Prokofiev concerts will showcase much-loved favourites alongside rarely-heard music including the world premiere of a new oratorio version of Ivan the Terrible.

A boating extravaganza for everyone interested in boating, from landlubbers to old sea dogs

The Kreutzer Sonata The Gate Theatre (above the Prince Albert Pub), 11 Pembridge Road, London, W11 3HQ 020 7229 0706 JANUARY 6 TO FEBRUARY 18

Natalie Abrahami’s critically acclaimed production of Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata returns to the Gate Theatre for a strictly limited run ahead of its run in New York. In the confined space of a train carriage potent memories are triggered and a man confesses to a terrible crime, for which he holds Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata responsible. Published in 1889 it became a cause célèbre when it was banned by the Russian Authorities for its explicit argument on the corrupting power of sexual obsession and jealousy. The Kreutzer Sonata will transfer to La MaMa E.T.C. in New York as part of La MaMa’s 50th Anniversary season from 8 to 25 March 2012.

London International Mime Festival Various, London JANUARY 10-29

The best in contemporary visual theatre, featuring cutting edge circustheatre, adult puppetry and animation, physical and object theatre. Performed by artists from around the world on stages in London including the Royal Opera House and the theatres of the Southbank Centre.


English-language Oratorios Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS JANUARY 14

Continuing the Barbican’s series of English-language oratorios, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & Players launch the ensemble’s 30th anniversary year with a performance of Haydn’s masterpiece The Seasons.

The Epiphany Procession Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire JANUARY 15

The Epiphany Procession commemorates the journey of the Magi travelling from the East to worship the baby Jesus, and follows him through his early life and into manhood. Begins at 4.30pm .

Bond in Motion Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN JANUARY 18 TO DECEMBER 1

Bond in Motion , the exciting new exhibition of 50 James Bond vehicles, will be unveiled to the public on 18th January 2012 at the National Motor

Pancake the Clown at a previous New Year’s Day Parade in central London

New Year’s Day Parade London JANUARY 01, 2012

Originally called the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Big Parade, the London New Year’s Parade features more than 10,000 performers representing 20 countries worldwide including American high school marching bands. It starts at 11.45am on Piccadilly at the junction with Berkeley Street outside the Ritz Hotel and the route takes in Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall before finishing around 3pm at Parliament Street. More than half a million people are expected to pack London’s streets to see the spectacule as it weaves its way along the 2 mile route. If you can’t get there, three hours of Live Satellite Coverage will be beamed around the world via the BBC, CNN, Fox news, SKY and CBS. Taking part will be marching bands, cheerleaders, clowns acrobats, kites and more including entries from each of the London Boroughs and the capital’s two cities. There’s also a Festival Concert Series in the Cadogan Hall, the home of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, from December 29th until the 3rd of January. All the concerts will be streamed live via the Cadogan Hall website and more concerts at other concert venues such as St Augustine’s Church.


The American

Met Opera Live – The Enchanted Island

Museum at Beaulieu. The exhibition, the largest of its kind staged anywhere in the world, will showcase 50 of the best loved and most iconic James Bond vehicles in celebration of the 50th year of 007 films.

Barbican Centre, Silk St., London EC2Y 8DS JANUARY 21, 2012

During January, the Barbican hosts one of the New York Met’s awardwinning series of live, high-definition performance transmissions, The Enchanted Island. Inspired by the musical pastiches and masques of the 18th century, the Met presents an original Baroque fantasy, featuring a who’s who of Baroque stars led by eminent conductor William Christie. David Daniels is Prospero, Joyce DiDonato plays Sycorax, Danielle de Niese is Ariel, Luca Pisaroni is Caliban, and Plácido Domingo makes a special appearance as Neptune. Begins at 6pm.

NoFit State Circus Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX JANUARY 20-22

A spectacle of contemporary circus, the NoFit State Circus’ act Mundo Paralelo promises a frenetic, thrilling show of acrobatic skills starring an ensemble cast from around the world who perform creative solo appearances, daring aerial sequences, acrobatic performances

Joyce DiDonato is Sycorax and David Daniels is Prospero in the Met’s award-winning production of The Enchanted Island, on high-definition screen at the Barbican PHOTO: NICK HEAVICAN/METROPOLITAN OPERA

and clowning routines, described as edgy, contemporary circus at its best.

Scott’s Last Expedition The Natural History Museum, London SW7 020 7942 5000 JANUARY 20 TO SEPTEMBER 2

Explore Robert Falcon Scott’s epic Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica in a new exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum. The exhibition reunites for the first time real artefacts used by Scott and his team, together with scientific specimens collected on the 1910–1913 expedition. Visitors can also walk around a life-size representation of Scott’s base-camp hut which still survives in Antarctica.

Awakenings: A Kronos Quartet Residency Barbican Centre, Silk St., London EC2Y 8DS JANUARY 21-27

For more than 30 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In January 2012 the Quartet comes to the Barbican for a week-long residency of concerts and creative learning events. Each of the three concerts takes place in a different venue and focuses on a specific theme: Made in America; Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11; and Early Music. See elsewhere in this issue to win tickets to this event.

Chinese New Year Across the UK JANUARY 23

This year will be the Year of the Dragon. The major celebrations in Central


Ticket Offer

The American

London are the largest outside Asia. There will also be events in Liverpool at the Chinese arch on Nelson Street, the largest Chinese arch outside China; in Manchester’s Chinatown; and in Bath at the Museum of East Asian Art among others.

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Winter Fair Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ JANUARY 24-29

With more than 140 exhibitors from the UK and Europe, the Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair offers interior designers and private buyers an inspirational opportunity to purchase antiques, 20th century design, works of art and pictures, decorative accessories and collectors’ items. The Decorative Fair is renowned as a source of unusual and practical furniture, from fine Georgian English and quality Continental for connoisseurs, to painted pieces and country chic for relaxed living areas; fabulous lighting and mirrors; textiles and upholstered chairs, sofas and seating of all kinds; and for original vintage glass and ceramics as well as highly collectable named designer furniture of the 20th century.

Burns Night everywhere burns-night/ JANUARY 25

Burns Supper celebrations take place across the globe. The life and work of Scotland’s greatest poet, Robert Burns, is traditionally celebrated each year on the 25 January and involves coming together to eat haggis, drink whisky, recite his work and don tartan for a ceilidh. You don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy Burns Night!

Above Left: Edward Bawden, Lion & Zebras, Linocut, 39 x 48cm, £1,850. To be exhibited at the Watercolours + Works on Paper fair 2012 by Jennings Fine Art. Above Right: James Nasmyth, The Crater Gassendi and other smaller features, One of six sketches in crayon, 52 x 40 cm. In the ‘Moon’ Loan Exhibition – not for sale

The Watercolours +Works on Paper Fair The Specialist Fair for Every Type of Art on Paper FEBRUARY 2 TO 5, 2012

Readers of The American can get 2 for 1 entry on tickets to this fabulous art fair. Just take a copy of this issue of the magazine along and ask for the special offer. The Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair returns to the stylish and spacious Level 2 Galleries at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London with an impressive range of art on paper exhibited by leading art dealers from across the UK. The eclectic and lively fair presents all types of art on paper from the 16th Century to the modern day. Works include original drawings, watercolours, prints, photographs and posters, all for sale, with prices from £500 to £100,000. You can see works by artists from earlier eras, for example a lithograph by Odilon Redon (for £1,750), an etching by Pierre Auguste Renoir (£10,000) and a rare watercolour

by John Absolon of The Great Exhibition of 1851 (£12,500) alongside works by new artists.

The Moon Observed The Moon Observed is a ‘bonus’ exhibition held alongside the Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair. In addition to a major focus on drawings by engineer, astronomer and artist James Nasmyth, it features works by other artists who captured some of the mystery of the moon in drawing. It leads the viewer from the 18th into the 20th Century and ends with the iconic moment of astronauts walking on the moon, as interpreted by Sandra Lawrence in her screenprint One Small Step for a Man – One Giant Leap for Mankind. This exhibition is free to the public and the works are on loan, not for sale. Remember to take a copy of this issue to qualify for the offer. (If you don’t have one call 01747 830520 to buy a copy.)

Visitor Information:

The fair opens daily at 11 am. Closes: Thurs 9 pm; Fri, Sat and Sun 6 pm. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD. For information visit or call 01798 861 815.


The American

Canceled Flight?

Snow Joke I

t’s a sad fact that in this age of technological marvels, a couple of inches of snow or a blanket of fog can still disrupt international travel or even shut it down altogether. Remember last winter? January may bring good cheer and clear skies... but don’t count on it. Here is The American’s check list for how to avoid flight chaos – or if it’s unavoidable, how to survive it.

Before you set off

Check your travel insurance Some airlines will change canceled flights for free, but not all, and it’s best not to rely on their goodwill. It;’s a good idea to take out travel insurance to cover potential extra travel and potential accommodation costs. Many policies do not cover “acts of God” like severe weather conditions and disasters. Check carefully with your provider before you buy. If you already have travel insurance policies, find out if you can upgrade or add such cover. Check forecasts for both ends Before you leave, check the weather forecasts for your departure and destination points – it’s no good knowing that your local airport is fine if the destination is under a snowy blanket. has weather information and forecasts for just about everywhere, with a specific travel weather section. (Other sites are available!) Here, there and everywhere It’s not just this end and the other - bad weather en route can wreak havoc with airlines; schedules as crews and planes can become stranded, causing a knock-on effect. If you hear of weather


problems in main hub cities, even ones you’re not passing through, it’s a good idea to call your airline to ask about of potential delays to your flight. If there are problems in a city you’re due to travel through, ask them if you can reroute your connections to avoid it. Your itinerary might get complicated, or add a few hours to your journey, but at least you’ll get there! Book a morning flight Morning flights are less likely to be delayed or canceled than ones later in the day. Surprising? Problems caused by bad weather multiply during the day as the airport gets busier and increasing numbers of flights are affected. Call your airline... and call them again Airlines often give out flight change information only when they’re certain there will be a delay. If they told you at noon your plane was due on time, it doesn’t mean it still will be an hour later. Use Social Media Follow your airline on Twitter. Most airlines now tweet updates to flight information. With some, you may also be able to tweet back and get help or more information.

Last minute checks If you’re at all concerned, confirm with your airline on the day that your flight is definitely operating. Just in case Take enough reading material, games, snacks and so on for an extended stay at the airport – specially when traveling with kids.

At the airport

Keep an eye on departure screens Check departure screens for your flight. If there is a delay, look for an airline representative and ask for instructions before you head to check-in. Have your airline’s phone number – and don’t be afraid to use it If an airline representative is not available, or can’t help, call the airline. It can be faster, easier and (most importantly) more successful to phone them to make alternate arrangements than to stand in line. Have their number – and alternative numbers – punched into your cell phone before you leave. Use the web has current information on delays at major airports across the U.S. You can see the status of particular flights at And check the website of the airports you’re using too.

Once a flight has been delayed

Stay near the gate Gate agents sometimes make important announcements about flights, alternate flight options, accommodation and food etc. so be sure you or one of you party stays nearby. Act fast to snare accommodation If you are stuck at an airport, or it looks likely that you will be, and want a hotel room, make a reservation as soon as you can. They will go fast.

The American

Un-check-in If you have already been checked in and you want to reschedule a cancelled flight, cancel your check-in first before you try to change your reservation. Know your rights If your flight starts within the European Union or is coming into the EU, provided the airline is licensed in the EU, your rights are protected by European Law in the event of delay or cancellation. Airlines are usually required to provide you with meals and refreshments ‘appropriate to the length of the delay’ and two free telephone calls or e-mails if you are delayed by two hours or more for a flight less than 1,500km, three hours or more for a flight between 1,500 and 3,500km or four hours or more for a flight more than 3,500km. If you are delayed overnight your airline is normally required to provide you with hotel accommodation and transport between it and the airport, but exceptions may apply for weather conditions where cancellations are beyond the airline’s control. Find out from your airline if this applies in your case. At least they may recommend hotels, make a booking for you or help with a discount or an ‘ex gratia’ payment. Be firm but fair Remember, the airline staff are having a bad day too. They’re having to deal with a horde of irate customers who all think their journey is the most important one in the world. Be polite, even friendly, but don’t take no for an answer. H


HOLIDAY CHEER Avoid the post-Christmas blues with our ideas on how to stay happy through the year



fter weeks of festive holiday songs, decorating the house and planning for a joyous celebration, the holiday season inevitably comes to an end. The tunes change, the decorations come down and the leftovers get stale. Even the most cheerful person can find it hard to sustain holiday happiness after the big event has come and gone. Christian Waugh, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, studies human emotions and why some people are more resilient in maintaining positive emotions than others. “A large part of happiness is anticipation,” he explains. “Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s Eve and other holidays offer punctuated moments of joy we look forward to for weeks. While the celebration itself may be short-lived, the anticipation of the fun and excitement to come extends the feelings of positivity.” Waugh suggests the retail market provides an example of this principle in action. His colleague Sheri Bridges, an associate professor of business at Wake Forest and an expert in marketing and consumer behavior,


Change dates Many airlines will change flight dates free of charge if flights have been cancelled due to bad weather. Ask a representative quickly about this, before they get ‘snowed under’ with complaints and problems. If you booked your flight through a travel agent, contact them to change dates and/or destinations.

points out that retailers have long been at the forefront of anticipation marketing. “The faltering economy has prompted retailers to stimulate the holiday spirit earlier than usual” she says. “Costco put out its Christmas decoration merchandise before Labor Day, while Home Depot, JCPenney and Walmart waited until later in September to begin stocking shelves. Gift catalogs, featured sales and in-store carols appeal to early shoppers, whom retailers hope will get in the holiday mood earlier and spend more as a result.” After the spending spree, holiday parties and fun times with family and friends are over, it can be easy to slide into a funk. Waugh’s research suggests three tips to keep up the excitement and joy of the holidays all year long: continued over/



The American

1. Plan Ahead. Deliberately plan a combination of big events and small celebrations throughout the year. Everyone gets excited for big vacations, but don’t forget the joy of a simple Friday night with friends, or watching a baseball game on TV. Also take time to plan for personal milestones and accomplishments. “Scheduling ahead and preparing appropriately is important,” offers Waugh. “Advance planning both helps build anticipation and reduces the likelihood of disappointment.” He warns, however, against getting too wrapped up in the idea of creating the perfect experience. 2. Get Excited. Let yourself look forward to the fun to come and feel good about a positive experience just around the corner. Waugh says the stress that comes from planning an event is to be expected but should not overshadow the joy of anticipation. “Research shows that resilient people are marked by the ability to recognize that stress and excitement can, and likely will, occur at the same time.” 3. Savor the Moment. Switch out of planning mode long enough to appreciate the experience you have been anticipating. Immerse yourself in the moment. “I can’t stress enough the importance of actually enjoying the experience as it happens. After spending so much time and energy preparing for something, it can be too easy to the let the moment pass and later feel let down that you were too exhausted or distracted to enjoy it,” Waugh says. “Take a deep breath and switch your focus away from the work that led up to the celebration and forget about what comes next. Have fun. Then start looking forward to playing with that new toy or using your gift card on something exciting.” H



Expat Life Coach Anne Taylor look at one of those words that divides North Americans and the British


orry, Sorry, Sorry!” said a gentleman on the street the other day as his dogs walked in front of me on the sidewalk/pavement. It reminded me of a recent study: apparently English people say “sorry” on average 8 times per day – that’s more than a quarter of a million times in one’s life! – and “sorry” is uttered 368 million times a day in Britain. If the man I encountered is typical, that may be an understatement. I appreciate it when people say “I’m sorry” if they are at fault. It’s a sign of self awareness and personal responsibility – you understand the impact your words and behaviours have on others. It also makes for a more compassionate society as people look out for one another – “I’m sorry to hear your goldfish died.” However, in my experience, “sorry” in Britain is not used in these traditional senses. It is used instead of “pardon” (I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said) or “excuse me” (when you bump into someone) or as an easy way of interacting with people you don’t know in an awkward situation - I’ve actually had people say sorry to me if I have bumped into them. I’ve even started using “sorry” in an unapologetic way, when trying to make my

way through a crowded store, trying not to be rude but still wanting to make my way ahead of people moving slower than me. The study goes on to say that a third of Britons don’t even mean “sorry” when they say it and 86% feel it’s an easy way of pardoning bad or sloppy behaviour, excusing behaviour you were going to do anyway but relieving yourself of any guilt or judgement from others. Next time you say “sorry” notice the context in which you say it. Were you really sorry? My Granny said if you were really sorry for something you would never do it again. Would “pardon” or “excuse me” or another word be more accurate? Notice the differences in use of language and what you have incorporated into life. Email editor@theamerican. with your experiences of different uses of language between Britain and the States and we’ll print the best examples. H

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The American

Childhood’s End Liverpudlian John Hussey remembers when, to post-war Liverpudlian children, America was the Promised Land and the ‘Cunard Yanks’ were the chosen few


ost-war Liverpool was a shattered moonscape of bombed buildings and shell-shocked citizens, a place where the sunshine filtered dimly through the permanent haze which hung over the city. It was a time when the sound of heavy boots clattering down the streets signalled the return of some weary warrior and in a land where austerity had become a way of life, for a short period, it was a time when America was The Promised Land. A war-weary population embarked upon a fiesta of mass escapism to a land where legions of “red men” queued up to be shot down in swathes, where Bette Davis adopted an air of sophistication smoking endless cigarettes and Clark

Gable really didn’t “give a damn,” where Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were the best of friends and Bob Hope and Bing Crosby really did travel to Morocco and Rio – we believed it all and for a while we could forget the pockmarked streets and bombed debris – and that’s the way it was until the 1960’s set us free.

The fortunate few

During the grey years of the 1940s and ’50s many jobs were mundane, casual labouring affairs, openings into any meaningful work were few and far between and University was confined to a tiny minority of gifted youths (rarely girls) whose parents were willing to take on an onerous financial burden for five years or so.

Above: a black-and-white world: even in the mid 1950s British children were playing on World War II bombsites

The post-war years had spawned a philosophy that any work would do provided it brought in some much-needed cash and to aspire to a “career” was a middle-class enterprise, barred to those with a strong Liverpool accent and a working class background. In any society, there are always those who are fortunate enough to escape the fates of the majority and in the two decades after the war, there grew up a select group of men, universally admired and envied and emulated where possible. These men were always sought after but not easily found, vanishing from their homes for months on end, returning for a few days to eagerly awaiting families before striding out into places unknown in their search for yet more treasure trove. These few fortunates were stewards, cooks and waiters aboard the Cunard liners on the Liverpool to New York route and have since passed into legend as the “Cunard Yanks.” RMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the Cunard liners that brought the glamor of America to a cold, austere Liverpool


The American

Above: Some of the ‘Cunard Yanks’ – the British stewards, cooks and waiters who served aboard Cunard’s liners on the Liverpool to New York route and brought home riches unimaginable to post-war austerity Britain Right: Electric guitars like this Gretsch, similar to one George Harrision got from a ‘Cunard Yank’, first made their way to Britain via the Transatlantic liners

The legend has since become somewhat tarnished today, but in those few post-war decades of austerity, to a ragged Liverpudlian, still wearing a tattered, khaki battledress and clutching a Ration Book, America was the land of plenty, home to a glittering galaxy of Hollywood stars, Buicks and Cadillacs, television sets, swimming pools and luxurious homes. Hollywood movies invariably showed an America where the whole population lived the American Dream, wore fine clothes and, money to burn and to whom the mean streets and terraced houses of Liverpool were unheard of. If there was anyone who was sceptic enough to question these ingrained beliefs then the Cunard stewards in their sharp suits and armfuls of booty were living proof that New York, and therefore all of America, was the land of milk and honey. There has never been any race of people,

before or since, as popular as the ‘Cunard Yanks’ – their homes resounded to the sounds of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash, they looked sharp in their American suits and snappy hats and with plenty of money in their pockets they dispensed a fleeting largesse which was nevertheless of epic proportions, before returning to the sea once again.

A new popular culture

In their own way, the Cunard stewards introduced Liverpool to a whole new popular culture of music, clothes and books and it is not too farfetched to conclude that they were the harbingers of a youth culture which began in the 1960’s and has proliferated and evolved to a degree which is historically unprecedented. Country music, rock and roll, Italian suits and American jargon entered into a Liverpool psyche thirsting for

the intoxicating and alien rhythm and blues of Jerry Lee, Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, and James Dean became the patron saint of a new generation of angst-ridden teenagers. But in the midst of all the excitement, nobody noticed a sub-culture of smaller kids whose world revolved around a world of superheroes dwelling within the pages of the almost mythical American Comics - also courtesy of the Cunard Yanks and the occasional friendly American serviceman. The English comics filled with the exploits of Keyhole Kate, Korky the Kat, Desperate Dan, Alf Tupper and Lord Snooty were fine in their way, but they were all abandoned at


James Dean became the patron saint of a new generation of angst-ridden teenagers.

first sight of a genuine American comic, usually with the distinctive DC logo in the top corner. The pantheon of superheroes with Superman and Batman in the forefront, closely followed by Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, the Flash, Tarzan, Tomahawk, Blackhawk, and all the others in the pantheon of the Golden Age, soon left the British comics far behind and the lavishly coloured and action-packed covers were irresistible to impressionable minds. The DC comics were passed from hand to hand, pored over like precious manuscripts and became prized parts of burgeoning comic collections. But what was a treasured document, guaranteed to transport young imaginations soaring to far-off planets, smashing Nazi spy cells or flying on gossamer thin threads across the roofs of Manhattan, was merely clutter to uncaring adults and many an irreplaceable Action Comics or rare Batman ended its days as paper twists for the coal-fire, mourned to this day in some quarters.

The land of Hershey bars

The advertisements were always a source of wonder and it was literally “taken as read” that emaciated wimps could be transformed into muscular


The films of Bette Davis brought an air of sophistication

heroes within days and in what other place could small boys and girls become millionaires selling flower seeds. The teenage boy with the flashing teeth was always a source of admiration and not a little jealousy as his dad who also had flashing teeth handed him a BB gun for his birthday – we would muse for hours on what a BB gun was but whatever it was we wanted one desperately. But the advert which occurred the most frequently offered the most mouth-watering commodity of all; there in a huge fish-tank full of water, replete with sunken galleons and lost cities in miniature, frolicked dozens of tiny animals, swimming and performing acrobatics while waving cheerily through the glass tank. These delightful creatures went by the name of “sea-monkeys” and we never questioned their existence for one single minute. It goes without saying that none of us had ever seen a sea-monkey and were never likely to – they lived in the land of Hershey bars and as far as we were concerned would remain there until the rest of time. But hope lives eternal in the hearts of small boys and times change and one glorious day we were invited to see the grand opening of a

What’s in the bag this time? Jazz 78s, nylon hose, DC superhero comics...?

box of the fabled creatures – all the way from the America. The recipient was a small boy whose mum’s avowed aim in life was to supply her offspring with all that his soul desired and forever surrounded by a crowd of sycophantic ragamuffins, faithful to the last Spangle, Little Lord Fauntleroy was about to receive a whole host of sea-monkeys. A brand new fish-tank had been purchased to welcome the little fellows to their new home in England and a dozen small faces were agog with wonder as the important-looking cardboard box was about to be opened. You could hear a pin drop as the wrapping was torn away and at the bottom of the box lay a dozen or so dried-up husks of something vaguely insect–like. There was a chorus of yells to get them into the water where they would, no doubt, soon be waving and doing cartwheels – but they slowly sank to the bottom of the tank and our hearts sank with them. We learned later that they were nothing more than fresh-water shrimps and there followed a vague feeling that things would never be the same again. And they never were. H








The American

Whole Lot of W

atching the news lately is a disturbing pastime. What with all the doom and gloomers spouting out about twenty twelve and the end of the earth as we know it, all I feel like doing is taking my credit cards and heading out to party. Problem is if they’re right, I’m okay and have done the right thing, but if they’re wrong, I’ve really screwed up and will have to spend the rest of my life paying off credit card debts. Also, after last year’s earthquake and tsunami it’s no longer safe to go to Japan; which has always been the top of my list of places to visit before I die. (I was born in Okinawa and just love oriental robes and samurai movies). Strangely, watching all the Japanese TV coverage brought back the

Going On experience I had forty some years ago when I was a teenager in Los Angeles. We were living in Northridge in the San Fernando Valley at the time the ‘68 earthquake hit. There I was happily tucked up in bed dreaming about Sofia Loren (I was young, I had a poster of her soaking wet on my bedroom ceiling, what can I say!) and suddenly I was flung out of bed and across the room by a rough shaking and rumbling of the earth. I had felt enough tremors in the five years I had lived there to know that it was an earthquake. But this was a big one. Then another one hit us that seemed even bigger. That got me moving. I pulled on some jeans and ran to the other end of the house yelling for everyone to wake up and Cracked road after a California earthquake PHOTO: U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

James Carroll Jordan remembers a California earthquake that had a good side get out. My little sister Laurie was muzzily staring at me from her bed as I opened the door to her room. Just then another wave hit us and out flew my little brother Johnny followed by Mom and Dad. I grabbed Laurie and we all headed out of the house. Dad had to unlock about seven locks on the front door, so we were caught with another roller. I glanced into the living room just in time to see the liquor cabinet fall majestically to the floor breaking everything in it. Mom touched her finger to the spreading pool of booze and said:”Ooohhhh! I bet that will make a fun cocktail. I think I’ll call it the Earthquake!” Dad had managed to get all the locks open and pulled the front door back. My idiot brother was so scared that he ran right into the screen door that Dad hadn’t yet opened; I caught him as he bounced back. Dad finally got the two screen door locks unlocked and out we flew just as yet another quake hit. You could actually see the ground Definitely NOT the Olsen girls that James “comforted”


rolling towards us in the front lawn like some John Carpenter movie. We stood right near the curb and watched the earth, trees and house shake as quake after quake kept coming. The noise was amazing. I looked up the street and saw other families running out of their houses looking as frightened as we were. Then Mom shouted hysterically: “Carroll!?? Where’s Carroll?” I looked around and saw Dad was missing. I then looked up the street and there he was with the Olsens, a Swedish family two doors up. It seems that the whole Olsen family slept in the buff and had run out without any clothes on. And there was good old Dad comforting them. About this time Mom spotted Dad and said stonily: “Jimmy… go get your father, now!!” I dutifully went to get Dad, but just then the two teenage Olsen girls ran out of their house and I found it necessary to comfort them just like Dad was comforting Mrs. Olsen. I don’t know where Mr. Olsen was, but there were a lot of naked Olsen girls that needed comforting, and Dad and I were the men

to do the job. I vaguely heard Mom yelling for us over the earthquake noise, but decided to ignore her for the moment. Dad didn’t seem to hear her at all. Mrs. Olsen was very well endowed and if I remember correctly was very frightened and clinging desperately to Dad. So there we were, Dad with the quivering Mrs. Olsen in his arms and me with Marie and Uma Olsen shaking in mine. We really were rising way above the call of duty. Unfortunately Mom sent my little brother John to get us. He being only a youngster was beet red in the face as he told us Mom’s message which was: “To get the hell back to our place and stop groping those naked Swedish girls!” It seemed to take a very long to extract ourselves from the quivering, shaking, terrified Olsen’s, but in the end, we managed. Dad even heroically lent Mrs. Olsen his pajama top to cover herself up with. I only slept in my boxer shorts, and was having a tough time covering my excitement what with all the comforting and soothing I had been doing.

It could have been so much worse: residents stare as San Francisco burns after the 1906 quake PHOTO ARNOLD GENTHE, COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

By the time we got back to Mom, everything was calmed down though. Even the earthquake seemed to be subsiding. Funnily enough, Mom wasn’t speaking to either Dad or me. I guess she was in some sort of shock or something. We finally gathered up the courage to go back into the house and check the damage. Aside from a few cracks in the pool and interior walls, and of course the precious liquor cabinet, nothing much was broken. I remember Dad keeping real busy that morning straightening things up. Mostly outside in the garage, away from Mom. I also remember having a great urge to ask Uma Olsen out for a date. Unfortunately when I finally worked up courage to do so, she refused. I think she was just shy. Still, every time I hear of an earthquake, I remember that terrible one of ‘68. Sometimes it’s important to be a good Samaritan. H


The American

By Estelle Lovatt, Chris Pensa and Michael Burland

choice RELAY: IFO Jacques Rival

King’s Cross, London

Gerhard Richter, Mustang Squadron, 1964 © THE ARTIST

UNTIL 2013

Visitors to King’s Cross will soon see something beautiful flying over the regenerating north London area thanks to an artwork that will be hovering there for the next two years. IFO (Identified Flying Object) will light up the sky by night and come to rest on the ground by day as part of RELAY, an art programme that is being created as part of the King’s Cross area’s redevelopment. The Anglo-French curating partnership, Michael Pinsky and Stéphanie Delcroix, are coordinating the first three years of a nine-year arts programme that is set to turn the King’s Cross area into a destination for international contemporary art. RELAY

IFO (Identified Flying Object) over King’s Cross in London

is inspired by the Olympic flame, with King’s Cross as both an international transport hub and a place in transition, and the notion of the human chain, based on the way passengers at King’s Cross transfer from one means of transport to another. IFO is by French artist and architect Jacques Rival. The bars of its 30 feet high, dome-shaped cage are wide enough apart to walk through, so visitors during the day can enter the cage and sit on the swing at its centre. By night, the bars of the cage light up in different colours and once a month the whole artwork will be hoisted up into the air by the biggest crane on the site. - MB

Gerhard Richter, ‘Panorama’

Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

and Edward Burra

Pallant House Gallery, 9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1TJ RICHTER UNTIL JAN 8 • BURRA UNTIL FEB 19

In my experience, artists don’t really like being asked questions about their work. When I sat with the other art critics and journalists in the press junket at Tate Modern, Gerhard Richter was asked about his artwork in his exhibition ‘Panorama’. I couldn’t help but smile when the artist said, quite simply, and most bold, exactly what Edward Burra had said previously too – to paraphrase – “Why don’t you just show the pictures!” Famously, they do talk for themselves. Take a look (above and left) and see if you agree. - EL


David Hockney: A Bigger Picture Royal Academy of Arts JANUARY 21 TO APRIL 9

This is the first major exhibition of new landscape works by David Hockney, RA. Featuring vivid paintings inspired by the East Yorkshire landscape, these large-scale works have been created especially for the galleries at the Royal Edward Burra, Striptease, Oil on canvas TATE, © ESTATE OF THE ARTIST, COURTESY LEVEVRE FINE ART


The American

Artistic food for thought

Park Avenue restaurant, 100 East 63rd Street, New York City David Hockney, Winter Timber, 2009, Oil on 15 canvases, 274 x 609.6cm © DAVID HOCKNEY, PHOTO: JONATHAN WILKINSON

Academy of Arts. And large-scale they certainly are: Winter Timber, pictured above, is 20 feet wide. ‘David Hockney: A Bigger Picture’ spans a 50 year period, demonstrating Hockney’s long exploration of, and fascination with, the depiction of landscape. Hockney has always been an early adopter of new technology and enjoys exploring how they can be used in his art. This exhibition also includes a display of his iPad drawings and a series of new films produced using 18 cameras, which will be displayed on multiple screens, providing a spellbinding visual journey through the eyes of David Hockney. - MB

Alain Bertrand

Catto Gallery, 100 Heath Street, London NW3 1DP Driving past the Catto Gallery in Hampstead recently my eye was caught by Alain Bertrand’s paintings of all things Americana. Bertrand, a Frenchman, captures the post-war America of the 1940s, 50s and 60s that have come to represent world-wide popular culture and the American way of life from jazz to Hollywood, CocaCola and cocktails, the Rat Pack, jukeboxes, yellow New York taxis, Cadillacs and Chevrolets, cartoons and diners... All painted photo-realist-ically, yet painterly in appearance, they are extremely expressionistic in terms of concentrated emotion caught under brush. That’s probably where his career as an illustrator and movie poster designer comes in. I’m glad it was rush-hour – I had nowhere to drive so I had the opportunity to gaze in to see

Alain Bertrand. The Rat Pack

Bertrand’s work in the gallery window and dream the American Dream. The exhibition itself has now ended, but paintings by Bertrand can still be seen on request (and of course purchased) at Catto Gallery. - EL

In an Upper East Side restaurant edible art is dished up as a tasty dish-ofthe-day treat. Park Avenue Autumn (the name changes with the seasons; it’s now Park Avenue Winter) served up a special meal on ostentatious gold-painted plates pillaged from Saddam Hussein’s palaces. Fittingly called “Spoils”, the delicacy of cooked venison laced with date syrup is, as chef Kevin Lasko explains, “Symbolic of the past, representing the rich and complicated history of a place long misunderstood by its invaders. With over 627 varieties of dates grown in the country, the date is to Iraq as a cigar is to Cuba, or champagne is to France.” Lasko joined forces with New York-born, Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz, who has an Iraqi-Jewish background, to make the meal. The chef and artist said, jointly, “This project, like the date itself, links the history of the United States and Iraq through the timeless experience of food, rather than the more recent link of conflict”, as they use food to talk about war and its impact on both countries. The dish is no longer being offered, but next time you’re in New York go along. They’re not really that crazy, but among other barmy dishes made by the artist-chef duo has been a Baked Alaska with an audio piece from performance artist Marina Abramovic and a beetroot pickled egg designed by artist Paul Ramirez. - EL


The American

Lucian Freud My Father Sculpture by Jane McAdam Freud Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX JANUARY 25 TO MARCH 4

Artist Jane McAdam Freud is the daughter of Lucian Freud. This month she unveils (in the Freud Museum, once home to her great-grandfather, Sigmund Freud) a sculpture portraying her father. EarthStone Triptych is made in terracotta and measures 3ft x 3ft x 1ft. Although Jane cites him as a great inspiration, and he was a ‘regular presence’ in her childhood, Lucian Freud became only an occasional figure in his daughter’s life; when Jane was eight years old, they lost contact and only reconnected when Jane was 31 and had built an artistic reputation herself under the name of Jane McAdam. When they met again, Jane says, “I saw my father regularly and, over about six months, we made sculptures. While we sat for each other, modelling in wax, we chatted a lot and he taught me about light – to work from natural daylight or electric light, but not both at the same time. He taught me what it

McAdam Freud, working on her sculpture of her father Lucien


meant to really concentrate. He looked with every inch of his body, his muscles, and nerves, his whole being. We darted around each other looking at the forms; it was exhausting and demanding – but also enlivening and inspiring. “Some time ago, I asked him if he would sit for me. True to his word, he sat for me very recently. The last time I saw my father was shortly before his death, when I finished the sketches of him. I’ve now used them to make this large portrait sculpture. It helps me to keep him alive”. - MB

BOXED: Fabulous Coffins from Ghana

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX JANUARY 20-29

When you think of a coffin, what comes to mind? A dark mahogany, lead-lined number with gold-plated handles, topped with a bouquet of lilies? Think again. In Ghana on the west coast of Africa there’s a long and rich tradition of the deceased being buried in a vibrantly decorated casket that reflects their profession. If you were a fisherman, you’re buried in a coffin shaped like a fish. A fruit farmer is buried in one shaped like a pineapple, a barman gets a coffin shaped like a beer bottle, and a pilot’s buried in a coffin shaped like – what else? - a Ghana Airways aeroplane. Each casket is hand crafted and beautifully painted by local artisans, the most famous and celebrated of whom is Paa Joe, who is represented in London by Jack Bell Gallery. The incredible objects he makes not only delight the eye but do wonders for our deeply stigmatised attitude towards death. They represent everything that a traditional western funeral lacks; colour, life, music, dance, celebration and that quintessential carnival spirit. Mostly

though these works of art make you think “when I die, I’m getting one of those!” Historically, rituals (and not always nice ones) have played a huge part in West African funerals. Until relatively recently when an Ashanti King died, 300 villagers would be chosen for human sacrifice in his honour. The huge pile of bodies would then be laid into the burial site and the King’s tomb would be lowered on top of them before being covered with earth. This ritual was common until about 100 years ago when wooden death masks became the burial token of choice, replacing human beings. Although things have changed, ritual and tradition still play a huge part in celebrating the life of someone who has died. In modern day Ghana, it’s accepted that the deceased should have saved the equivalent of six months’ salary for a suitable coffin, and a similar amount to throw a wild party for the entire community. If someone dies penniless, the community chips in to pay for an appropriate send off. At funeral ceremonies, children of the deceased are allocated new parents and mourners hold long, meaningful conversations with the dead. These are things that Westerners find hard to deal with, but why? Death happens to us all and whilst thinking on it can be scary, it’s as natural a process as being born. Why not go out with a bang? ‘Boxed: Fabulous Coffins from Ghana’ is part of The Southbank Centre’s Festival for the Living (January 20 to 29). Love Art London will be taking a private tour of the show with Jack Bell, London’s resident expert on African art, on Friday January 27. To join this tour, become a member of Love Art London at - CP H

16" brasserie west

Reviewed by Virginia E. Schultz


he restaurant 16” West Brasserie is situated precisely 16 seconds west of the Greenwich Meridian Line, the Prime Meridian in the world, hence the name. Seconds? The globe is divided into 360 degrees of longitude, east/west, each of which is divided into 60 minutes, which are then subdivided into 60 seconds (as I’m sure you knew) so it’s not far from that magical, imaginary line. Located in the recently opened Sammy Ofer wing of the National Maritime Museum, the interior is modern minimal, with wall to wall glass windows surrounding two sides overlooking Greenwich Park with its vast lawn surrounded by a wrought iron fence. Nearby (they’re connected) is The Queen’s House, originally the home of Queen Henrietta Maria, Charles I’s wife, and as I gazed out the window it wasn’t difficult to imagine her in her carriage heading for London to attend a royal function. Julian Jenkins, 16” West’s head chef, has previously worked at a

number of top restaurants including the Savoy Hotel on the Strand. With almost every museum – the Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and the Wallace Collection to name but three – having highly rated restaurants nowadays there’s a lot of competition for this new kid on the block. Nelly Pateras, who was with me that Sunday, started with the Chorizo board with goat’s curd (£9.00) and I had the smoked haddock fish cakes (£8.50). Nelly thoroughly enjoyed the selection of charcuterie that was large enough for two and as she doesn’t eat cheese (and yes, she’s French!) I tasted the curd cheese which was excellent. My fish cakes, however, were slightly disappointing and I doubt if I’d have them again. For her main course Nelly enjoyed the slow roasted loin of pork with crackling and Bramley apple sauce (£15.00). The pork fell apart in strips just as one expects and the crackling, well, crisp and crackling just as wanted. My roasted top rump of beef with horseradish sauce and

National Maritime Museum, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9NF Tel. 020 8858 4422

Yorkshire pudding (£15.00) which came medium cooked, like it or not, was good, although not particularly exciting, but then I prefer my roast beef medium rare. More interesting was the cashew and pine nut roast with woodland mushroom and white wine sauce, baby beets and butternut squash purée (£15.00) that would delight most vegetarians and even pleasantly surprise a lot of carnivores. The beautifully and perfectly cooked roasted potatoes with fresh herbs we ate till the last nibble and I enjoyed the braised Savoy cabbage and parsnip and carrot mash, but then I like cabbage of any kind as well as root vegetables while Nelly doesn’t. For dessert Nelly decided on the mixed berry parfait, berry compote, and almond biscuit (£5.00), and I,


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after some hemming and hawing whether to have a cheese platter or not, finally decided on the apple and berry crumble with English vanilla custard (also £5.00). Apple crumble is a favourite among my English friends and Jenkins certainly would meet their expectations. Delicious! I might add the bread we enjoyed with our meal is freshly baked every day. There were a number of families enjoying Sunday lunch, all beautifully behaved, but then with the excitement of visiting the museum afterwards, I can understand why. Whether one is on their own, with a friend or children the National Maritime Museum is a wonderful place to spend a day no matter the age. Special events are shown in the museum during the year and in the summer the restaurant will offer picnics and barbecues. In fact, plan a day in Greenwich for this small city has much to offer, including the Royal Observatory (now London’s only planetarium) where as one wag said, you can watch time go by. For more Royal Observatory information go to or call 020 8858 4422.

Opening Times

Museum Café: Mon-Sun – 8am to 6pm. Brasserie: Tues-Sun 12 midday to 11pm. There is paid parking at the opposite end of the museum restaurant and one can arrange for a wheel chair if necessary.


Dining out at

Chor Bizarre A

fter an enchanting talk by Chor Bizarre’s Head Chef and General Manager Manpreet Ahuja I had dinner at his restaurant. I had been told by several friends that Chor Bizarre is one of the best Indian restaurants in London, but since London has some of the best Indian restaurants outside of India, to my regret, I hadn’t paid too much attention. I should have, especially as Chor Bizarre has a sister establishment in New Delhi. Entering the London restaurant that afternoon proved an adventure in itself as it’s furnished with an eclectic assortment of furniture, colourful glass lamps and a selection of antiques and artwork from the East. If I had found Aladdin sitting with his lamp at one of the antique tables, neither Jennifer or I would have been surprised. Beer is often the best drink to have with Indian food, but Jennifer decided to have a glass of champagne while I decided on a tamarind cocktail... which was delicious. With this came poppadoms and a selection

Reviewed by Virginia E. Schultz

of chutneys. It is said that one can travel all over India and never have the same dish twice, and fortunately, the selection brought from Chor Bizarre in India were carefully chosen. Also helpful is the menu which not only describes the various dishes and style of cooking, but throws in a bit of history as well. Our dishes, however, were selected for us by Manpreet and were even more delicious than I could have hoped for. Dakshni Crab Cakes arrived with a simple salad and coconut chutney I wanted to take home. Next came a spicy hot prawn tak-a-tak with spiced bread. The name tak-a-tak comes from the sound on the griddle when the meat is being cut. Jennifer had no problem eating this, but I had to ask for water to wash down the burning sensation on my tongue. The Seekh Kabab, lamb mince kababs, were lovely, but it was the Gazab Ka Tikka, bite sized chicken in a marinade and cream, I’d return for along with the Baghare Baingan,

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sautéed egg plant simmered in tamarind and sesame seed sauce. As for Shehnai Gosht (lamb shanks), only one word, wonderful! (See the recipe). With this we had Naan and Dum Murgh Biryani, basmati rice flavoured with a special chef ’s masala sauce as well as raita, a cucumber salad that cooled down the tantalizing heat on my tongue. We had, of course, eaten too much, but we didn’t want to turn aside dessert and decided to share fresh pineapple drizzled with cinnamon and served with ginger ice cream and a pot of one of Chor Bizarre’s lovely teas. Jennifer probably described best our feelings about our meal when she remarked she couldn’t wait to return.


16 Albemarie Street, London W1S 4HW. Tel. 020 7629 9802, OPENING HOURS

Mon-Sat: Lunch 12 midday to 3pm; Dinner 6pm to 11.30pm Sunday: Dinner only 6 to 10.30pm

Chor Bizarre’s

Serves 4

Shehnai Gosht Ingredients Lamb Shanks 800g Ghee 60g Browned Onions 200g Raw Onion Slices 200g Whole Spices (Bay leaf, Cloves, Cardamom Cinnamon) 30g Ginger 30g Garlic 20g Red Chilly Powder 10g Dhaniya Powder 10g Turmeric Powder 8g Garam Masala 10g Besan 60g Maida 60g Salt to taste

1. Blanch the meat and refresh in cold water. 2. In a handi, heat the ghee, add whole garam masala and when the spices start crackling, add raw onion, brown onion, ginger - garlic paste and cook for 10-15 minutes. 3. Add sufficient quantity of water and cook till meat is 80% cooked. 4. Add red chilly powder, dhaniya powder, turmeric powder and cook. 5. Add besan and maida & further cook till meat pieces are tender.

6. Remove the meat pieces and strain the gravy to adjust seasoning. 7. Add garam masala and simmer after adding meat pieces. Serve hot with steamed rice.


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Watasumi I

suppose my first criticism of most Japanese restaurants in London is that too few of their waiters or help are Japanese. Unlike a Chinese restaurant, asking questions about the various dishes often draws a blank as the very polite Asian waiter is actually from China or Thailand. Our waitress at Watasumi couldn’t have been more charming, but one had the feeling she knew less about sake or Japanese food than we did. Fortunately, the various sake regions, including the type of rice used in the production, were described in the drinks menu. I had the house sake, Honjozo Ozeki Katanba (250 ml £16.00) and Maxine Howe, my guest, the Junmai, Ichinokura Karakuchi (£24.00). Both wines were served warm, had moderate acidity, and Maxine’s especially, was light and quite elegant. The chefs at Watasumi, Peter and Hili Makohus (pictured below), met in the kitchen at Nobu Park Lane and many of their dishes reflect that background. The restaurant is elegant and modern with high ceilings, dark wooden tables and white leather seating. The menu features all kinds of various Japanese dishes and just enjoying the Sushi Bar would be enough, especially if you’re dining there before or after the theatre or a concert.

Club Quarters Hotel 7 Northumberland Avenue London WC2N 5BY 020 7036 8520

We started with sea salt edamame (steamed soy beans) (£3.70) to nibble on as we studied the menu. After some thought and consultation with each other, we chose Sashimi Moriawase (£33.00) which includes four types of fish and three types of shellfish. Added to this, we had Hokigai (surf clams) at £2.50 each. We both adore calamari and at Watasumi it’s sprinkled with a tangy mix and then fried until crispy. Not cheap at £6.50 and highly seasoned, it may not be to everyone’s liking. For her main course Maxine had the Duck Breast (£19.50) marinated in miso and served with a spicy kumquat dressing. I after debating between the grilled salmon (£12.50) and Miso Glazed Black Cod (£27.00), decided on the latter. Black cod – not really cod – is about my favourite fish and this met all my expectations. Delicious!

Frankly, when I return, I’ll request omakase, or the chef’s choice at £65 for seven courses. By the time we added the vegetables, steamed rice and dessert to everything else we ordered, it wouldn’t have been any more expensive. Available Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 3.15pm, the bargain is the Watasumi Bento box which includes a glass of house wine or soft drink, miso soup, sesame stir fried vegetables, steamed rice and a choice of chicken, beef, salmon or tofu and all for £14.50. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese food, this is a delightful introduction.


‘St Valentine’s Day Tuesday 14 February


Celebrate St Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart in style at La Capanna Enjoy a sumptuous three course meal in a romantic setting

Monday to Saturday – 10% off all bills (except groups of 10 people or more) Sunday evenings - 20% discount

Creative dishes made from the freshest ingredients

48 High Street, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3EF

For bookings 01932 862121 or visit

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

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

01932 862121

– David Billington, Hello Magazine

US and UK Tax Preparation and Planning

Jaffe & Co

Incorporating American Tax International Each year we prepare both the US and UK tax returns for dozens of Americans residing in the U.K. We use the same software and produce the same tax returns as the BIG Four Firms, at a fraction of the cost. We would be pleased to assist you with all of your US/UK tax matters. We have been preparing tax returns for US citizens in the UK for more than 20 years. We provide a personal service at a very reasonable cost. Please call us toll free today for assistance on: 0800 085 1537 or 020 8346 5237 or visit our website:

The American

The Giraffe Family Cookbook

High & Wilde

By Hugo Arnold Weidenfeld & Nicholson, Hardcover, £14.99



he Giraffe is a chain of upmarket fast food restaurants that started in 1998 and is now located all around the UK. On their menu they have dishes from all over the world as I discovered recently when I had lunch at a Giraffe in the brand new Westfield Stafford Shopping Centre. Burritos, satay, ceviche, and pancakes are among the offerings and although not Michelin star, it is a great place to take a family as the prices are reasonable, food appears to be fresh, and there are enough choices to please almost everyone. The Giraffe Family Cookbook has recipes from the many dishes on the Giraffe menu and seems relatively easy to make. The recipes would be fun to make together or have that teenage future Jamie Oliver cook for the family. Recipes are international and although not exactly what I’d call authentic, they do give a taste of the flavourings whether Middle or Far East or Latin America. Ever since I first lived in Texas, I’ve used the taco instead of bread. The recipe below is similar to one I use to make when I lived in Houston, but perhaps slightly more international in flavours. I made it for lunch for three of us and it was very much enjoyed.

Smoked Chicken, Mango And Red Chili Tacos Ingredients: 250 ml mayonnaise ½ teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander 2 tablespoons coriander, chopped 1 tablespoon chipotle chillies, chopped Juice of 1 lime 400g smoked chicken cut into strips 1 cos lettuce trimmed and shredded ½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced 4 plum tomatoes, quartered into strips 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into strips 8 x 10 corn or flour tortillas 1 tablespoon jalapeño chillies, chopped Salt and Pepper Method: 1. Preheat griddle or pan 2. Combine the first five ingredients. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and combine. 3. Mix the lettuce, red onion and tomato together, season with salt and pepper and toss with olive oil 4. Grill the tortillas 5. Place the salad in the middle of the tortillas, spoon over the chicken, mix and top with mango strips. Fold in half, sprinkle over the chopped jalapeño and serve. As I like to eat tacos with my fingers, I added the jalapeño with the other ingredients. With this one could serve lemonade or, for adults, offer Margaritas as I did.


A Special Cocktail for New Year ettners restaurant has an unusual cocktail recipe that may have you seeing things as you see in the New Year. Ostensibly a simple yet refined blend of herbaceous anise and aromatic peach charged with Prosecco, they think High and Wilde is a future classic. Its magic ingredient is absinthe, often the drink of choice of louche playwright and author Oscar Wilde, after whom this cocktail is named. Wilde described one evening sitting alone in the Café Royal drinking absinthe. He started to hallucinate and thought that the waiter, who was stacking chairs, was in fact watering the floor, covered in tulips, with a watering can. In The Book of Absinthe, writer Phil Baker includes this quote: “After the first glass you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.” Still, with only a small amount in this High & Wilde cocktail you shouldn’t reach stage three! Ingredients: 1 x White Sugar Cube 10ml Absinthe 10ml Crème de Peche 110ml Prosecco Fennel slice to garnish Method: Soak the sugar cube in Absinthe and drop it into a flute glass. Add the crème de Peche, and top up with the Prosecco.

The American

Cellar Talk By Virginia E. Schultz

Washington’s Winning Wines


f the 16,000 bottles of wine tasted by Wine Spectator in 2011, only a third of all the wines tasted tested ninety points or more with an average price of seventy dollars for each bottle. Now $70 may not mean much to some, but for the average person who enjoys wine with their meal at least once or twice a week that’s a huge expenditure. While the Old World took the lead with 57 of the outstanding values, Australia had 13 wines. In the United States, California had just two in this category and Oregon had one. But Washington had 11. Having recently tasted Januik 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Pepper Bridge’s Walla Walla 2007 Caber-

net Sauvignon and 2008 Gramercy Cellar Syrah recently, I wasn’t surprised to learn Washington is doing so well. However, what took me by surprise was at a dinner party when a friend served Snoqualmie Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2009 Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2009 ($10.00) and Columbia Crest Amitage Grand Estates, Columbia Valley 2008 ($12.00). None will be listed in any top 100, but neither would I be embarrassed to serve at a dinner party. In fact, the more I drink Washington wines, the more impressed I am. There are some who have suggested that Walla Walla, Washington is possibly, after Napa, the premier wine region in the States. Matching wine and food can sometimes be a pain. What I detest is when one of my guests politely suggests that a Riesling might have

WINE OF THE MONTH Roederer Estate Quartet Anderson Valley Brut A fizz and ale cocktail? Roederer Estate Quartet Anderson Valley Brut is one of my favourite sparkling wines, but, having Ballards Odd Couple’s Harvest Ale added was an interesting touch and one I’m not certain I liked when I tasted the combination at a dinner featuring Duckhorn Wines at The Palm Restaurant in London. Still, perhaps I shall have to try again as I was assured I would become used to it. Alone, Ballards Odd Couple, technically a barley wine brewed once a year, is the perfect strong beer (8.9%) to have with game or a rich tangy British cheddar.

been better than the Sauvignon Blanc with the roast chicken. I sometimes think Greg Norman, the Australian golfer, is right when he is quoted as saying. “I just drink it to drink it.” Yes, most of us can spot a corked wine or one so tannic your teeth quiver, but that Louis Jadot Bonnes Mare 2008 bottle ($180.00) in my closet isn’t going to have the majority of my dinner guests raving over the subtle and elegant flavours and it’s ridiculous to expect it. Either serve it to friends who know their wine or drink it on your own. H


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“We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne.” I wrote it – who am I? PORTRAIT BY ALEXANDER NASMYTH, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

1 W  hat is New Year’s Eve called in Scotland? 2 W  ho wrote Auld Lange Syne, the Scottish song traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve? 3 W  ho won the world’s first Gold Disc and for what? 4 W  hat was first Gold record awarded for an LP? 5 A  nd the first ever Gold single? 6 W  hich (now world famous) game was first patented under the name Sphairistrike?

11 W  hat are the oldest known living organisms? 12 W  hose album I Dreamed a Dream went to No 1 in its first week in the U.S.? 13 W  hat colour is the cross on the Greek Flag? 14 I n which country are most birds of paradise found? 15 W  ho were the Three Musketeers, first encountered in Alexandre Dumas’ novel? 16 W  here is the world’s biggest commodities market?




4 5





5 1




9 5

6 8


3 7

Answers to Coffee Break Quiz & Sudoku answers on page 58

President Obama once wore a encourages wedding a young participant at the White Easter dress toHouse promote hisEgg Roll April 13, 2009. But which President started the tradition? WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA




8 T he word bank comes from the Italian banco – what does it literally mean?

10 W  o Fat was the enemy of which TV detective?



7 T he name of which country’s capital city means ‘good air’?

9 W  hich basketball player


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ALBUMS THEOF MONTH Screaming Gospel Holy Rollers Vol. 1 and 2 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records

Mark Lamarr’s radio shows, mostly on BBC Radio 2, cover many of the loose ends and less obvious corners of popular music: ska, cajun, rockabilly, hillbilly and obscure hip-hop to name but a few. His take on gospel is that many recordings, and most compilations, are too reverential, missing the fiery spirit that consumed the congregations in the music’s natural home, southern Baptist churches. In these collections he brings together the more intense, soulful gospel of the fifties and very early sixties, the kind that inspired Little Richard and put the righteous spark into early rock and roll. The better known – Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Rev. Gatemouth Moore, the Original Five Blind Boys – are joined by less well known but no less emotional groups. Lamarr’s no po-faced churchgoer – his sleeve notes pick out some of the less salubrious behavior of even the most famous gospel stars – but, as he says, “you don’t have to be a believer to enjoy this stuff, but I’ll bet it’ll make you into a wannabe at least.” Amen.

Mozart Requiem

Handel and Haydn Society / Harry Christophers Coro The Boston-based Handel and Haydn Society is the oldest continuously performing musical organization in the United States, founded in 1815. It specializes in creating, with a relatively small ensemble

MUSIC (in number of musicians compared to full-blown modern symphony orchestras, and also in volume, with its period instruments) intense, passionate renditions of the music of its eponymous composers and others of the baroque and classical, pre-romantic eras: lesser known names like Pergolesi as well as the big guns – Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and of course Mozart. There is no bigger work in this genre to tackle than Mozart’s last work, famously commissioned by a mystery client and never finished by the dying composer, his Requiem. They’re up to the job. Harry Christophers became the H&H’s artistic director in 2009 and the founder and conductor of The Sixteen vocal group brings to the Society his core values of passion, intensity, and subtlety. This recording captures the blend perfectly. Though smaller sounding than typical recordings with modern classical instruments, it’s clear, lively and gripping throughout.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one of the “Screaming Gospel Holy Rollers”

singer-songwriters. Her ‘Not Fade Away’ rocks, with some great slide guitar by Waddy Wachtel. It’s but the first of some great performances of Holly tunes by stars old and new who have been influenced by him, stars like Brian Wilson, Lyle Lovett, Natalie Merchant, Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Chris Isaak, and Cobra Starship. Oh, and Eric Idle, who, with producer and musician Peter Asher (who concocted the idea for the album) tries a Spike Jones-style deconstruction of ‘Raining In My Heart’! Each artist performs a Holly number in their own style, highlighting how timeless Holly’s songs are, something it’s easy to forget listening to his original versions which are very much of their time and place. 

Listen To Me: Buddy Holly Various Artists Wrasse Records

Stevie Nicks opens this 75th birthday tribute to the bespectacled Texan who was among the first

Remembering Buddy Holly in the best way – Stevie Nicks


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Christina Perri

Overnight success can be a reality! In the space of a year the Philadelphia-born singer and guitarist has gone from waitressing in a restaurant in Beverly Hills to having hit records. Her song ‘Jar of Hearts’ charted in the United States after it was featured on the Fox television show So You Think You Can Dance in 2010 – a friend had passed the song to the show’s choreographer – then also on Glee. She garnered a Rolling Stone Band of the Week accolade. Her first ever UK tour kicks off in Glasgow at ABC 2 on January 15th followed on 16th at Manchester Academy 3; 18th London, Shepherds Bush Empire; 19th Brighton, Concorde 2; and 20th Birmingham, Academy 2. Coinciding with the tour, Christina’s new single, ‘Arms,’ is released on January 30. Christina Perri

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band PHOTO: CRAIG O’NEAL

LIVE AND KICKING Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band


he Boss returns! One to book ahead for, Springsteen and the band are playing just three UK headline performances, in the north west, north east and south of England. Bad luck Scotland, Wales and Ireland! These are the first UK dates Reggie Watts


since they played in London in summer of 2009 to huge acclaim. Dates: June 21st Sunderland Stadium of Light; 22nd Manchester Etihad Stadium; 14th London, Hyde Park, Hard Rock Calling.

Reggie Watts

How can one pigeon-hole Reggie Watts? Best not to try. The NY-based musician / comedian / vocalist / beatboxer / improvisor / genrebusting entertainer wows audiences with unpredictable performances which are created on the spot using only his formidable voice and looping pedals. Described by the LA Times as “deliciously strange”, he’s coming to select cities across Europe this month. That’s select as in one (1) British date and an Irish one. After Amsterdam and Antwerp, but before Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Berlin you can see Reggie on January 21st at Dublin, Whelans and on the 23rd at London, Roundhouse.

The American



Kronos Quartet



Panic! At The Disco

After storming the Reading and Leeds Festival last summer Panic! At The Disco are back in the UK for a headline tour. The baroque-pop pioneers’ career has seen a resurgence with the release of their third album Vices & Virtues. Dates are: January 25th Newcastle, Academy; 26th Leeds Academy; 27th Manchester Apollo; 28th Glasgow Barrowlands; 29th Birmingham Academy; 31st Bristol Academy; February 1st Southampton Guildhall; 2nd London Brixton Academy.

or more than 30 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, expanding the range and context of the string quartet. Ignoring the boundaries others place between genres, they have collaborated with a Chinese pipa player, rock bands, DJs as well as some of the most significant classical composers and artists working today, to become one of the most celebrated and influential contemporary ensembles of our time. This month the Quartet comes to the Barbican for a week-long residency of concerts and creative learning events. Each of the three concerts between January 24-27 takes place in a different venue and focuses on a specific theme: Made in America; Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11; and Early Music. See barbican. for venues and times and to buy tickets.

If you haven’t seen the BBC’s wonderful Transatlantic Sessions program, just one word: DO! It’s a remarkable coming together of the very best American, Irish and Scottish folk and roots musicians, filmed in a country house hotel in the depths of the Scottish highlands, gathered together with one aim –

In Greek mythology, Kronos (aka Cronus) was the leader of which group? A The Titans B The Argonauts C The Cyclops HOW TO ENTER: Email your answer and your contact details (name, address & daytime phone number) to with KRONOS COMPETITION in the subject line; or send a postcard to: KRONOS COMPETITION, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK; to arrive by mid-day January 20th. 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. No cash alternative. Tickets are not transferable. You are responsible for any travel, accommodation and other expenses.


Transatlantic Sessions

We have two pairs of top-price tickets for Made in America (Tuesday January 24th at Hackney Empire) and for Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11 (Thursday Jan. 26th, Barbican Hall) for winners of this month’s competition. Just answer the following question:


The American Sting, live in Milan on his 2006 European tour YANCHO SABEV

Transatlantic Sessions mainmen Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas, PHOTO JOHN MACKINNON

to share their musics and create something new out of the meeting. Presented by Celtic Connections there’s a live show based on the format with a fine selection of musicians including Raul (Mavericks) Malo, Ruth Moody, Declan O’Rourke, Eddi (Fairground Attraction) Reader, Karen Matheson, Tim O’Brien and multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky joining the two ‘musical directors,’ Shetland fiddler Aly Bain and Ohio-born Dobro steel guitar wizard Jerry Douglas. You can expect more top musicians to come along too. A must for anyone who loves Celtic and Americana music. February 2nd and 5th Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; 3rd Clickimin Leisure Complex, Lerwick, Shetland; 6th London Royal Festival Hall; 7th Dublin Convention Centre; 8th Birmingham Symphony Hall; 9th The Sage Gateshead. And if you can stay in Scotland awhile, between January 19th and February 5th, 2100 musicians from around the world descend on Glasgow for 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late night session and a host of special one-off musical collaborations at Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, Celtic Connections (


Sting – Back to Bass Tour

Following the success of his North American tour this fall, Sting’s Back to Bass Tour hits Europe in February. He’s celebrating the 25th anniversary of his solo career by taking it ‘back to bass’… all of the hits, stripped down, as he hasn’t played them in years. The European leg of the tour is a homecoming for the singer and musician, in Newcastle at the Sage Gateshead. The recently released box set collection, also called Back to Bass, features Sting performing songs spanning his varied solo career, from his 1985 debut The Dream Of The Blue Turtles onward, plus a selection of The Police’s

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

Will Oldham will be returning to the UK in his guise of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy for a one-off headline show at London’s Hackney Empire on January 25th. The gig features band members (Bonnie - guitar/vocals, Emmett Kelly - guitar/vocals, Angel Olsen – vocals, Ben Boye - piano/ harmonium) who also played on his new album Wolfroy Goes To Town.

greatest hits, in a stripped down, back to basics form. The UK dates are: February 5th Gateshead, The Sage; March 16th Manchester Apollo; 17th Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium; 19th London, Hammersmith Apollo. Sting is also playing in mainland Europe in Amsterdam, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Grenoble, Toulouse, Claremont-Ferrand, Marseille, Frankfurt, Koln, Brussels, Stuttgart, Lille, Berlin, and Paris. H

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ocular, corpulent and permanently corpsing, the appeal of James Corden goes straight over my head. He falls into that category of ‘you probably have to be English to get it’, rather like Eric and Ernie [How dare you O’Connell! – Morecambe & Wise fan ed]. Recently given the Piers Morgan treatment on ITV (yes he’s that big), the perky continuity announcer quipped over the closing credits, “That James Corden, eh? You’d go for a pint with him, wouldn’t ya”. I’m not so sure. NT Director Nicholas Hytner, knowing a good thing when he sees it, plucked Corden from obscurity for The History Boys, which led to the play reaching the West End, Broadway and a movie version. Cordon then co-wrote and acted in the excellent Gavin and Stacey, which captured the nation’s hearts, but a Faustian pact with the tabloids inevitably turned nasty and he was in the doldrums until he reemerged, Lazarus-like, in this, another gold-plated hit for the National which now transfers to the West End. Hytner saw that Cordon was perfect for the Commedia dell Arte style of this piece which is freely (putting it mildly) adapted from Carlo Goldoni’s 18th century comedy The Servant of Two Masters. The frequent audience interaction, the regular asides, the endless comic bits of business with props (letters, food, a heavy trunk) and the general air of improvisation make it a perfect star vehicle.

Francis Henshall (James Corden) and Rachel Crabbe (Jemima Rooper) PHOTOS BY TRISTRAM KENTON

One Man,

By Richard Bean Adelphi Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell

Two Guvnors

The Corden fans who laugh at his entrance (now that only used to happen on Broadway) made up about two thirds of the audience, while the reminder sat stony-faced checking their iPhones. That is par for the course in the West End nowadays, where shows have to please a very diverse crowd, but it still challenges the idea that it is a universally acclaimed masterpiece. When it hits Broadway in April one wonders whether it might go the way of Enron?

Bean has set his adaptation in Brighton in the early 60s and the convoluted plot boils down to cheeky chappie Francis (Corden), having to juggle two ‘Guvnors’ (bosses), one a cross dressing female gangster, the other a dodgy toff. Inevitably the two Guvnors end up dining in adjoining private rooms in the same pub on the same night. The 60s setting, enhanced by a fabulous live band doing the curtain numbers (over the scene changes), allows the lively ensemble cast to

THE MUSICAL Dolly (played by Suzie Toase) and Francis Henshall (James Corden) PHOTO TRISTRAM KENTON

shine with some polished comic archetypes. Saucy Suzie Toase is all Barbara Windsor curves as the bookkeeper Dolly, Fred Ridgeway is a delight as the slippery spiv Charlie ‘the Duck’ Clench and Oliver Chris is perfectly tall and handsome as the obnoxious public school git Stanley Stubbers. Bean’s vitriol against public school types plays to the gallery here and while it might capture the zeitgeist, it’s misplaced for the period. It does fit, however, with the very broad brush and lazy approach of the script. Tom Eddens’ gloriously elastic performance as the doddery octogenarian waiter is remarkable too, but like the whole piece it is over-egged. The sight of him being beaten with a cricket bat, in the end, crosses the line between fun and poor taste. Marketed as a farce it has none of the rigour of the genre. Farce works because it is played straight and has an internal logic. We crack up at the spectacle of people trying to maintain their dignity while all is crumbling around them. Here, the piece is too in love with itself to do that. Instead we get a series of vaudeville turns and you’ll be in it if you sit in the front row. If you want to worship at the temple of Corden certainly go, but if you want a real farce, go see Noises Off.


By Dennis Taylor and Tim Minchin Cambridge Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


he Royal Shakespeare Company has found its next Les Mis! Matilda, which has arrived in the West End from Stratford upon Avon, will probably be around in another 25 years. For those who think the West End is dumbing down, the Australian comic and songwriter Tim Minchin has proved them wrong here with songs of sparkling originality and wit. He is complemented by Dennis Kelly’s masterful book which perfectly captures the twisted nature of Roald Dahl’s original novel while at the same time rendering it totally theatrical. The show is dark, ingenious and anarchic yet also joyful and incredibly deeply felt. It never shirks from the cruelty of its heroine’s fate. Matilda is a child prodigy (who has read her way through Dickens and Dostoevsky) as displacement for the cruel rejection

by her teddy boy, used-car salesman, dad (Paul Kaye), and her dolly-bird, ballroom dancing obsessed, mum (Josie Walker). [Teddy boys were 1950s British gang members who dressed in long ‘Edwardian’ jackets and tight ‘drainpipe’ trousers – Ed.] School doesn’t help either as she ends up at Cruchem Hall (motto “children are maggots”), where she is bullied by the sadistic head teacher Miss Trunchbull, but finally finds a soul mate in the sympathetic teacher Miss Honey (Lauren Ward, in great voice), who recognises her gifts. Bertie Carvell’s creation of Trunchbull will most likely win every award going and the audience response to the character is a marvel. A former Olympic hammer throwing champion, she is the games mistress from hell, like a Sherman tank in a gymslip. This nightmarish character is every child’s exaggeration of a horrible teacher and it encapsulates the show’s sensibility. Rob Howell’s astonishing designs (a

The American

cavernous forest of piles of books and alphabet blocks) manages to be both epic and simple at the same time. To escape her pain Matilda tells stories to a kindly librarian. One tale about a married Escapologist and an Acrobat, so obviously reflects her yearning for love and affection but it also scarily predicts the fate of her teacher Miss Honey. Under Matthew Warchus’s expert direction the show is packed with moments of perfect invention. ‘When I Grow Up’ has the kids on swings, growing up before our eyes, in what is a beautifully poignant child’s-eye view of being an adult. The fact that Minchin’s lyrics can sometimes get lost in the hoopla is the only downside. Adults who keep a wide berth of anything involving children would be very mistaken to overlook this show. Its singular achievement, and what will make it an international hit, is that it is an adult show where most of the cast are children. And what children they are! Warchus and choreographer Peter Darling must have gone in for military style drilling of this troupe, they are so perfect and consistent, yet they retain their own charm and individuality. Darling’s movement direction is riotously inventive. The dreaded stage school clichés of Annie kids are nowhere to be seen here and even the littlest ones (and tiny tot Ted Wilson is a standout) are stretched to the limit and rise to it. Four girls share the incredibly demanding role of Matilda and on the night I saw it Eleanor Worthington-Cox was the solid centre of the piece, bringing seriousness to the part that was profoundly moving. That girl and this show are going places.

Top: Eleanor Worthington Cox as Matilda and Lauren Ward as Miss Honey. Above: Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull in the RSC Production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical. PHOTOS BY MANUEL HARLAN.


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Crazy for You Music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin • Book by Ken Ludwig Novello Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


ershwin’s sparkling antidote to the depression – a huge hit last summer at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park – sails into the West End to give us all a lift. After all, the lines “My bonds and shares / May fall downstairs; / Who cares, who cares? / I’m dancing and I can’t be bothered now!” had some currency in 1930 when the Gershwins wrote the bulk of the songs in this show but with markets tumbling again its déjà vu time. The only weakness in this cracker of a show is the book and although this piece was artfully re-constructed for Broadway in 1992 as Crazy for You (also a hit in the West End), it is still an excuse to string together these songs. And when the songs are this great – ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, ‘Embraceable You’, ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘They Can’t Take that Away from Me’, ‘But Not for Me’ – who cares?. Even if you wouldn’t recognise a Gershwin toon if it fell on ya, the reason for seeing this production is the dancing. Stephen Mear (Olivier winner for Hello Dolly last year at the Park and one of the hottest talents in the West


Right: Sean Palmer and Clare Foster as Bobby and Polly PHOTO TRISTRAM KENTON

End) has taken Susan Stroman’s work for the 1992 original and made it his own. There is exquisite detailing and the eye isn’t jaded for a second. Both him and director Timothy Sheader (the artistic director of the Open Air Theatre) have a gift for staging comic set pieces and here the saloon bar brawls, the sexy shenanigans and especially the glorious drunk scene, produce a sort of comic intoxication. Rich boy Bobby (Sean Palmer), on the verge of being disinherited because of his obsession with showbiz, finds himself in Nevada, meets the girl of his dreams, Polly (Claire Foster), and pretends to be the theatrical impresario Bella Zangler to try and win her. But then, of course, Zangler turns up. It’s classic 1930s farce but here done with a gusto that is totally charming. West End veteran David Burt gives an inspired physical performance as Zangler, the epitome of Jewish New York ennui. There is of course a posh New York girlfriend to get rid of and Irene (Kim Medcalf), when she turns up, almost steals the show with a sultry rendition of ‘Naughty Baby’, showing off her great voice.

As Bobby, Palmer has movie star looks, sings like a dream and moves like a young Gene Kelly. His unbridled optimism is as American as apple pie. What’s great is that the rest of the British cast are a match for him – this wasn’t always the case with West End musicals. Polly is a part requiring a journey from Calamity Jane-like cowboy gal to pretty ingénue and Claire Foster navigates it with great aplomb. Peter McIntosh’s sets straddle both Broadway glamour and am-dram drab and his costumes, particularly for the divine chorus girls and Polly’s last number, are a highlight. The ensemble dancing is exquisite. Explosions of blondes in perfect syncopation are even more astonishing when you consider Mear achieves this Busby Berkeley madness with only 20 people. A gloriously extended ‘I Got Rhythm’ goes from peak to peak and just when you think he’s exhausted all possibilities he comes up with something new. It is some of the best dancing seen in the West End for years. This show is proof that in showbiz, more is always more.

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Theatre Royal – London Author: James Goldman, Director: Trevor Nunn Reviewed by Paul Eggington & Brian Williamson “A royally dysfunctional family’s Christmas Celebrations” The story so far – the ageing Henry II has gathered his estranged and feuding family together, ostensibly to work out the succession to the throne of the richest empire in Europe at the time (1183). The trouble is that the jewel of that empire came to him through his wife, Eleanor, and is not his to grant outright to any one of their three surviving sons. Their relationship is not improved by the fact that Henry locked his wife in Salisbury Tower ten years earlier as a punishment for instigating a coup. In the meantime, Henry has taken as a lover a French princess who is promised in marriage to his eldest son. Her brother, the young King Philip of France, has come to court to demand that the marriage takes place or that her dowry, a strategically important territory in France, is returned. Clearly, this will be no ordinary Christmas gathering. The relationships between the principal characters are historically documented and the author has chosen a fictional Christmas celebration at Henry’s court as a backdrop to their story. It is the first time that Eleanor has seen her husband or the other members of the family for many years. This heady mix is well presented and Nunn’s slick direction and staging of the piece is intentionally worked to bring out the more humorous elements of the play. The supporting cast manage the serious nature of their plotting and traitorous behaviour,

together with the intense interweaving of the family dynamics. The production is at its best in the interplay between Lindsay & Lumley and never has the love/hate relationship between king and queen been more passionately portrayed. The staging, set design and lighting all work excellently as should be expected from a crew put together by Nunn. However, this is the first time the play, which premiered on Broadway in 1966, has been performed on a West End stage and – allowing for the fact that James Goldman refused to allow a London production – this reviewer can’t help but understand why there has been a reticence among British directors in airing it here before now. The author freely acknowledges in the programme that his play has “anachronisms in speech, thought, habit custom and so on…” which can be argued to assist in bringing this fascinating medieval history to a modern audience. However, what works less well are the larger scale anachronistic pieces such as a Christmas tree (complete with baubles and presents piled underneath). The language and style employed

Lindsay and Lumley - never has the love/ hate relationship between king and queen been more passionately portrayed PHOTOS: CATHERINE ASHMORE

to tell this historic tale fluctuates wildly; moving in seconds from bitter, political, often booming rhetoric through scabrous wit to near slapstick farce. The entire cast manage to handle the rollercoaster writing style although the effort to do so shows. This only emphasises the unsettling nature of the piece and leaves the audience almost fearing what might come next. Despite the best efforts of the cast the lapses in consistency throughout lead to an almost pantomime feel at times and result in an ultimately disappointing experience for the audience. H


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agney and Lacey, Lacey and Cagney! They’re here, they’re coming! They’re fab, and they’re taking the West End by storm! They’re a WWF tag-team supreme! Cagney – Sharon Gless – is here in her self-produced and created show A Round-Heeled Woman. Just as she ends her extremely successful run she crawls towards the ropes, reaches with her hand and TAG! Lacey, AKA Tyne Daly, tags her outstretched hand and bounds into the ring with her heavyweight show Master Class. What a West End Season for us yanks as well as the rest of the English theatre goers! Asked to interview Tyne for The American, I jumped at the chance. You see years ago, in 1974, Tyne and I worked together on her then-husband George Sanford Brown’s TV series The Rookies. I reminded her of the episode. I was a bank robber and she and this blond boopsie (the not very talented but gorgeous, zoftig girl friend of the producer) were my hostages, tied up provocatively on the floor. In one scene I threatened them both with a knife. Tyne dealt with me in her fiery in-your-face way, whilst the blonde got so freaked out by my acting that she broke down and screamed for her boyfriend. The producer raced down to the set and chewed me out for acting so well that I half scared his girlfriend to death! I decided to take it all as a compliment. Tyne remembered the episode and the interview was off to a great start.


James Carroll Jordan, The American’s resident thespian, talks to Tyne Daly about working together in the past, life in LA and – particularly – Master Class, the play about Maria Callas that she is bringing to London I was speakingwith Tyne by telephone and, not being able to see her and just hearing her voice, it seemed like it was just yesterday we were working together at Twentieth Century Fox. To me we were still young, in our twenties, fresh and full of beans. I had a hard time focusing on interviewing Tyne and not gossiping too much. I caught Tyne at ten in the a.m. at her flat across from Beverly Hills High School, having a cup of tea. She said she was preparing for her stay in London by trying to get used to drinking tea. I asked her why she was living where she was and she said it was part of her deal for doing Judging Amy and she asked for that location so that she could walk to the Fox studios for work. It seems she is an avid walker. I asked where she was going to stay in London during her run of Master Class and she said on the South Bank, near the National Theatre. I assured her she was right in the best area of town for beautiful walks. She then mumbled something about PG Tips tea and I suggested Earl Grey. She came back with her liking Lady Grey. See, you learn something every day. I had never heard of it.

I asked if she had ever remarried after her divorce from George, and she stated emphatically that she was a one man woman and he was the only one for her and so the answer was no. (Although see below about Earls and Lords.) Then we talked about her extended family, who she is still very busy with. Her grandchildren are Hannah who’s 18, 14 year old Finn and the newest one Poppy is eighteen months old so she can start the spoiling all over again. I am very envious. My boy Buck is 31 and still bobbing and weaving. To business! I asked how Tyne got the part of Maria Callas in Master Class. She said she was having coffee with friends one day when the phone rang and it was Terrence McNally, asking her if she would do the part. Tyne was overwhelmed to say the least and demurred, saying she wasn’t even close to right for the part, but McNally insisted. She ended up doing it for 27 performances at the Lincoln Center, then carried on with it to the Manhattan Theatre Club to sparkling reviews, and thus, in the fullness of time, here to our shores to play the West End. Tyne said they have two new cast

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members from England for the London run, so they have to rehearse again. I was shocked to hear they’re only having nine days rehearsal, but then Tyne does know the part well. I asked what it is about the show that would make a London audience come to it. (This is always my favorite question. It really lays it on the line.) Tyne reflected for a moment and then said, “It exists on two levels; part of it happens in the room at Juilliard where Maria Callas famously did a number of master classes, and worked with young students, so there’s a part where you work with young students, and our students are very accomplished. You don’t get in a master class with Maria Callas unless you are on the ball. And then those lessons... Her style as a teacher is questionable - her information is good, but her style is, well, crummy. She also seems to have more interest and input into the boys in her class. And then her lessons take her into her own

“The long distance runner is sort of what I always set out to be. And the fact is I’m continuing to be a long distance runner – and so is my pal Sharon.” PHOTO: JOAN MARCUS


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brain, into her memories so at the end of the first and second act there are these “arias” where she remembers the glory days.” [run this across I asked, the “You page]mentioned that Maria [image filename] favored the rev_the_ABT_Theme_and_ boys in her class. Does riations.__Photo_Gene_Schiavone.jpg this indicate that there is some sexual [caption]game ‘Theme playing and Variations’ going on ,with one these of ABT’s iables’ young singers?” [credit] Gene_Schiavone “Are you asking me if there is sexual energy in the theatre?” “I figure you’re gonna bring it anyway. I’m just asking if that is in the character… If that’s what’s written.” “Yes... the answer’s yes.” “Well good! Does she get her wicked way?” “I think you should just wait and see the play. It’s a lesson that’s happening in public, so there’s only so far that you can go in the theatre with the flirting. And I think Maria responded to male energy in a different way than she responded to female energy, for sure.” “My mother in law Sheila mentioned that you are known for your knitting. Is that true?” This got a big belly laugh from Tyne. “It’s a great set activity, because with knitting you can just put it down and then come back to it later.” “Do you have a life philosophy so to speak, Tyne?” “One of my favorite, favorite movies is The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. The long distance runner is sort of what I always set out to be. And the fact is I’m continuing to be a long distance runner - and so is my pal Sharon. So are you for that matter, Jim.” “I am?” I asked, surprised. “Yep, it’s a privilege really. We’re in a business that’s tough to get in and even tougher to stay in, and we’re still doing it. And Master Class is a gorgeous, gorgeous play. I wouldn’t have hung around with it this long if it wasn’t a good play. I also believe in this


Tyne Daly as Maria Callas. PHOTO: JOAN MARCUS

“I think Maria responded to male energy in a different way than she responded to female energy” play, which also doesn’t happen every time. I love what it has to say about sort of what we do, and why we do it and what it costs.” “Now, one last question Tyne. Do you have any particular charity you support that our readers of The American might be able to donate to?” “Well, I get paid for lying for a living which is wonderful, so I found over the years that I no longer have to lie in life, I guess I can tell the truth now because I get all my lying ‘ya-yas’ out on the stage. It’s nice to give something back. I just finished making a large check to the Africa Society which gives people two llamas, or a pair of camels, or six geese, so I just bought a zoo for a family...”

“A zoo?” “Yeah, you can buy a whole ark. I also support Doctors Without Borders, which gets medical help straight to the patients in poor countries while avoiding the politics.” I closed by wishing Tyne a great and successful and rewarding run with Master Class, and a great time walking about London in the New Year. She reminded me not to miss Sharon Gless’s show before it closes. By the way, Tyne said she is looking to meet a Lord or an Earl. She says she’s heard that all the Dukes are used up. So if anyone knows an available one with a bad cough and one foot in the grave, please let me know and I will forward the information. H

The American

Moving out? (Actually, the President – with Vermont Governor Jim Douglas – was moving the sofas in the Oval Office back after a photo-op!) PHOTO: WHITE HOUSE / PETE SOUZA

A New Resident for the White House? C

ould you be the Commander-inChief? It’s said that in America anyone can grow up to be president. That’s not exactly true, the U.S. Constitution sets qualifications for high federal offices, but in reality the requirements can be met by the vast majority of the nation’s citizens. Read on to find out if you qualify, and how the whole dang thing works... To serve as president an individual must be a natural born citizen at least 30 years old and have resided in the United States for at least 14 years, according to Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution. A 1951 constitutional amendment prohibited election of any individual to the presidency who had already been elected president twice before or who had served more than six years as president due to fulfilling the unexpired term of an elected president and then being elected once. U.S. senators must be at least 30 years of age, citizens for at least nine years and residents of the states from

which they are elected. Members of the House of Representatives must be at least 25, citizens for seven years and residents of the states from which they are elected. States may set additional requirements for election to Congress, and each house can determine the qualifications of its members. Each state is entitled to two senators. Thus, Rhode Island, the smallest state, with an area of about 3,156 square kilometers, has the same senatorial representation as Alaska, the biggest state, with an area of some 1,524,640 square kilometers. Wyoming, with an estimated 563,626 persons, has representation equal to that of California, with a population of 37,253,956. Senators are chosen in statewide elections held in even-numbered years. The senatorial term is six years, and every two years one-third of the Senate stands for election. Hence, two-thirds of the senators are always people with some legislative experience at the national level.

The total number of members of the House of Representatives is determined by Congress and divided among the states according to their populations. Currently, seven states – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming – have only one representative while six have more than 20 representatives. California alone has 52. State legislatures divide the states into congressional districts, which must be substantially equal in population. Every two years, the voters of each district choose a representative for Congress. House seats are redistributed every 10 years according to population shifts as shown in the national census. Originally the number of representatives was to be no more than one for each 30,000 citizens. There were 65 members in the first House, increased to 106 after the first census. Had the 1-to-30,000 formula been adhered to permanently, there would now be 7,000 representatives. Instead, the formula has been adjusted over the years, and today the ratio of representatives to people is about 1-to-709,760. Because members of the House serve two-year terms, the life of a Congress is considered to be two years, with each of those years representing a session. Congress convenes each January 3, unless it fixes a different date. The Congress remains in session until its members vote to adjourn ― usually late in the calendar year. During a given session, Congress may recess several times, for periods ranging from a few days to several weeks. In addition, the president may call a special session when necessary. And remember, your vote counts: less than three dozen of the more than 500 current members of Congress are certain they can return to their jobs in January 2013. H


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US ELECTION 2012 Sir Robert Worcester’s monthly look at the presidential candidates finds a couple of surprises


o now it’s Herman Cain who bites the dust. Or might he surface in July next year as the running mate, i.e. vice presidential candidate, on the Republican ticket? If so, with whom? And who else among the fallen hopefuls fits with which eventual contender for the top slot against Obama? I found no less than 52 hopefuls for my article in October, and now it appears there are only two, or possibly three. Sure? No, there must be a better choice for the Grand Old Party than former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, now in first place, and Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts. The table below shows just how volatile the race has so far been. One after Rank End Sept Early Nov Early Dec

another have fallen, first Sarah Palin in the Spring, then Romney who peaked at 25% support in July, then Rick Perry who soared to 32% in September and then crashed, then Cain who hit 26% in October, and who’s now toast. So what’s now the lay of the land across America as we get the first of the polls in December? The national front runner today is Newt Gingrich, a politician whom I’d written off a few months ago. Three times wed and an admitted adulterer with a record of being fined $300k for giving ‘inaccurate statements’ to the House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee, Gingrich is now leading Mitt Romney, a Mormon, in a country where nearly a quarter of voters say they will never vote for a Mormon, while

Change last month



RCP % Oct 5

Nov 6

Dec 12





Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker








Mitt Romney

Former Governor, Michigan








Herman Cain

Georgia Entrepreneur




Congressman, Texas








Ron Paul





Rick Perry

Governor, Texas





Michele Bachmann

Congresswoman, Minnesota




Senator, Pennsylvania




Former Governor, Utah











Rick Santorum





Jon Huntsman

N/R Not Rated in average of recent polls (18.11.11 - 10.12.11) which included polls from Gallup, ORC, Rasmussen and Fox (further details on their web sites)


Former Speaker Newt Gingrich unexpectedly finds himself leading the GOP race. Jon Huntsman is the best qualified vice-presidential candidate according to some, but can’t attract more than a couple of points nationally. PHOTOS: GAGE SKIDMORE

one potential Republican candidate after another talked herself (Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann) and then himself (Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry and now Herman Cain and many others) out of the running. But as the attention turns to ‘real people casting real votes’ (as politicians love saying when they’re behind in the polls) we must now focus on the early state races. With the Iowa caucus less than a month away, immediately followed a week later by the first true test, the New Hampshire primary, the dropouts are busy positioning themselves as the pollsters begin to test the strength of matched pairs of Republicans to go to the wire next November against the

The American

Republican presidential candidates during the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate August 11, 2011. Left to right: Rick Santorum; Herman Cain; Ron Paul, Mitt Romney; Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty; Jon Huntsman; Newt Gingrich. IOWAPOLITICS.COM/AP/CHARLIE NEIBERGALL POOL

Democratic ticket of Obama and, most likely, Biden. We won’t know for sure who the candidates for president will choose as their VP partner until the party conventions in the summer. Iowa is not a primary where voters go into polling booths and swing one lever on the electronic voting machine to choose their favourite candidate. Party supporters meet in front rooms in small groups. Supporters of one candidate or another gather in one corner of the room or another, and argue their support for their man or woman. And there will be some who choose to sit in the kitchen, figuratively speaking. They are the ‘don’t knows/none of the above/haven’t focused yets’. A few will still be holding out for one of the many candidates no longer on the ballot, and may well sit on their hands on January 3 and not vote, or more likely vote for the one they find least offensive. At the moment the field is narrowing to a handful of candidates to be tested in less than a month in Iowa. The lead is held by Newt Gingrich at around 33% to Romney’s 21%, but with Congressman Ron Paul tied with Herman Cain at 12%, it will be interesting to see where Cain’s votes go now that he’s out of the race. Cain’s dramatic surge in support came largely from Tea Party supporters of Palin, who had peaked at 31%. Bachmann peaked at 14%, Cain at 14%, lately the fading Tea Party’s favourite to beat the comparatively

moderate Romney. As a black to try to win over the solid black supporters who made up 11% of voters in 2008 with 19 out of 20 of them voting for Obama, Cain’s a strong contender, but would twice-admitted adulterer Gingrich want multi-accused Cain as his vice-presidential candidate? For that matter, would anyone want Sarah Palin? Sure they want her endorsement, which has recently been trying to boost Rick Santorum’s standing, languishing with just between 2% (New Hampshire) 3% (nationally), and 5% (Iowa). She leaped to fame as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, and since then is mainly known as a rent-a-mouth on late night chat shows. She certainly wouldn’t do any better bringing in the women’s vote in 2012 than she did in 2008. The swing among all voters between 2004, when the Republican candidates for president and VP were two men and 2010, was 5%. In 2008, one man and one woman’s (McCain and Palin’s), swing nationally was 5%, and among women also 5%. Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, with service in no less than five administrations and recently Obama’s Ambassador to China (a very big job indeed for a man who originally worked in Ronald Reagan’s White House) is in my view the best qualified vicepresidential candidate. Yet he can only muster a couple of points nationally, and is from a safe Republican state so

fails to bring any big block of marginal states delegates to the ticket, and besides, he is a Mormon. He’s death to a Romney ticket, so Gingrich’s nominee, maybe, could be a runner. New England New Hampshire is a very different place than Middle America Iowa, and so is its political composition. While Gingrich leads Romney (by 13 points) in Iowa, the situation is reversed in New Hampshire, where Romney is leading Gingrich by 23. Romney has a substantial war chest and a well organised campaign team with offices and volunteers throughout New Hampshire. Gingrich is less well funded but catching up fast, and just building his local campaign, in a state in which the local campaign catches the national attention big time and is flooded with cameras, news reporters, feature writers and pundits. They sometimes say to pollsters and media in New Hampshire that their reason for not voting for one candidate or another is that they haven’t met him yet. Likely Republican voters are making up their minds, with 82% giving a choice among the eight front runners in September, 85% in October, and 87% in November. Next month’s column will be written the day after Iowa, and before New Hampshire, and I’ll be updating it and tweeting on the weekend following @RobertWorcester. H


The American


Vauxhall Astra GTC V

auxhall’s latest offering is the Astra GTC. (Pause for reaction from American readers ...long pause ...OK) You can see from the photos that this sporty new compact looks pretty gorgeous for a 2-box 3-door. But VW’s Scirocco and (particularly) several recent small Alfa Romeos, the obvious alternatives to the Astra, look good too. And there’s a problem with the badge. What exactly is Vauxhall? Where does it fit in the key-fob snob rankings? And what is an Astra GTC? Many (most?) Americans, even those living over here in Britain, don’t know the name. And some Brits have trouble with the brand after a poor patch in the 70s and 80s when Ford outscored Vauxhall by most markers. But don’t be put off by the unfamiliar badge. Vauxhall is part of the General Motors empire, nowadays the UK’s version of Opel in mainland Europe. And looking at their recent models, the British arm of the mighty General is capable of giving old rival Henry a bloody nose. Actually, calling Ford by its founder’s first name in this context is not appropriate, as one of Vauxhall’s early cars

The Vauxhall Prince Henry, Britain’s first sports car

was the Prince Henry. And boy what a car that was. The firm is the oldest surviving British car manufacturer, dating back to 1905 (for purists, AC Cars goes back a couple more years but is not a mainstream manufacturer and has a stop-start history) and the Prince Henry was Britain’s first sports car. Having had a drive in a perfectly preserved model I can vouch for how extraordinary it was. The pre-war car (that’s pre-First World War!) car, was made from 1911 to 1914 yet looks and goes like it was designed decades later (see below). And it was extraordinarily well made. But I digress... The GTC is, baldly, the three-door variant of the latest Astra. But that hardly does it justice. For a start, every visible part is different to the five-door (for accuracy’s sake, I should say that the door handles are carried over, as is the radio aerial). And it’s different below the skin too, with clever new suspension and a wider track. Better to say it’s a stylish coupé, especially attractive in the bold Alfa-esque red pictured and even better looking in the metal than in photos. Cars at the UK launch came in a range of colours that all look pretty

Reviewed by Michael Burland good – white is cool, blue-green ‘Seashell’ smart (though not to everyone’s taste – I liked it but others thought it dull) and yellow’s sporty but doesn’t show off the car’s lines as well as red. And the lines of the new body panels are a triumph, with the new sculpted body’s roof chop, very short rear overhang, shallow rear window, and aggressive snout. In cars being bought for style and presence as opposed to pure MPV practicality, it’s often the details that count and just take a look at the body line that swooshes form the rear of the body around the door handle – unique and masterful. The front view is strong, but the rear is even more muscular and taught. Although it’s lower there’s a lot of room inside for a three-door coupé, front and rear. Even coupé drivers like a little practicality and they won’t be disappointed in the GTC. It’s huge inside, by class standards, with masses of room for four adults, five at a pinch. They can even bring their luggage, as the boot is some 50% bigger than some class rivals. The interior is up to class standard – attractive, as black and silver as expected but architectural and solid. My only gripe – and it goes through the current range including the Insignia – is a centre console with a panoply of buttons. They’re all clearly labelled, and I’d rather have individual buttons to lunge at than a clever menu-driven system that’s impossible to navigate when concentrating on actually driving the thing – but they’re a little difficult to find at first. I’m sure it would get better with longer acquaintance.

The American

HiPerStrut suspension keeps the front end solidly on track

On the road, the new HiPerStrut front suspension (derived from the 325 horsepower, larger Insignia VXR) and Watt’s link/compound crank rear units keep things planted and controlled. It’s been designed for British roads, meaning the widest variety from broken, potholed wrecks of local roads to super-smooth A-roads to concrete ridged motorways, so it should work pretty much anywhere. Sure did on the launch route which had a little of everything thrown in. 18 inch alloy wheels are standard in the UK (17 inch is an option sur la Continent) and the platform can accommodate up to 20 inch monsters which look stupendous but (I haven’t driven a car with them yet) may adversely affect the firm-but-fair standard set-up. Try before you buy. There’s a reasonable amount of feedback through the chunky steering wheel, but your hands feel less directly connected to the road than Renault’s Megane Coupé. But then the GTC feels like long-term ownership material – well-built and finished – compared to certain flimsy French alternatives. All the engines sound good on the move – smooth and quiet to start with then a slightly metallic growl when ‘pressing on’. I won’t claim it’s as visceral as an original Golf GTi or Peugeot 205 GTI, but the extra weight of safety equipment and gizmos plus legislative necessities make that impossible. It certainly feels satisfying making good

time across country roads. Despite taking part in a journalistonly hillclimb competition at the world’s oldest operating motorsports venue (of which more in a future issue) the GTC didn’t let me down – it never let go despite all I could throw at it in my usual gung-ho manner and we (I had started to feel a kinship with the GTC after a day’s road driving) survived the experience and didn’t come last – my goal for the event! The numbers stack up well: engines in the GTC range from 120PS (Eurohorses, a little more optimistic than American ones) to 180PS, three petrol and three diesel, so something for everyone there. The 1.4 litre petrol gives a claimed 47.1 miles per (bigger Imperial) gallon and 139g/km CO2 emissions, which work well against its rivals - the Megane Coupé offers 44.8mpg and 145g/km with similar engine and performance. The 2 litre CDTi – probably my choice if I was shelling out my own money – gives 58.9mpg. This is helped by all GTCs but the most powerful having stop/start technology. The GTC won’t be the hottest hot Astra, there’s a VRX coming soon, but it’s easily fast enough for most drivers most of the time, and a rewarding experience while they’re at it. H

A handsome rear and an attractive interior, but the piece de resistance of the design is that swoosh around the door handle


The American


Sports Year in Review

Select sporting moments from the past year JANUARY ➤ NHL Winter Classic: Capitals 3, Penguins 1. ➤ Soccer: Kristine Lilly retires after over 350 appearances for the U.S. women’s national team. ➤ NFL: The San Francisco 49ers appoint former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh as head coach. ➤ NCAA Football: Auburn beats Oregon 22-19 on a last-moment field goal to win the BCS National Championship Game. It is the fifth straight time an SEC school has won the championship. ➤ Snowboard Cross: Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) triumphs at both the World Championships and Winter X Games XV. It is her third gold at the World Championships, her fourth straight at the X Games. ➤ NFL: Head coach Jeff Fisher departs the Tennessee Titans. When he first joined, they were still the Houston Oilers. ➤ Tennis: Kim Clijsters (BEL) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) become Australian Open singles champions. It is Clijsters’ first victory there, and Djokovic’s second. FEBRUARY ➤ NFL: In Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. It is their fourth Super Bowl victory. At press time, the Packers were yet to lose a game during 2011. ➤ NBA: Futility alert! The Cleveland Cavaliers lose their 25th straight game to set a new NBA record. Previous holders? The 82-83 Cleveland Cavaliers. ➤ Kim Clijsters (BEL) becomes the World no.1, the first player ever to do so after becoming a mother. ➤ Alpine Skiing: At the World Championships, Ted Ligety (USA) becomes Men’s Giant Slalom champ. ➤ R.I.P.: Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider, Dodgers great and National Baseball Hall of Famer. Age 84. MARCH ➤ Tennis: During Davis Cup action, Ivo Karlovic sets a new fastest tennis serve record – 251 kmh (156 mph), breaking Andy Roddick’s record. ➤ NFL: The league locks out NFL players in a labor dispute that continues until the end of July. ➤ Rugby Union: England wins the 6 Nations tournament for the first time since 2003.


Aaron Rodgers of Super Bowl-Champion Packers JIM BIEVER/GREEN BAY PACKERS

➤ R.I.P.: Frank Chirkinian, CBS Sports producer / director, and World Golf Hall of Famer. Age 84.

APRIL ➤ NCAA: In Women’s Basketball, Texas A&M defeat Notre Dame 76-70 for their first national title. In Men’s Basketball, UConn down perennial upstarts Butler 53-41 for their third national championship. ➤ Golf: Charl Schwartzel (RSA) wins the Masters in Augusta, becoming the third South African to win the event (Trevor Immelman, Gary Player). ➤ MLB: Barry Bonds, all-time career home run leader, is convicted of obstruction of justice relating to investigations into the BALCO steroids case. ➤ Sprint Cup: At the Aaron’s 499 in Talladega, Jimmie Johnson (Chevy; Hendrick Motorsports) wins the race by 0.002 seconds. ➤ Ice Hockey: The USA defeats Canada 3-2 in overtime to win the Women’s World Championship. ➤ NFL: The Carolina Panthers select Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) as the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.

➤ BBL: The Mersey Tigers defeat the Newcastle Eagles in the final fixture of the season to win the British Basketball League Championship. ➤ R.I.P.: Fullback Fletcher Joseph “Joe” Perry, NFL Hall of Famer and ex-rushing leader. Age 86.

MAY ➤ U.S. Thoroughbred Triple Crown: Animal Kingdom wins the Kentucky Derby, but is beaten into second by Shackleford in the Preakness Stakes. ➤ Soccer: Manchester United wins the English Premier League, their 12th EPL crown. Manchester City win the FA Cup Final 1-0 over Stoke City. ➤ IndyCar Series: After J.R. Hildebrand crashes out on the final corner, Dan Wheldon (GBR, Bryan Herta Autosport) wins the 95th Indianapolis 500 Mile. ➤ NHL: The Atlanta Thrashers are sold and will move to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season. It is the second time Atlanta has lost an NHL franchise. ➤ NCAA Football: 5 Ohio State players are suspended and head coach Jim Tressel resigns in the wake of a player benefits scandal. ➤ NCAA Lacrosse: Virginia becomes Men’s Champion, while Northwestern claim the Women’s Championship (their sixth in seven years). ➤ R.I.P.: former British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight boxing champ Sir Henry Cooper OBE KSG; Former World No.1 golfer Seve Ballesteros; NHL and Canada hockey player Derek Boogaard; MLB home-run legend and National Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew. JUNE ➤ Tennis: At the French Open, Rafael Nadal (ESP) wins the Men’s Singles title for a 6th time, while Li Na (CHN) is the unexpected Women’s Singles champ. Djokovic’s 43-match winning streak ends. Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) wins the Boy’s Singles Final. ➤ U.S. Thoroughbred Triple Crown: Ruler on Ice wins the Belmont Stakes. ➤ NBA: The Dallas Mavericks win the NBA Finals series 4-2 over the Miami Heat. It is the Mavs’ first championship. Dirk Nowitzki is named series MVP. ➤ The new Titletown? The Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup series 4-3 over Vancouver. Since the start of the 21st century, the city of Boston has won all four major leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA & NHL). ➤ Golf: After a late fade at the Masters, Rory McIlroy (NIR) fulfils his potential by storming the U.S. Open with a 16-under 268, winning his first major. ➤ College World Series: South Carolina wins the series 2-0 over Florida, defending their title.

The American

JULY ➤ Tennis: Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Petra Kvitova (CZE) win their first Wimbledon singles titles. Djokovic subsequently tops the world rankings. Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) win their 11th Grand Slam Men’s Doubles title, tying the all-time record. ➤ MLB: Derek Jeter reaches 3,000 career hits. ➤ Gridiron Football: The USA dominates Canada 50-7 in the IFAF World Championship in Austria. ➤ Golf: Darren Clarke wins the (British) Open Championship to become the latest Northern Irishman to win a major (see June). ➤ R.I.P.: NFL Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey (age 69); and MLB Hall of Fame player and manager Dick Williams (age 82). AUGUST ➤ Golf: At the PGA Championship, outsider Keegan Bradley wins in his first appearance in a major, after a three-way playoff with fellow American Jason Dufner and Anders Hansen of Denmark. ➤ MLB: Jim Thome reaches 600 career home runs. ➤ R.I.P.: Two Canadian hockey players died during August – Rick Rypien (age 27) and Wade Belak (age 35) – with depression linked to both. SEPTEMBER ➤ Tennis: In Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic defeats Rafael Nadal to claim his third Grand Slam of the year, while Sam Stosur (Aus) defeats Serena Williams, who had missed all of the 2011 season until August with injury. Some new USA doubles teams excelled with Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock winning their first Grand Slam title, and Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond winning their first as a team. ➤ NFL: Week One of the season witnesses several noteworthy records. (1) The Patriots and Dolphins combine for 933 yards passing. (2) Panthers QB Cam Newton throws for 422 yards in his first NFL game. (3) Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski equals an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal. ➤ NCAA Football: It is announced that Pittsburgh and Syracuse will quit the Big East Conference for the ACC, while Texas A&M will join the SEC for 2012. ➤ MLB: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera makes his 602th save, breaking Trevor Hoffman’s record. ➤ A plane crash claims the lives of the entire senior roster and coaching staff of Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, plus several junior players, and all but one of the flight crew. ➤ R.I.P.: ex-NFL defensive lineman and Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon. (Age 56).

OCTOBER ➤ WNBA: The Minnesota Lynx enjoy a 3-0 series sweep of the Atlanta Dream to win their first title. ➤ Formula 1: A 3rd place finish in Japan makes Sebastian Vettel (GER, Red Bull-Renault) the youngest driver to win consecutive championships. ➤ Host nation New Zealand win the Rugby (Union) World Cup with a stodgy 8-7 win over France. ➤ MLB: The St Louis Cardinals win the World Series in Game 7 over Texas, the Rangers’ second World Series loss in as many years. Cardinals 3B David Freese is named series MVP. ➤ NCAA Football: Houston Cougars passer Case Keenum breaks records for total career yards, total touchdowns, and throws 9 TDs in a single game. ➤ IndyCar: Dario Franchitti claims his fourth IndyCar title when the final race of the season is abandoned following a fatal crash that claims the life of fellow Brit and 2005 champion Dan Wheldon. ➤ R.I.P.: Italian MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli dies after a crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix. ➤ R.I.P.: Oakland Raiders principal owner and former coach Al Davis. NOVEMBER ➤ NASCAR: 40-year old owner-driver Tony Stewart (Chevy) wins the Sprint Cup Series in the final race. Ricky Stenhouse (Ford) wins the Nationwide Series. ➤ NCAA: The Big 12 announces that West Virginia will join from the Big East. Missouri will switch from the Big 12 to the SEC. ➤ NCAA Football: Boise State QB Kellen Moore’s 46th win makes him the winningest college QB ever. ➤ NCAA Football: Former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky is indicted in connection with sex abuse investigations. One week after legendary coach Joe Paterno becomes the winningest college football coach of all time, Paterno is enveloped in the scandal and is fired after 46 years at the helm. ➤ NCAA Football: In a showdown of 1 v 2, LSU beats Alabama 9-6 in OT. However, with new no.2 Oklahoma State upset by Iowa State two weeks later, Alabama moves back to no.2, setting up a potential rematch in the BCS Championship Game. ➤ NCAA Football: The post-season coaching carousel sees ex-Florida coach Urban Meyer take over at Ohio State. ➤ Gridiron Football: The BC Lions beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 34-23 to win the Grey Cup. ➤ MLS: David Beckham finishes his 5-year contract with the LA Galaxy by helping them beat the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the MLS Cup.

David Beckham of MLS Champions the LA Galaxy PHOTO: REGULAR DADDY

➤ NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby takes to the ice for the first time since concussion injuries suffered in January. In his first game back, he scores two goals and makes two assists. ➤ R.I.P.: Joe Frazier, former Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion (age 67); Gary Speed MBE, Welsh soccer manager (age 41).

DECEMBER ➤ Golf: Tiger Woods wins his first golf tournament for two years, the Chevron World Challenge. ➤ MMA: Cain Velasquez defeats Brock Lesnar to become UFC Heavyweight Champion. ➤ NHL: The league announces a major realignment of divisions (see page 54 for more). ➤ MLB: Milwaukee slugger and National League MVP Ryan Braun reportedly tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs. ➤ NFL: The Jacksonville Jaguars sack Jack Del Rio on the same day as they are sold to Chicago businessman Shahid Khan. ➤ NCAA: The Big East announces the addition of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Central Florida and SMU for 2013 (Boise State and San Diego State will be football-only members). ➤ NCAA Football: Robert Griffin III, Baylor QB, wins the Heisman Trophy over Stanford’s Andrew Luck. It is the first time a Baylor player has won the award. ➤ Merry Christmas! – The NBA lock-out ends, and the season tips off with three Christmas Day games.


The American

THE REST OF THE BOWLS Gildan New Mexico Bowl • Dec. 17, 2 pm Temple v Wyoming Famous Idaho Potato Bowl • Dec. 17, 5:30 pm Ohio v Utah State New Orleans Bowl • Dec. 17, 9 pm San Diego State v Louisiana-Lafayette St. Petersburg Bowl • Dec. 20, 8 pm Florida International v Marshall SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl • Dec. 21, 8 pm TCU v Louisiana Tech AdvoCare Independence Bowl • Dec. 26, 5 pm Missouri v North Carolina Little Caesars Bowl • Dec. 27, 4:30 pm Western Michigan v Purdue

Bowl Season PREVIEW By Richard L Gale


CS-haters have a new (legitimate) gripe this offseason, with both college football’s winningest quarterback (Kellen Moore) and the new Heisman Trophy winner (Robert Griffin III), missing out on the big January bowls. That, however, is college economics for you. Come the holidays – and for a week beyond – football fans with ESPN access won’t be missing much, with most of the 35 game bowl season on TV, culminating with that rematch: Louisiana State and Alabama.

10 Non-BCS Games to Catch MAACO Las Vegas Bowl • Dec. 22, 8 pm

Insight Bowl • Dec. 30, 10 pm

The BCS bowls dodged matching Boise State with a marquee team from an AQ conference – again – but the Broncos land a date with Pac-12’s Sun Devils (6-6). Pity ASU the wrath headed their way.

The Sooners had trouble dealing with tidy QBs. Iowa’s James Vandenberg (23 TDs, 6 picks) and RB Marcus Coker (15 TDs on the ground) could yet send the preseason No.1 out of the final top 25.

Armed Forces Bowl • Dec. 30, Noon Tulsa v BYU

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl • Dec. 24, 8 pm

TicketCity Bowl • Jan. 2, Noon

New Era Pinstripe Bowl • Dec. 30, 3:20 pm Rutgers v Iowa State

Southern Miss – C-USA champs and vanquishers of the previously unbeated Houston Cougars – must shut down Wolf Pack receiver Rishard Matthews (91 receptions) to log win number 12.

Two teams that badly need a lift. Houston’s perfect season was punctured last time they took the field, while Penn State... well, let’s just say 2012 just can’t come soon enough.

Belk Bowl • Dec. 27, 8 pm Louisville v North Carolina State Holiday Bowl • Dec. 28, 8 pm California v Texas

Music City Bowl • Dec. 30, 6:40 pm Mississippi State v Wake Forest Meineke Car Care Texas Bowl • Dec. 31, Noon Texas A&M v Northwestern Hyundai Sun Bowl • Dec. 31, 2 pm Georgia Tech v Utah AutoZone Liberty Bowl • Dec. 31, 3:30 pm Cincinnati v Vanderbilt Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl • Dec. 31, 3:30 pm Illinois v UCLA Chick-fil-A Bowl • Dec. 31, 7:30 pm Virginia v Auburn Gator Bowl • Jan. 2, 1 pm Ohio State v Florida BBVA Compass Bowl • Jan. 7, 1 pm Pittsburgh v SMU Bowl, Jan. 8, 9 pm Arkansas State v Northern Illinois


Arizona State v Boise State

Nevada v Southern Mississippi

Iowa v Oklahoma

Houston v Penn State

Military Bowl • Dec. 28, 4:30 pm

Outback Bowl • Jan. 2, 1 p.m.

Toledo’s high-octane offense is matched against the ground attack of Asher Clark and Co. Air Force will have to fly the bowl flag for the Armed Forces this year. Player to watch: Toledo WR Eric Page.

QB Kirk Cousins (3000 yards) leads the Spartans against Aaron Murray (33 TDs) and a Georgia team that was on a 10-game streak before they ran into LSU. The must-see non-BCS bowl.

Toledo v Air Force

Michigan State v Georgia

Champs Sports Bowl • Dec. 29, 5.30pm

Capital One Bowl • Jan. 2, 1 pm

The ’Noles and Irish may have had BCS dreams at season start, but the breakthroughs didn’t come. The NFL scouts will be in attendance for the likes of ND WR Michael Floyd and MLB Manti Te’o.

Those of you already prepping for the NFL Draft will want to catch Gamecocks WR Alshon Jeffery, a possible 1st rounder, especially if matched against ’Huskers cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.

Valero Alamo Bowl • Dec. 29, 9 pm

AT&T Cotton Bowl • Jan. 6, 8 p.m.

Baylor are 7-0 at home this season, and the Alamo Bowl sure isn’t in Washington. Considering the Huskies’ struggles on defense this season, this looks to be another highlight reel for RGIII.

Overacheivers? K-State finished 2nd in the Big 12, while the Razorbacks rose as high as No.3 in the polls. Now Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson (3400 yards) meets the unexpectedly fierce Wildcats defense.

Florida State v Notre Dame

Washington v Baylor

Nebraska v South Carolina

Kansas State v Arkansas

The American

The Big Ones ROSE BOWL presented by Vizio • Jan. 2, 5 pm

Wisconsin v Oregon

The Ducks probably consider California home turf, but a Wisconsin team that lost last year’s Rose Bowl by a single point have added Russell Wilson since then. QBs Wilson and Darron Thomas, RBs Montee Ball and LaMichael James. There should be no shortage of scoring in this one, at least. TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL • Jan. 2, 8.30 pm

Stanford v Oklahoma State

QBs Andrew Luck and Brandon Weedon should be plying their trade in the NFL after this one, but any pro scout not seeking a passer should be here for electrifying target Justin Blackmon, or Stanford’s big-bodied TE Coby Fleener. Hype aside, this could be the best of the BCS games. ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL • Jan. 3, 8.30 pm

Michigan v Virginia Tech

Their massive fan bases effectively bought BCS berths for these teams, but the game could justify the selections, with Wolverines QB Denard Robinson reclaiming the dual-threat limelight from RGIII, and both teams boasting top ten defenses (17.2 points per game). DISCOVER ORANGE BOWL • Jan. 4, 8.30 pm

West Virginia v Clemson

The Orange Bowl is still saddled with an ACC-Big East matchup, but West Virginia’s offense should sell tickets, and if Clemson’s Tajh Boyd hasn’t made his point yet (31 TDs, 3500 yards passing, 5 TDs on the ground), then this could be a useful launchpad for next year’s Heisman campaign.

Allstate BCS National Championship Game LSU v Alabama

The defense and special teams X-factor for LSU, Tyrann Mathieu PHOTO © STEVE FRANZ/LSU

Jan. 9 • 8.30 pm

Let’s look on the bright side – the chances of these two producing another touchdown-free performance are slim. True, what we have here are the nation’s two best teams at not letting opponents bother the endzone, but they are also both in the top 20 when it comes to putting points up there themselves, thanks to their relentless all-ahead running games. Alabama brings Heisman Trophy finalist Trent Richardson (20 TDs rushing and 3 more receiving), while the LSU backfield combined for 37 touchdowns on the ground. The Tigers defense contributed a few TDs themselves, and defensive backs Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu can alter a game in a moment. The Crimson Tide’s own ‘D’ made three pick-6s during the season. If this game is to be unpredictably high-scoring, however, it may well showcase names other than these headliners. If Alabama are to deliver LSU their first loss of the season, it will involve AJ McCarron

finding senior receiver Marquis Maze repeatedly. If fellow receiver Darius Hanks’ ankle keeps him out of the Championship Game, Maze will be targeted often. Too often? For LSU, Jordan Jefferson’s return to starting duty over Jarrett Lee is a fine story of redemption (not to mention a cool slice of personnel bravery from Head Coach Les Miles in the midst of an unbeaten run), but the Tigers QBs didn’t fare well against ‘Bama in their last meeting, and Jefferson looked shaky when facing Georgia. This could be a game of stodgy running meeting inpenetrable defenses and kick-forkick frustration. But with Claiborne, Mathieu, Alabama LBs Courtney Upshaw and Donta Hightower, ’Bama DBs Dre Kirkpatrick and Mark Barron, dare you look away when the ball’s between the 40s? Anything could happen, and the fact that it didn’t last time practically guarantees that it will in January. H  (All kickoff times ET)


The American

One Step Forward,

Two Steps Back for NHL Realignment O

n Monday December 5th, the NHL Board of Governors responded to the difficulties that have arisen from the league’s recent re-addition of the Winnipeg Jets, approving a radical realignment plan that will

By Jeremy Lanaway

replace the current two-conference, six-division system with a fourconference model based primarily on geography. If the new system is approved by the NHL Players Association, as anticipated, league Commissioner Gary Bettman will implement the new scheme for the start of the 2012-13 season. The four conferences, which have yet to be named, will be organised as below:

EAST Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers Montreal Canadiens Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs


Carolina Hurricanes New Jersey Devils New York Islanders New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals

If your math skills are up to snuff, you’ve probably noticed that something doesn’t quite add up in these groupings — namely, that the two western conferences have eight teams each, while the eastern ones have only seven. To make the playoffs under the new model, teams will have to finish in the top four positions within their conference, which means that the western teams will have to beat out four other clubs to make the post-season, while the eastern teams will have to beat out only three. In statistical terms, the western teams will have a 50 per cent likelihood of making the playoffs, compared to the eastern teams’ 57 per cent. For hockey fans in the west, the fact that the NHL has chosen to give the eastern teams an advantage comes as no surprise. Of course, the league is downplaying the imbalance, maintaining that the rink will be levelled by the fact that the eastern teams will WEST Chicago Blackhawks Columbus Blue Jackets Dallas Stars Detroit Red Wings Minnesota Wild Nashville Predators St. Louis Blues Winnipeg Jets

Anaheim Ducks Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings Phoenix Coyotes San Jose Sharks Vancouver Canucks

have to adapt to a significant boost in their frequent flyer mileage. The problem with this logic is that most of the western teams — aside from the Blues, the Predators, the Red Wings and the Stars — aren’t going to see a reduction in their air miles. In fact, for the most part, the western teams will log more miles than ever; the difference is that the eastern teams will need to cross more time zones, more often, as well. So the travelling will come closer to evening out, but what about the uneven number of teams in the conferences? An optimist might take the position that the league is employing forward-thinking, preparing its scheme for expansion. If Hamilton and Quebec City get teams in the near future, they’ll be slotted into the eastern conferences, bumping them to eight teams apiece. Thirty-two teams, four conferences with eight teams each — everyone’s happy. Or maybe the NHL is simply preparing for the Coyotes to relocate to southern Ontario, reducing one western conference to seven teams and boosting one eastern conference to eight. But there’s a third option — that the league doesn’t expand. How long will NHL owners, management, players, and fans be willing to accept the eastern slant effected by the new system? It’s hard to imagine how the league will benefit from flogging inequality as equality. It didn’t work in the 1980s, when it was common for teams with fewer points to win a ticket to the post-season for simply being part of a weaker conference. Like any professional sport, hockey needs to reward the best of the best, not the best of the worst. The other main point of contention surrounding the new model is that teams will battle within their

conference throughout rounds one and two of the playoffs. The first round will pit the first-place team against the fourth-place team, and the second-place team against the third-place team, and then the winners will square off in the second round. This means that after watching 36 (west) or 38 (east) inter-conference games throughout the regular season, fans will have no choice but to watch two best-of-seven rounds of playoff hockey with teams they’ve watched all season long. Sure, the format might foster rivalries, but it might also foster boredom. What about the benefits? For starters, as previously mentioned, the NHL’s realignment will help to even out the travel between teams in the east and teams in the west. It will also work to ignite new rivalries between same-conference teams. The main plus, however, is that the new format will promote more east-west matchups. In fact, teams will play every other team in the league twice per season, one game at home and one on the road. Under the current system, an eastern team might not play a certain western team even once during a season, let alone twice. The new system will ensure that Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, the Sedin twins, and the NHL’s other marquee players will make at least one appearance in every arena in the league per season. It’s a huge selling point — one that should’ve been pitched years ago — but will it be enough to offset the side effects of the NHL’s realignment plan? Bettman and 26 of the league’s 30 general managers are banking on it. As hockey fans, all we can do is cross our fingers and toes, and hope that their gamble pays off — and makes the best sport on the planet even better. H


The American

ANGLO-AMERICAN SPORTS  UPDATE BUAFL: The Sheffield Sabres, Portsmouth Destroyers and Southampton Stags, Birmingham Lions, Hertfordshire Hurricanes, UWE Bullets, Cardiff Cobras, and Loughborough Aces are amongst the remaining unbeaten after 5 weeks of the British Universities American Football League. The Lions and Destroyers met in last year’s title game. Find out more at

British Basketball League The big British basketball date this month is January 15th, at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, as the league-leading Newcastle Eagles face the Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Cup Final, with a dunk contest and a top UK Women’s Basketball game (Sheffield v Nottingham) also on the ticket. Find out more: British Ice Hockey: The Guildford Flames climbed to the top of the English Premier League during December, while in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the Belfast Giants continued their dominance, with Nottingham and Sheffield leading the chasing pack. (...and congrats to Sheffield as the British city with most North American sports references this month!)


Claridon American (Harley ad) 270x380



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Are you missing an old friend?

wish they were here? Funny how you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Here you are relocated in the jolly old UK and where’s your bike? Sitting under a tarp back home missing you. The Claridon Group of companies are respected throughout the world for their logistics services, military and civilian. Claridon’s personal travel service is just as renowned offering a true first class experience for the discerning businessman or biker. Whatever you need to ship to the UK, from just one suitcase to the whole contents of your home you can trust Claridon to deliver a five star service.



Travel & Events


Military Logistics

Claridon Group Ltd. Claridon House London Road Stanford-le-Hope Essex SS17 0JU Tel: +44 (0)1375 656 100 Fax: +44 (0)1375 656 101 Email:

The American

Suppliers of quality products and services hand-picked for you ACCOUNTANCY & TAX


BDO LLP The UK member firm of the world’s fifth largest accountancy organisation. 55 Baker Street, London W1U 7EU 020 7486 5888

Panzer’s Family-run deli in St. John’s Wood, established over 50 years. 13-19 Circus Road, St John’s Wood, London NW8 6PB 020 7722 8596

Jaffe & Co., incorp. American Tax International Comprehensive tax preparation and compliance service for U.S. ex-patriates in the UK and Europe. America House, 54 Hendon Lane, London N3 1TT 0800 085 1537 or 020 8346 5237

Lidgate Butchers Organic meats from a 150 year old business now run by the the fifth generation of the same family. 110 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4UA

ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES Stephen T Taylor Your American stamp dealer in Britain since 1995. 5 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS 020 8390 9357

CLEANING SERVICES Shine Cleaning Inc. Ltd Successful for over 20 years in the US - now over here in Britain. All kinds of cleaning: Residential, Commercial, Medical, One-off or Contract. 0800 206 2212 OR 078 2753 7215

EDUCATION Florida State University in UK Over 50 years of experience in international education. 99 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LA 020 7813 3223

LEGAL Kingsley Napley LLP Family lawyers with particular experience in dealing with cases involving Americans living here and abroad 020 7814 1200

Coffee Break Answers 1 Hogmanay 2 Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet 3 Glenn Miller, February 1942, for ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ 4 Harry Belafonte in 1957 for ‘Calypso’ 5 Perry Como’s ‘Catch a Falling Star’ 6 Lawn Tennis 7 Argentina – Buenos Aires 8 Bench where moneylender sat 9 Dennis ‘the Menace’ Rodman 10 Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-O 11 Bristlecone pines, some of which may be over 5,000 years old 12 Susan Boyle 13 White, on a blue background 14 New Guinea 15 Athos, Porthos, and Aramis 16 Chicago, IL

MEDICAL & DENTAL The American Women’s Health Centre (AWHC) Based in the West End of London, at the heart of medical excellence in Britain. Third Floor, 214 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QN 020 7390 8433

RESTAURANTS La Capanna The Finest Italian Food served in the loveliest of Surrey’s Settings 48 High Street, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3EF 01932 862 121


















































































To find out whether you’re eligible to advertise your products and services here, and for rates, call Sabrina Sully on +44 (0)1747 830520. You’ll reach Americans living in and visiting the UK as well as Britons who like American culture and products.











The American January 2012  

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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