THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
ARTS CHOICE EATING OUT • SPORT WHAT’S ON • POLITICS MUSIC • REVIEWS
DANNY DEVITO Starring in The Sunshine Boys and in conversation with The American
Cuba Gooding Jr. talks to us about the Tuskegee airmen Win tickets to see Kenny Wayne Shepherd on July 4
The American ®
Issue 710 – June 2012 PUBLISHED BY SP MEDIA FOR
Blue Edge Publishing Ltd.
Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Telephone all departments: +44 (0)1747 830520 Publisher: Michael Burland firstname.lastname@example.org Please contact us with your news or article ideas Design and Production: Richard L Gale Advertising & Promotions: Sabrina Sully, Commercial Director email@example.com Subscriptions: firstname.lastname@example.org Correspondents: Virginia E. Schultz, Food & Drink email@example.com Mary Bailey, Social firstname.lastname@example.org Estelle Lovatt, Arts email@example.com Alison Holmes, Politics firstname.lastname@example.org Jarlath O’Connell, Theater email@example.com Richard L. Gale, Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Josh Modaberi, Sports email@example.com Jeremy Lanaway, Hockey firstname.lastname@example.org
©2012 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., 19 East Portway Industrial Estate, Andover, SP10 3LU www.advent-colour.co.uk ISSN 2045-5968 Danny DeVito in The Sunshine Boys (photo: Johan Persson). Circular Inset: Cuba Gooding Jr. in Red Tails. Square Inset: Kenny Wayne Shepherd (photo: Rafael Rezende)
une 2012 is a huge month for history, heritage and culture in Britain. It’s Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, as if you hadn’t noticed. That’s 60 years on the throne, an extraordinary record, by an extraordinary person. To help you enjoy it we’ve listed the where to go’s and the who to see’s, including how to spot a royal – get those cameras out! This month you can also see Rick Wakeman at a rebirth of a classic seventies festival – Rick tells us all about it. Danny DeVito’s in town too, acting on stage for the first time in forty years. Why the wait? And why the West End rather than Broadway? Danny explains all. Sports fans can enjoy our NFL draft review and our guide to the British tennis season.
If that’s not enough, we have some goodies for you: you can win tickets to see Kenny Wayne Shepherd on July 4th, grab a model Chevrolet Volt, receive an invite to an exclusive American event at the Royal Institution, and there’s a special offer for our readers on a lovely new Barbra Streisand biography. Enjoy your magazine and have an unforgettable June.
Michael Burland, Editor email@example.com
SOME OF THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS
Estelle Lovatt is an author, arts correspondent, radio producer, presenter and tutor on arts courses. A British citizen, she is married to American journalist Charlie Woolf.
Jarlath O’Connell is an Olivier Award judge and The American’s theater reviewer. His pithy and witty reviews each month tell you what’s hot – and, just as importantly, what’s not.
Jeremy Lanaway is a Vancouver-based teacher, author of fiction and nonfiction baook and freelance writer, and we’re happy to say he’s The American’s hockey expert.
Don’t forget to check out The American online at www.theamerican.co.uk The entire contents of The American and www.theamerican.co.uk are protected by copyright and no part of it may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information in The American is accurate, the editor and publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or any loss arising from reliance on it. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.
The American The American • Issue 710 • June 2012
In This Issue... Regular Sections 4 News 8 Diary Dates 18 Arts Choice 22 Wining & Dining 27 Coﬀee Break 28 Music
33 46 48 50 57 65
Book and Theater Reviews Politics DriveTime Sports American Organizations The A-List
Diamond Jubilee Special 12 Where to Spot a Royal The Royal Family are busy this month – here’s where to see them in action
13 The Diamond Jubilee Weekend Diamond Jubilees don’t come around often. Check out our guide
16 Meeting The Queen American author Sally Bedell Smith on meeting Her Majesty
24 The Queen: Art & Image An art exhibition pictures Elizabeth throughout her reign
PHOTO: JOHAN PERSSON
40 Danny DeVito
“I’m the new kid on the West End block. The great thing is I think I’m in good hands” – Danny DeVito 28 Rick Wakeman Interview Wit, raconteur, TV personality - oh, and rock’s greatest keyboardist
32 Win Tickets to see Kenny Wayne Shepherd See the hotshot young guitarslinger
34 Rebecca Coleman The best-selling author speaks about her writing regime and leaving New York
The Royal Institution and American Science
Get an invitation to a special event at the RI with a genuine U.S. astronaut speaking
It’s getting sunnier in London as DeVito stars in The Sunshine Boys
40 Cuba Gooding Jr CBJ on the Tuskegee airmen, the subject of his new movie Red Tails
45 American Revealed An impressive new TV series from PBS
46 U.S. Election The latest on the presidential race
50 Football in Finsbury Richard Gale drops in on the London Blitz
51 The Road to SW19 Your guide to British tennis during June
52 Torres 25, Keith 5? Jeremy Lanaway on NHL suspensions
53 Win Pinch Hitter Caps Win two New Era caps courtesy of The American and ESPN American
54 Franchise Deﬁning 2
Richard Gale reviews the NFL Draft
48 Chevrolet Volt Bright spark or ﬂash in the pan? We drive the electric Chevy
PHOTO © JESSICA MIRABELLA
13 The Jubilee
PHOTO: JOHN PYLE
54 NFL Draft Review
28 Rick Wakeman PHOTO © LEE WILKINSON
40 Cuba Gooding Jr
PHOTO: THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL
Above, from left: Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel; HRH Prince Harry; General Colin Powell; Atlantic Council President & CEO Frederick Kempe
Harry Awarded, Praises Veterans
P George Washington, Britain’s Greatest Foe
eorge Washington, the military genius who defeated America’s colonial masters and became its first president, has been voted the most formidable opponent ever faced by Britain, 236 years after he won the War of Independence. The poll was conducted by the UK’s National Army Museum. Candidates had to have been active from the 17th century onwards and have led an army against British forces. Second came Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionary leader who helped free Ireland from UK rule. He had enjoyed a commanding lead in the poll after St Patrick’s Day in March. Napoleon Bonaparte came third – after all, he was beaten by the Brits (and their allies) unlike the American and Irish heroes. In fourth place came Erwin Rommel, the German who fought in the desert campaigns in North Africa and resisted the Allied invasion in Normandy during World War II.
rince Harry called on the United States and the UK to give their wounded veterans “everything they need through the darkest days.” He made the remarks after being given an award by the Atlantic Council, an organization that promotes transatlantic co-operation, whose members are senior diplomats, politicians, military people, businesspeople and academics. The Prince, on his first solo official trip to Washington, D.C., was given the award May 8 for his work with military veteran charities. To an audience including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, senators and congressman, he praised the veterans saying, “So many lives have been lost and so many changed forever by the wounds that they have suffered in the course of their duties. They have paid a terrible price to keep us safe and free. The very least we owe them is to make sure that they and their brave families have everything they need through their darkest days… for these selfless people, it is after the guns have fallen silent, the din of battle quietened, that the real fight begins.” People should not forget the troops even though their numbers in Afghanistan are being reduced, he said: “The injuries left from a 7.62 bullet, an IED, watching a fellow
comrade injured or killed, these are experiences that remain with you for life, both physically and mentally.” The Prince was given the award by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, commander of allied forces during the first Gulf War, who said, “Prince Harry is a young man who has grown up with not just good looks and royal privileges but it would have been easy for him to choose a life of ease and leisure. Instead he chose a more difficult path and by so doing he has become an example to millions of others.”
Prince Harry with competitors at the Warrior Games, a sports competition for wounded veterans, in Colorado Springs
As all expats should know, the United States requires most of its citizens who live abroad to file tax returns and pay tax on their foreign earnings. The Isaac Brock Society (isaacbrocksociety.com) has been set up in Canada to protest against what they see as iniquitous treatment. The group is named after Sir Isaac Brock, a British General who rebuffed the attempts by the United States to conquer Canada during the War of 1812 and died at the Battle of Queenston Heights, which the British won. It’s ironic, as his name now stands for an organization protecting the rights of American citizens.
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museums’ flagship London branch is to be revamped. The First World War galleries will be doubled in size, the central hall will feature warplanes hanging from above, with striking exhibits reaching out from rising terraced galleries. Work will begin later this year to be completed in 2014, in time for the Centenary of the outbreak of the ‘Great War’. £20 million has been raised and the public is invited to contribute funds toward the £35 million required.
© 2012 TONY PASCHALL-UOV
Union of Overseas Voters
ccording to the State Department there are now six million American civilians living abroad and the Union of Overseas Voters, a Paris, France based expatriate group (wevote.fr) wants them all to register and vote in the November 6th election. The Union kicked off its 2012 voter registration campaign at Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris. Through midOctober, the Union will be available to assist U.S. voters at the shop, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, from 2 to 5pm. Tony Paschall, Union Chair said, “This is only the beginning, our efforts to empower voters will be ongoing, and include civics education and voting rights advocacy. Although absentee ballots have made the difference in some U.S. federal elections, almost one-third of overseas ballots were never mailed back to U.S. election officials in 2010 and we intend to change that.”
Exclusive Whisky for Travelers
uchentoshan is Scotland’s only triple distilled Single Malt whisky, but don’t try asking for the distillery’s new range in your local liquor store, It is exclusively for sale in ‘the travel retail sector’ - airports. And that’s good news for frequent flyers to the U.S.A. The whiskies are matured using American and European oak casks previously used for ageing Bourbon and Sherry. The importance of the woods has inspired the names which are based on tree life-cycle stages: ‘Springwood,’ fresh, zesty and sweet; ‘Heartwood,’ rich, complex and warm; ‘Cooper’s Reserve’ is mature and well rounded; ‘Silveroak’ is multi-layered, named for the silver rings inside older trees; and dark and intense ‘Solera’ uses ex-Pedro Ximenez casks.
Mercer Family Grave Restored
grave slab commemorating the parents of American Revolutionary hero Hugh Mercer has been restored. Born in 1726, Hugh Mercer qualified as a Doctor from Aberdeen University. He joined the Jacobite Army and was at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746. After the battle, which the Jacobites lost, Hugh fled to America and became one of the country’s greatest patriots, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in George Washington’s Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The grave slab of Rev. William Mercer and his wife Anne Munro, at the old Peathill Kirkyard, Aberdeenshire, has been restored by the Pitsligo Castle Trust, with funding from the Pilgrim Trust, Aberdeenshire Council, the Friends of Pitsligo Castle and the Forbes Lodge of the Freemasons.
Obituary: Joseph Berkshire King 10th June 1944 – 17th April 2012
first met Joe King when we were members of Republican’s Abroad, but we didn’t become friends until he became president of RA and I did the newsletter. He gave the impression of being serious until one got to know him and found underneath that quiet smile was a sense of humor that often had me giggling at usually the wrong moment which, fortunately, only amused him. My late husband enjoyed talking to him, but then the two loved sailing and Joe finally did what they often talked about and that was the ARC Transatlantic Race in 2007. Joe (he was never Joseph to me) was a graduate of Notre Dame and received a further degree from Harvard. It was Salomon Brothers who relocated him to London and he arrived here with his wife Anne and two children, Clare and Jeremy, in 1977 where he became an active member of both the American and English community. Between September 2011 and March 2012 Joe was Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. At the Requiem Mass held for Joe in the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Farm Street in London on the 27th April, I met with mutual friends, most who related some delightful memory they had of him. He will be thoroughly missed by Anne and his children as well as all us who had the opportunity to know him. – Virginia E Schultz
Michael Bruno Honored
On April 24th The Sir John Soane Foundation in New York honoured Michael Bruno at its prestigious “Innovators Gala”. The award is given to leaders in the fields of architecture, design and architectural education and Mr Bruno has been recognised for his website 1stdibs.com. Launched in 2001 it has become the world’s largest online platform which showcases items from 1,200 prestigious international antiques, design, fine art and collectibles dealers, transforming the way in which antiques, design and collectables are sourced and sold. Mr Bruno vets each dealer on the site.
ACWRUK Conference Success
The American Civil War Round Table of the United Kingdom (ACWRTUK) annual conference, “1862 Learning to Fight” featured two speakers from the United States, Tom Clemens on Lee’s Maryland Campaign and Tim Smith who told the story of Shiloh to a very appreciative audience of over 80 ACWRTUK members and guests. The next conference will be held in July 2013 and will feature the major battles of 1863. www.acwrt.org.uk
UK DVDs On Your US Player
If you have brought your American DVD player with you to the UK, will you be able to watch British [PAL format – 625 lines] DVDs? For years the UK has had ‘multi-region’ DVD players which can play American/ Canadian NTSC format DVDs [525 lines]. But Americans living or visiting the UK will have noticed that PAL DVDs come with a warning that the DVD will probably not play on NTSC DVD players. Most mainstream films are available in both formats but some are not, and many documentaries are for a much smaller market. Jim Garnett is a photojournalist who has lived half his life in the UK and half in North America. Recently, a colleague in Canada asked Jim to purchase a documentary for him in the UK and mail it to him. His ‘Blu-Ray’ DVD player, bought from a regular electronics retailer in Canada, played the DVD with no problems. A second ‘PAL only’ disc mailed by Jim again played without issues. So if you have an American ‘Blu-Ray’ player, it appears that you can play British disks.
Free Online Courses
Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have launched a new partnership, known as edX, to offer free online courses from both universities. It will deliver online course materials to learners around the world. See www.edxonline.org for more information.
Ambassador Susman, Mrs Susman and Robert Redford
PHOTO © US EMBASSY / JP EVANS
Robert Redford Visits Winfield House
obert Redford’s Sundance film festival came to London for the first time recently. The four-day festival, at The O2 in Greenwich, featured screenings of 27 films and performances by 17 musical acts. It ended on April 29, closing with an intimate performance by Rufus and Martha Wainwright following the World Premiere of Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You – A Concert for Kate McGarrigle, Lian Lunson’s film about the music of their mother, who died in 2010. Apart from the Wainwright siblings, attendees included HRH the Prince of Wales, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, T Bone Burnett, Minnie Driver, Josh Radnor, Paul Simon, and Ashley Walters. Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said: “Sundance London marked our first time hosting an event in the UK, and we are grateful to all our supporters and collaborators for the reception we received. These four days have seen features, documentaries and live events with insightful film-makers and musicians, as well as passionate audiences in attendance.”
Redford was invited to the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in London, Winfield House, for a special Sundance Festival reception. Ambassador Susman noted the contribution the Sundance Institute has made to the movie industry, giving financial support, encouragement and inspiration to original, free-thinking writers, composers, directors and producers for more than 30 years. Sundance, Mr Susman said, “captures the true spirit of America by championing those qualities essential to the American character. Creativity. Innovation. Resourcefulness. Ingenuity. Risk-taking.” He added that Britain also has a vibrant independent film and music industry, so it was logical that Sundance should choose London for its first adventure outside the United States. “A shared love of the arts is part of what makes the relationship between America and Britain ‘special’. Too often perhaps our alliance is defined in terms of defense and security. But our partnership – our friendship – goes much deeper!”
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Your Guide To The Month Ahead
See our full events listing online at www.theamerican.co.uk
Get your event listed in The American – call the editor on +44 (0)1747 830520, or email details to firstname.lastname@example.org Bath International Music Festival Various, Bath www.bathmusicfest.org.uk May 30 to June 10 This year’s highlights include jazz legend Courtney Pine, a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Julie Fowlis celebrating the centenary of Sorley MacLean, and Bath Philharmonia celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee.
The Accidental Festival The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH www.accidentalfestival.co.uk May 31 to June 3 Le Concert Spirituel PHOTO: ERIC MANAS
Gregynog Festival Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Newton, Powys, Wales www.gregynogfestival.org June 15 to July 1 The Gregynog Festival is the oldest festival in Wales, and one of the biggest classical music events in the UK. This summer, an array of international artists will play at Gregynog Hall, with the 2012 theme of Venezia, marking 100 years since the founders of the Festival acquired their first Impressionist paintings of the city of Venice.
Take 21 young producers and give them four days in Camden’s legendary Roundhouse to programme whatever they want. What do you get? The Accidental Festival! This year’s festival features everything from contemporary dance to improvised comedy and from music to experimental work.
The Jubilee Family Festival Hyde Park, London June 2-3 Celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne at a fun-filled family Jubilee celebration. Festival highlights include a newly-created 70 minute spectacular, The Magic of Disney in Concert, the first ever performance at a festival of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and
an appearance of the award-winning National Theatre production War Horse. There is a Kids Zone with favourite kids’ television characters, a Commonwealth Stage with artists from around the globe, a Parade Ground with military bands, and displays by dogs, horses, motorcycles and parachutists.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee events at Royal Albert Hall Royal Albert Hall, London www.royalalberthall.com June 2-3 The Royal Albert Hall is host to two special events for the Diamond Jubilee. On June 2, a special gala will take place with stirring favourites including Land of Hope and Glory, and You’ll Never Walk Alone. On June 3, there will be a Diamond Jubilee Singalong, with timeless classics to blockbuster film scores, hosted by Jonathan Cohen.
Jubilee at Osborne House East Cowes, Isle of Wight PO32 6JX www.english-heritage.org.uk June 3-5 Celebrate the Jubilee at the Isle of Wight’s own Royal Palace. Travel back in time to Victorian England and join in the festivities surrounding the arrival of Queen Victoria. Enjoy the colourful pomp and ceremony of the grand parade led by the lancers and Red Coats, equestrian shows, traditional Victorian games, brass band, and colourful characters from the past.
Georgian Picnic Party Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4HR www.english-heritage.org.uk June 3-5 Over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Wrest Park will be celebrating in glorious style with its first ever Georgian
Picnic Party. A host of aristocratic ladies and gentleman will be mingling with visitors, performing music and dance from the era and offering up scandalous tales of dandy Highwaymen! A whole host of fun, and period activities, including a short horse race in the grounds.
A Right Royal Weekend
styles, bringing together a superb line up of leading political consultants together with academic experts for a full day of discussion. A rare opportunity to meet practitioners, pundits and professional analysts. Registration – £10 (includes buffet lunch, refreshments). Book as soon as possible.
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, Brodsworth, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN5 7XJ www.english-heritage.org.uk June 3-5
The Hampton Court Festival
Travel back 100 years to the Edwardian era when the gentleman of the house is awaiting a special royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary. Falconry displays, costumed performers, music, a travelling cinema, traditional Punch & Judy shows, and a school training potential new servants for the house. And of course, don’t miss the highlight of each day – the arrival of the king!
Big stars turn out for the 20th Anniversary of the Festival. Headlined by Liza Minnelli, other artists include: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Katie Melua, Van Morrison, Caro Emerald, James Morrison, Jools Holland, Squeeze, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and John Barrowman.
Man Versus Horse Marathon
Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN www.beaulieu.co.uk June 16-17
Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Wales www.green-events.co.uk June 9 The race in which riders compete against runners over a 22 mile course over farm tracks, footpaths, forestry roads and moor, with a big prize on offer to any human who can pass the finish line ahead of the horse.
The American Presidential Election: Model of Democracy or Flawed System? The British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London www.bl.uk/eccles June 11 This Eccles Centre conference focuses on the American Presidential Election and the influence of US campaign
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com June 14-24
The Custom and Hot Rod Show and Custom Motorcycle Show
Hundreds of vehicles will be on display at this year’s show at Beaulieu, from Hot Rods to Classic American and Custom Cars. Throughout the weekend, there will be live music, trade shows and prize giving events, as well as the ‘Cruise Out’, where custom car drivers unite on the roads on a trip to the New Forest. Also includes the Custom Motorcycle Show, featuring the UK’s finest custom and modified bikes, including choppers, streetfighters and cafe racers.
Father’s Day (UK) June 17 Treat time for UK dads (and American dads too? Hint, hint!)
A SPECIAL INVITATION TO READERS OF THE AMERICAN The Royal Institution American Lecture and Exhibition 21 Albemarle Street, London, WIS 4BS www.rigb.org/ June 25 For one night only, in partnership with the US Embassy in London, the Royal Institution will present its carefully curated ‘American Collection’ at its Mayfair Headquarters. The special exhibition will include correspondence from the Smithsonian Institution, the Navy Revolver Samuel Colt personally presented to the Royal Institution in 1852, William Bragg’s 1915 Nobel Prize, letters from Albert Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell, and Humphry Davy’s certificates signed by Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams. At the exclusive evening event, distinguished American scientist and renowned astronaut, Dr Kathryn D. Sullivan, will present “Looking at Earth: An Astronaut’s Perspective on Our Planetary Home” and discuss her current work as President Obama’s assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The American readers are invited to attend this free event by registering at www.rigb.org/theamerican or calling the Royal Institution on +44 (0)20 7670 2919.
Wintershall’s Life of Christ
The City of London Festival
Ascot, Berkshire http://www.ascot.co.uk June 19-23
Wintershall Estate, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey GU5 0LR www.wintershall-estate.com June 19-24
www.colf.org June 24-27
Royal Ascot is 5 days of horse racing at one of the world’s most famous racecourses, attended by the Queen on at least one day. Thursday is Ladies’ Day, famous for fashion.
A five hour open-air play, now in its thirteenth year, The Life of Christ recreates the Holy Land on the pastures, lakes and woodland of the Wintershall Estate where the audience becomes the crowd that would have followed Jesus, with a cast of 200 in biblical costumes, plus donkeys, sheep and lambs.
The Chinese Cooking: Nine Millennia of Cooking, Eating and Drinking
Goodwood Festival of Speed Goodwood, West Sussex June 28 to July 1 http://www.goodwood.co.uk The largest motoring garden party in the world is a unique summer weekend that brings together a heady mix of cars, stars and motor sport ‘royalty’ to create the largest car culture event in the world. Held in the immaculate grounds of stately home Goodwood House, it is a celebration of motor sport and all things automotive from current Formula 1 racers and 200mph supercars to steampowered 19th century carriages, and from 3000bhp top fuel dragsters to classic rally cars. Many of the cars and bikes race up the Goodwood hillclimb (Lord March’s driveway at other times of the year) past the fearsome flint wall. Others are there simply to be seen in the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’elegance. And there’s a chance of meeting your automotive heroes – most of them will be there.
37 Quai Branly 75007, 7è arrondissement de París www.quaibranly.fr June 19-30 An introduction to Chinese table traditions presented through a hundred objects taken mainly from the collections of the National Museum of China and and supplemented with a selection of pieces from the Musée des Arts asiatiques – Guimet. Cooking, tableware and table manners are each examined along a chronological and geographical path. The exhibition outlines a history of Chinese culture through tableware in use at different times: bronze, ceramics, lacquer, precious metals, and porcelain.
West Side Story Royal Albert Hall, London www.royalalberthall.com June 22-24 Celebrating the 50th anniversary of this iconic film, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will be playing the live score while the re-mastered film is shown in high definition.
A packed programme of over 155 events in more than 55 spectacular London venues over 34 days, from internationally acclaimed artist performances to free piano lessons on 50 golden pianos.
Simply American Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN www.beaulieu.co.uk June 24 The first ‘Simply American’ car rally takes place at Beaulieu this June. Bring your American car or just come along to see other American cars of all shapes and sizes, with 20 chosen rally-entrants being shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award and the Beaulieu Trophy.
Henley Royal Regatta 2012 Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 2LY www.hrr.co.uk June 27 to July 1 The best known rowing event in the world? Certainly a major part of the British ‘Season’. Be careful of the dress code in the ‘Enclosures’!
Flying Legends 2012 IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire, CB22 4QR www.iwm.org.uk June 30 to July 1 The very best of classic aircraft displaying at Duxford in one of the world’s most celebrated air shows. Enjoy another unmissable fusion of power, sounds and nostalgia. This year, come and see the new Vintage Village for some fun in the forties, starring the Manhattan Dolls from New York, who will be performing hits from the thirties and forties in their own inimitable style.
Diary Dates Extra:
Where to SPOT A ROYAL J
une is a great opportunity to catch Britain’s first family out and about. The Queen will be center stage for her Jubilee celebrations (flanked by prominent princes), but she can’t be everywhere at once! A host of other Royals will be dashing around the country during the month attending events and cutting ribbons. Here’s where to take your cameras: May 27 • The Earl of Wessex will attend the Diamond Jubilee Service at Winchester Cathedral. May 29 • The Earl and Countess of Wessex will attend the Surrey Schools ‘Go Surrey’ Jubilee Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London. May 31 • The Earl and Countess of Wessex will visit King Charles Church, Tunbridge Wells; Boxley Community Orchard, Grove Green, Maidstone; and will visit and officially open new facilities at Pembroke House, Gillingham, Kent. June 1 • The Princess Royal (the Queen’s daughter, Anne) will launch the National Diamond Wood, Normanton Le Heath, Coalville, Leics. June 2-5 • Jubilee Weekend - See pages 14-15 for details of where The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh (her consort), and most of the major Royals will be. In addition, The Earl and Countess of Wessex: Surrey County Show, Guildford, Surrey; Godalming Sports For All Event, The Bury’s Field, Godalming; Music Festival and Picnic in the Park at Broomhall Recreation Ground, Sunningdale, Berkshire; the Diamond Jubilee Concert along with Princess Alexandra (the Queen’s cousin), who will attend a Street Party in The Chase, London SW4. June 6 • The Duke of Edinburgh will take the Salute at Beating Retreat, Horse Guards Parade, London. The Countess of Wessex: will attend Founder’s Day at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3. The Duke of Gloucester will open both Jubilee House, Kenilworth, and the Linden Arches at the Royal Pump Rooms, Royal Leamington Spa. June 7 • Princess Alexandra will be at the Southwark Civic Service at Southwark Cathedral, London.
June 8 • The Earl and Countess of Wessex will tour West Sussex: Canine Partners in Heyshott; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; the Festival of Flowers at Chichester Cathedral; the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, Chichester. Princess Alexandra will attend Richmond Park Reflections in The Belvedere, Surrey. June 13 • The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit the East Midlands (also June 14). The Princess Royal: Oaksey House, Hungerford, Berkshire; a shop in Newbury, Berkshire; the ‘Sail for Gold’ Ball 2012 at the London Hilton; and the Newbury Group, Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire. June 14 • The Earl and Countess of Wessex will attend the Household Division Beating Retreat, Horse Guards Parade. Princess Alexandra will open a new Ward at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, and visit Dungate Manor Care Home, Reigate, Surrey. June 15 • The Countess of Wessex: Small Ships Race, Osprey Quay, Portland, Dorset. June 16 • The Queen and many other Royals will take the Salute at The Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horseguards Parade, Whitehall, London, before the Queen takes the Salute at the RAF flypast from the Balcony of Buckingham Palace. June 18 • The Duchess of Gloucester (the Queen’s
cousin): will attend the AEGON Championships at Eastbourne, as well as Elphinstone Primary School, Hastings, East Sussex. June 22 • The Duke of Gloucester (the Queen’s cousin) will visit St George’s Primary School, York, Giggleswick School, Settle, ‘Chocolate - York’s Sweet Story’, in King’s Square, York, and open St Peter’s Church, Harrogate, all North Yorkshire. June 23 • Princess Alexandra will open the Jublilee Gardens, The Embankment, Twickenham. June 25 • The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit the South East. The Duke of Gloucester: the Royal College of Art Show, London. The Duke of Kent (the Queen’s cousin): the opening day of the Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon. June 27 • The Duke of Gloucester: Derwent Forest Utopia Project, near Workington; Central Methodist Hall, Carlisle; Cumbria School Games, Sheepmount Stadium, Carlisle, all in Cumbria. June 28 • The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester: unveiling of the Bomber Command Association Memorial, Green Park, London. June 29 • The Earl of Wessex will watch the Beat the Retreat and Sunset Ceremony at Plymouth Guildhall. The Princess Royal will attend a J-Class Regatta at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, Falmouth.H
© MYKAL BURNS
Concert The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert brings together artists who have achieved fame and success since 1952, when Elizabeth II came to the throne. Artists from each decade since her coronation have been selected to perform, with the likes of Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Tom Jones (above) all gracing the stage. Alongside them will be classic acts including Madness and Annie Lennox, as well as a younger generation of stars – Jessie J and JLS. There will also be a classical influence to the concert, with Chinese pianist Lang Lang and tenor Alfie Boe taking part. Rewind to the Queen’s Golden Jubilee 10 years ago, and it was the image of Brian May performing God Save The Queen on the roof of Buckingham Palace which topped the memories of the day. This year’s organiser, Gary Barlow (of Take That fame), is setting out to beat that: “We need to come up with something newer and better. Maybe we’ll fly someone in.” You can find out if Barlow’s aerobatic musings materialise when the concert is aired on BBC TV and radio on Monday June 4, or if you are lucky enough to have one of the 10,000 tickets given away by ballot. The event will take place outside Buckingham Palace.
The Diamond Jubilee Weekend T
he big weekend is nearly here, and soon it will be time to begin the Diamond Jubilee in style. Be prepared for a long weekend of celebrations, with the late May Bank Holiday being moved to Monday June 4, and a special Bank Holiday being addedthis year to commemorate the Jubilee on Tuesday June 5. Whilst many of us will be enjoying the extra break, the Queen will be working full time attending various functions, and here The American will take you through what’s on her to-do list. On Saturday June 2, the Queen will be attending the Epsom Derby. On Sunday June 3, there are two big events on the same day: The Big Jubilee Lunch and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The Big Jubilee Lunch will be as simple as
Sat. June 2 – Tue. June 5
joining with your friends, family or neighbours and having a good lunch together (you can take inspiration from Mary Bailey’s ‘Street Party’ article in the last edition of The American), or take a picnic and enjoy the day at your favourite location. You might even wish to take your lunch to the riverside, where the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will feature a procession of over a thousand boats starting at Battersea Bridge and finishing near Tower Bridge. the Queen will also be taking to the waves on the Royal Barge The Spirit of Chartwell along with other members of the Royal Family. On Monday June 4, the BBC Concert at Buckingham Palace (see sidebar) will be live on television and on BBC Radio 2.
On Tuesday June 5 the grand finale will include a Service of Thanksgiving and the Queen’s Jubilee procession. The Queen will lunch at Westminster Hall along with members of the Royal Family and a guest list of approximately 700 individuals from different trades, schools, charities and other organisations. After the Jubilee lunch the procession will begin, with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh riding in the 1902 State Landau, an open top horse-drawn carriage built in 1902 for Edward VII and which has since Below: Experts put the finishing touches to a detail of the Royal Barge, ready for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
Above: Royal events frequently include a coach ride or procession, but a river pageant on the Thames should be an enduring memory of the weekend ILLUSTRATION © JOSH KNOWLES
been used for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer as well as Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Personnel from all three military services will line the streets, and a military band will be part of the procession. The King’s Troop will fire a 60 gun salute during the procession, and there will be a Guard of Honour present in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace on the Royal arrival. The Royal Family will then appear on the now famous balcony of the Palace for a flypast in the formation of ‘60’. PHOTO © JESSICA MIRABELLA
Thanksgiving Service and Procession The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession will begin on Tuesday June 5th. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (Charles and Camilla), the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) and Prince Harry will embark on the procession in three carriages, beginning at New Palace Yard and taking in Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Admiralty Arch and the Mall, before arriving at Buckingham Palace for an appearance on the balcony of the Palace and a flypast. The Jubilee Thanksgiving Service will take place in St Paul’s Cathedral on June 5th, and will include a reading of the Diamond Jubilee Prayer, which has been commended by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for use throughout the Church of England. H
American author Sally Bedell Smith wrote her royal biography after meeting the Queen
n the crimson and gilt Throne Room at St. James’s Palace, I waited patiently for the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II. It was June 2009, and I had been invited to her reception for some 600 members and guests of the Pilgrims, a group dedicated to Anglo-American fellowship. My admittance card had contained a slip of paper assigning me to “Group Five,” led by General Sir Richard Dannatt, then Chief of the General Staff of the British Army. Frequently in large receptions, people are selected in advance and clustered in small groups to be presented to the Queen. For the Pilgrims, she would greet about 100 or so, with General Dannatt making the introductions for my group. This would be my second encounter with Elizabeth II at a private gathering. Two years earlier, we had met at the British Ambassador’s garden party at his residence in Washington, DC. As the Queen and my husband enjoyed a spirited conversation about the Kentucky Derby, I had seen the animated gestures, sparkling blue eyes, and flashing smile familiar to her friends but rare in public. That glimpse of the private Queen had ignited my interest in writing her biography. Now I was her guest, and I had been immersed in her life for more than a year. The Queen advanced at her usual measured pace, her black Launer handbag dangling from her left arm as she offered a black-gloved
hand. I told her that it was good to see her again in an Anglo-American setting. “Is that what brought you over here?” she asked. “No, my daughter is getting married here in London,” I replied. “When is the wedding?” she asked. “The Fourth of July,” I replied. “Oh,” she said, “that’s a little dangerous!” Once again I saw the smile and the twinkle. In the spring of 2011, I was invited to another reception at St. James’s Palace, this time for the 50th anniversary of the party planning business run by the Queen’s cousin, Lady Elizabeth Anson. The Queen, I was told, would be attending. It was a month before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the Queen was in especially high spirits. She arrived at seven and stayed for a surprising ninety minutes. She wore a pale gray suit with a silvery stripe—the sort of outfit she chooses when she doesn’t need to worry about standing out in a crowd. A diamond brooch glittered on her jacket, and her snowy hair was perfectly coiffed. Three weeks shy of her 85th birthday, the Queen had the vitality of a woman decades younger. The crowd again numbered around 600, but the atmosphere was more informal than the Pilgrims reception, probably because she saw
so many of her friends and relatives, including the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and members of her mother’s Bowes Lyon family. This time, the Queen was navigating happily on her own, with neither ladies-in-waiting nor equerries running interference or making introductions. Mingling with old friends and strangers alike, she smiled and chatted informally. “Come on, you two, get together!” she said with an emphatic gesture as she made one spontaneous introduction. Most striking of all was that she was in her own palace, but she was merely a guest – a measure of her appealing humility. Later as she was leaving, she remarked on how much she had enjoyed spending time with such a diverse group of people, from titled nobility to florists and caterers, all equal in her eyes. “And everyone was so friendly to me!” she exclaimed. H
Elizabeth the Queen, The Woman Behind the Throne, by Sally Bedell Smith is published by Michael Joseph, paperback, £7.99.
The Royal Institution M
any will have heard of the Royal Institution through watching the annual Christmas Lectures for young people on television, or by knowing that Michael Faraday made his fundamental physical discoveries in its laboratories. Less well known, however, are the Royal Institution’s crucial relations to American science. Indeed one of the key figures in establishing the Royal Institution following its founding in 1799 was Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford of the Holy Roman Empire). Born in Massachusetts in 1753, Thompson supported the British government during the War of Independence and consequently had to leave the new United States. After a colourful life in Europe he undertook much of the basic administrative work of the new Royal Institution founded at the Soho Square house of the President of the Royal Society, Joseph Banks. The task of the Royal Institution was the promotion of ‘Science to the common Purposes of Life’ at a time of global war, imperial expansion and rapid industrialisation. Originally the Royal Institution was owned by proprietors who paid fifty guineas (the annual pay of a good cook) for the privilege. One of these was James Smithson, a natural son of the Duke of Northumberland. Primarily interested in mineralogy (indeed he was an active member of the Royal Institution’s chemistry com-
and American Science By Professor Frank A. J. L. James, Professor of the History of Science and Head of Collections at the Royal Institution
mittee), Smithson was also wealthy and bequeathed his fortune worth $508,318.46 to ‘the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men’ – clearly influenced by the Royal Institution’s founding principles. This money arrived in the United States in 1835, but there were some years of discussion, including enquiring of Faraday what Smithson’s role had been at the Royal Institution, before Congress implemented the terms of the will. With Faraday’s strong support Joseph Henry was appointed the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846. At his request Faraday provided details of the Royal Institution’s activities and its physical layout. Although the Smithsonian Institution followed a very different path from that of the Royal Institution, (a reflection of the different scientific needs of the United States and Britain), nevertheless the inspiration behind both organisations stemmed from the same belief in the practical value of scientific knowledge. Thereafter there have been many
and continuing links between American science and the Royal Institution. Samuel Colt presented one of his first three revolvers to the Royal Institution; lectures were frequently delivered in the Royal Institution on the geology, flora and fauna of America; American foundations, such as the Rockefeller, supported scientific research in the Royal Institution; and as America, thanks, in part, to the Smithsonian, began to become a major scientific nation, its scientists started lecturing at the Royal Institution – ranging from George Hale to Carl Sagan who delivered the Christmas lectures in 1977. All in all these and many other links bear out Faraday’s ‘longing desire’ as he put it in an 1840 letter ‘that in science & in all things England & America should advance hand in hand’. H SPECIAL INVITATION TO READERS OF THE AMERICAN For one night only, in partnership with the US Embassy, the Royal Institution will present its ‘American Collection’ at its Mayfair Headquarters. To register for free attendance, see page 11.
Art s choice The American
by Michael Burland
Women: Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann, Willem de Kooning
Right: Yayoi Kusama, Footprints of Life, 2010, Mixed media, Variable dimensions
It’s no schlep to get to Germany from England, but this exhibition gathers three exceptional 20th century artists worth the trip. Through their depictions of women, placing them in dialogue with one another, they reveal the coexistence of contrasting poles in which a radical approach and confrontation, sounding-out the positive and the negative, leads to more complex forms of beauty in over 90 paintings. Women in art go far beyond one-sided definitions and stereotypes of femininity. Of independent
significance, women are portrayed as sensitive, mirror-images of a more social problem or political upheaval; not merely a projection of male desires and appetites but a catalyst for a confrontation within contemporary history. See Picasso culminate in the ‘self’, Beckman coerce artistic expression and De Kooning idolise through harmony and self-forgetfulness with much passion. From ecstasy to exaltation, in contrast, Picasso, Beckmann and De Kooning, provoke us still.
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany Until July 15
© YAYOI KUSAMA, COURTESY OTA FINE ARTS, TOKYO/ YAYOI KUSAMA STUDIO INC
Below: Max Beckmann, Reclining Nude
Arsenale 2012: The First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art Kiev, Ukraine, May 24 to July 31
We know many Americans use Britain as a base to explore Europe, or are here on business and travel widely on the Continent. How about the Ukraine? Forgetting any political and human rights issues, it’s a fascinating country that clearly wants to establish itself on the world arts map. Renowned British expert David Elliott is curating the first biennale there, entitled The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art. It’s inspired (as you might think) on Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, and housed in the historic Mystetskyi Arsenal, a magnificent former military building. It will showcase both Ukraine’s rich artistic culture and its relatively unknown legacy of contemporary artists.
Zoe Leonard: Available Light Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 Until June 24
New York artist and photographer Zoe Leonard has transformed Gallery 3
Above: Shipbreaking #13, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2000, at The Photographer’s Gallery
at Camden Arts Centre into a ‘camera obscura’ – daylight filters in through a lens, projecting an image of the outside world into the space of the gallery. The image is projected onto the floor, walls and ceiling, becoming a spatial experience. The projection has an intense cinematic quality and depending on the light, viewers see more or less of the outside world. Alongside in the other galleries Leonard is showing a selection of related photographic works.
The Photographers’ Gallery Re-opens Ramillies Street, Soho, London
The Gallery reopens after an £8.9 million transformation that doubles the size of its previous exhibition space. The opening show features over thirty large-scale images from Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s series Oil, revealing the industry’s impact on our lives and the environment.
Broadway Arts Festival Broadway, Worcestershire June 9 to 17
The Broadway Arts Festival returns in 2012 to celebrate the legacy of art left by John Singer Sargent RA and the Broadway Colony. With a strong contingent of Americans, the Broadway Colony met in the village during the summers of the late nineteenth century and experimented with new artistic techniques and methods. With workshops, exhibitions and other events, the 2012 Broadway Arts Festival promises to be a true tribute to Broadway’s artistic heritage. Alfred Parsons RA, Orange Lilies, Broadway, Worcestershire c.1911, Oil on Canvas © ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS, LONDON; PHOTOGRAPHER J HAMMOND
ROYAL ACADEMY SUMMER EXHIBITION 2012 June 4 to August 12
he Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition marks the start of the British ‘Summer Season’. The world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, now in its 244th year, continues the tradition of showcasing work by both emerging and established artists in all media including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. The Summer Exhibition (www. royalacademy.org.uk) attracts a high volume of entrants annually with over 11,000 entries received this year. It’s an absolute must for any art lover. The RA have kindly given us three pairs of tickets (worth up to £20) for The American’s readers. Simply email your contact details to email@example.com with ‘Summer Exhibition’ in the subject line and you will be put into the draw – three lucky winners will be sent tickets.
The Queen: Art and Image National Portrait Gallery, London • Until 21 October • Reviewed by Estelle Lovatt
C Edward Ofusu, Portrait of our Queen, oil on canvas, 2011
New Portraitist Paints Queen As Isabel H Langtry, Principal of the Hampstead School of Art explains, in her role as Art Judge at The Holland Park Annual Exhibition, “I have a method of walking round exhibitions three times or until I am ‘hit in the solar plexus’ by an art work. This happened immediately as I approached Portrait of our Queen by Edward Ofosu. My instant thought was why isn’t this painting in the National Portrait Gallery? When I later presented Edward with his award, I learnt that he had never been to a portraiture class. What Edward has, (a wonderful thing to discover) is an inherent ability and intuitive approach to the human face. With Our Queen as his subject, this translates into a sensitive empathy that gives the Queen an extraordinarily approachable radiance. It is as if one is in mid sentence with her. Edward now attends classes at Hampstead School of Art, is hugely admired by fellow artist/learners and teachers, and is emerging as a seriously powerful portrait painter!” If you are interested to either help sponsor Edward’s art tuition at HSA or in commissioning this promising portraitist, do contact the Principal, at the School: 0207 794 1439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ommemorating and surveying the astonishing variety of artistic media-derived images that the Queen has inspired over six decades, as the person most often portrayed in British history, The Queen: Art and Image, marks the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Sixty remarkable and significant pictures of Elizabeth II span her 60 year reign, some on public display for the first time. This exhibition highlights the greats, including numerous Americans from Leibovitz to Warhol. Artists documenting the changing ways of representing the Monarch show us how the picture frame serves as a window through which to view our changing perception of royalty, reflecting changes in our social scene and historical context. Highlighted are important historical developments and events, from the Queen’s relationship with the media to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Pictures devoted to Her Majesty go from the formal painted portrait to officially approved photographs. Included is Lucian Freud’s 2001 portrait from the Royal Collection. Justin Mortimer’s painting of the Queen’s head floating away from her body against a titanic backdrop of smooth effervescent yellow is surreal. And there are the exhibited photographers for whom the Queen sat too, among them Chris Levine’s highly unusual photograph from 2004 of the Queen with her eyes closed. My favourite painting of Her Majesty is Queen Elizabeth II, by Annigoni (1910–1988), painted in 1956. It’s a fine Italian portrait from a trained fresco painter in the grand
style of the Renaissance. He reached overnight world fame for painting. And justly so. How bold and sharp of him to distinguish himself from the then contemporary art, the likes of phoney Post-Modernism. Instead, his more iconic depictions of the figure emphasize how, as Annigoni fittingly maintained,“Impulse alone does not make a work of art.” He is spot on; skill is absolutely necessary, vital beyond the emotional accents being captured. The exhibition also includes unofficial portraits of the Queen by Gilbert and George and Richter, as well as photographs by Patrick Lichfield (the Queen’s first-cousinonce-removed), Lord Snowdon (her former brother-in-law) and American photographer Eve Arnold. This is a great way to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. H
Pietro Annigoni, Queen Elizabeth II, 1969 NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON
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nnie’s is the kind of restaurant we’d all like to have in our neighbourhood. The welcome is warm and friendly, the decor best described as ‘shabby chic’ and the food uncomplicated. Owner Lorraine Angliss has designed an interior with gilded mirrors, crystal chandeliers, butterfly decorations and mismatched furniture you suspect she inherited from an elderly aunt or at the local flea market. Located by the river at StrandOn-The-Green, it is a place to grab a book from one of the window sills and have coffee and a croissant while you read, escape to for a light salad lunch with a friend, or join your husband or lover for dinner. One might have to be careful about the lover, however, because half the people entering the night Maxine Howe and I dined there were known by name or recognized by a friend at one of the tables. Spread over two floors, with an upper private dining room for up to 30, it was already filled when we arrived somewhat late because of a bit of confusion between me and my satellite navigation. Maxine started with a salad of delicately fried halloumi, squash, fig and slightly caramelized shallot dressing (£7.95/12.95) and I began with
a warm goats cheese with rocket, hazelnut and beetroot (£7.95/12.95), both dishes we’d order again. The sliced scotch rib-eye was perhaps not as good as some of the top steak restaurants in London and the pepper sauce disappointing, though at £21.95 it was half the price. I debated between pork belly with apple and rosemary compote and veal Milanese, and choose the latter. It was quite tasty, as was the linguine with rocket. We are not talking Michelin star or the prices to match, but down-to-earth delightful food you’ll gladly return for. For dessert, we shared blueberry cheese cake and vanilla and honeycomb ice cream. We had started with Annie’s signature ‘Blush Royal’ cocktail made with Champagne, vodka, rose syrup and crystallised rose petals and it was so good, Maxine had a second glass. There were other cocktail selections and an excellent wine list with twenty wines available by the glass. Annie’s Restaurant was voted “Chiswick’s Favourite” and after our lovely evening with great food and wonderful service we could understand why. I might add, in warmer weather you can sit outside or go for a walk along the river.
The Balcon W
ith the fast lives we live in London, we too often forget the pleasure of having a sit down breakfast. A run in the park, a coffee and croissant at a coffee shop, or that dash for the bus or tube to make it to work on time takes precedence over a leisurely breakfast. I thought of that when one recent Sunday my friend Leslie Masters and I had a late breakfast at The Balcon, the recently opened Grand Brasserie in the Sofitel Hotel. Until not so long ago, the restaurant was Brasserie Roux, but since Albert’s departure the hotel has taken the opportunity to revamp. Modelled on Coco Chanel’s apartment, there are wonderful period details including high arched windows and a spiral staircase leading to a Champagne gallery which one could easily imagine Coco descending, cigarette in hand, and looking very smart in her short jacket with trim and her
cloche perfectly angled around her pert Gallic face. Although the brasserie looked inviting, Leslie and I decided to breakfast in a side room with its fireplace and more relaxed seating. Instead of bottles of wine, carafes (750ml/500ml) are listed starting at around £20 and going up, up and up. But this was Sunday and Leslie had a glass of Champagne (£12) while I chose a cocktail designed for me by the sommelier with a touch of bourbon to whatever else was added. It was delicious, but how it was made I have no idea. There is a selection of cocktails including a number Coco would have been familiar with in the 1920s. The menu was a combination of French and English, including potted shrimp, toad in the hole, as well as charcuterie from Monmouthshire, Wales and Cantal. We were brought a basket of bread, which included the
most divine buttery croissants (which I want to go back for), delicious blueberries and canteloup, as well as coffee made the way only the French seem to be able to. The air-dried and smoked duck breast were exceptional, and there is also bubble and squeak and veal tongue if that’s to your liking. The two of us shared game salami and lomo (pork loin) which was as good as anything I had in Spain. The Welsh rarebit (£11.50) was lovely, but the chips (extra) best forgotten. Everything was served beautifully and gracefully in a cozy yet sophisticated setting, and our conversation was never interrupted. It was expensive, but there are specials offered, as I learned when I met a friend there for tea in the Rose Room a few days later.
8 Pall Mall, Sofitel Hotel London SW1Y 5NG +44 (0) 20 7968 2900 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thebalconlondon.com
20 Savile Row, London W1S 3PR • Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz
rowing up next door to an Italian American family whose grandmother decided “Ginny was too skinny”, I learned at an early age there was more to Italian cuisine than pizza or spaghetti and meat balls. I found myself reminded of that when I dined at Sartoria in Mayfair recently with an American friend who had been on a gourmet tour of Italy, France and Spain. A few weeks earlier, I had been there with a group of restaurant critics, but this was the first time I’d dined at Sartoria without receiving media attention. As it was only 6.30, we decided to stop in the bar for drink before dinner in order to catch up on what was going on in our lives since we last saw each other. Tina decided on an Aperol Fizz, (aperol, white wine, soda, lemon, £5.50) while I had my favourite Bellini (Prosecco with white peach puree, £7.50). Open between noon and 10.30pm the bar is the perfect place to have a bite before going on to the theatre as the couple next to us were doing. One was having deep fried squid and prawns (£10) while the other was enjoying the
risotto of the day (£10) which was just enough to tide them over until the end of the play. As it was an hour before we were to dine, the two of us decided to share the beef carpaccio with rocket and Parmesan (£10) and then wished we had each ordered a plate. The thinly sliced ‘carpaccio’ is made from the finest beef and, accented by the cheese, was delicious, although a glass of red wine would have been better than the cocktails we were sipping. An hour later, having made our way to our table, we decided to skip the antipasto and order pasta and risotto. My Scottish lobster linguine (£22) was seductive down to the last bite, but the broad bean and Champagne risotto with diver caught scallops (£12) Tina ordered disappointed. Slightly overcooked scallops taste rubbery which, sadly, these did. Fortunately, the risotto was perfectly made and had a lovely flavour. Having had lobster, I decided to order the slow cooked lamb shoulder with lemon and aubergines (£19), the loveliest lamb I’ve had this year. Tina, wary after her first course, was relieved
to report that her roasted monkfish in an onion puree dotted with Parma ham (£25) was as good as she had in Italy. Executive chef Lucas Pfaff may have been born in Germany but, after eleven years at the helm of Il Convivio in Belgravia and now at Sartoria, definitely has an Italian accent in his cooking. To be honest, I am not a lover of Italian desserts, but I do enjoy Italian cheese. The Parmigianino I had was as delicious as the best of Emmental, and Tina and I both wondered why we can’t find this quality in specialty food shops and supermarkets in the States and England. Unlike me, Tina likes Italian desserts, especially the ice cream, and declared her almond tart with meringue (£6) – dolloped at her request with vanilla ice cream – ended her meal on just the right sweet note. Michael Simms oversees one of the best Italian cellars in London and it’s almost impossible not to have the right wine with your meal if you speak with him. Although we had wine by the glass, a bottle of house wine can be ordered for around £20.
Three Course Lunch Menu - £18.50 (Monday to Saturday)
Jerry Richards (from Stars In Their Eyes) as Cliff Richard & The Evening Shadows as The Shadows on Friday 22 June, £49.50 Includes three course dinner
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Cellar Talk By Virginia E. Schultz
Cocktail for One
y favourite food writer, M.K. Fisher, once wrote an essay on dining alone. In the opening paragraph, she wrote of Lucullus, a Roman who was the host with the most in his time, who had grown tired of continually dining with other men and decided one evening to have a meal on his own. When it arrived, he found it was not up to its usual standard, the wine was too cold, the sauce for the carp lacked its usual flavour and, disappointed, he summoned his chef to complain. ‘We thought, sir,’ the chef explained, ‘there was no need to prepare anything special as you were dining alone.’ ‘It is precisely when I’m on my own,’ the gourmand informed him icily, ‘that special attention should be paid to my dinner. Remember, Lucullus dines with Lucullus.’ Dining alone can be an unhappy experience, especially if you’re a woman, although the attention I now receive in restaurants is far better than ten years ago when I practically had to stand on the table to get a waiter’s attention. For the most part, waiters today are attentive and I’m no longer seated in the far corner of the room next to the door to the kitchen. Some Saturday nights when I’m on my own at home, I make myself a cocktail rather than opening a bottle of wine I won’t finish ...or at least shouldn’t. Here are a couple you might like to try:
A Cosmopolitan cocktail
One of my favourite cocktails is the Cosmopolitan which was made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Sex and the City. The origin is not exactly known, although some claim it started on Cape Cod in the 1970s which makes it a more recent cocktail than the Martini or Tequila. In fact, my cocktail recipe books I bought before this once popular TV show, don’t mention a Cosmopolitan. 40 ml vodka 15 ml orange liquer 10 ml fresh lime juice 25 ml cranberry juice. Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with flamed orange zest.
For best flaming effect, take a slightly unripe orange and peel a good strip off it, leaving the white pith. Heat the skin with a flame to bring oils behind it to the surface and then, hold the orange peel behind the flame, angled at the drink and squeeze quickly. Originally, it was just a lime wedge and the guru of bartenders, Dale DeGroff, added the flamed orange. The recipe has been tweaked in the past few years and when I have a guest or guests and want it to look special, I use a blue gin instead of vodka, giving you a blue Cosmo.
When hearts are gay, there’s Blond Dubonnet. Born during Prohibition, probably to disguise the taste of bootleg gin, this is an easy drink to make when on my own. As I don’t serve this to guests, I buy small sample bottles of Dubonnet at various wine and spirit shops or at Harrods or Selfridges. 1½ oz Dubonnet 1½ oz gin Twist of lemon peel Place two or three ice cubes in a glass, add Dubonnet and gin and mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the lemon peel. H
CHAMPAGNE OF THE MONTH ROMEO & JULIETTE CHAMPAGNE Around £25 for 75cl It was said Marilyn Monroe took a bath in 350 bottles of Champagne which, frankly, is a waste. Far more enjoyable was sitting in the bathtub sipping this lovely rosé Champagne and remembering times past and thinking of good times to come. Better yet, share it with the man or woman in your life.
The American Left: Poised and ready to run – but how many ball boys and girls are allowed on the court at any one time? PHOTO: COPPERKETTLE
Coffee Break QUIZ 6
1 I n what year was Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation?
6 7 5
2 A t which address in London was the future Queen Elizabeth II born (on April 21st, 1926)? 3 W hen she was born, what was her official title? 4 B ased on a mispronunciation of her name when she was very young, what family nickname did Elizabeth have?
5 W hat did Elizabeth’s parents give her for her eighteenth birthday: a) tiara, b) mink coat, c) dog? 6 E lizabeth served in which uniformed service during World War II? 7 T he Royal Family appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on May 8, 1945. To celebrate what?
WIMBLEDON 8 H ow many times did John McEnroe win a Wimbledon Tennis championship (singles and doubles)? 9 H ow many times did Billie Jean King win a Wimbledon Tennis championship (singles and doubles)? 10 W hat is the total number of grass courts at Wimbledon? 11 W hat is the maximum number of ball girls or boys allowed on court at any one time? 12 W hich player famously cried on the Duchess of Kent’s shoulder after losing the final of the Ladies Singles at Wimbledon in 1993?
Answers to Coffee Break Quiz & Sudoku on page 65
Back to the Palace Rick Wakeman, prog rock’s greatest keyboard player and all-round good guy talks about his career, his new concerts... and American cars You started playing piano at an early age. What drew you to it? My father played great piano and he and his brother, my mother, two aunts and another uncle had a concert party, which went round village and church halls. On a Sunday night in the early fifties they would all get together and gather around my father’s piano in our very small front room, and relive the happy days. For two years from the age of three I would sneak down from my bedroom and sit on the stairs listening. I pestered my father to let me have lessons on the piano and he sent me to the most wonderful lady teacher. My parents were not wealthy and went without an awful lot to get me through my musical training. What’s your favorite instrument? The piano. There is a true bonding with it as you are totally in control.
PHOTO © LEE WILKINSON
You studied at the Royal College of Music – why did you leave early? Because doors had opened which would close if I didn’t go through them. My clarinet professor, Basil Tschaikov, gave me great advice. He said, “You’ve finished the course as far as I’m concerned and great opportunities are out there for you. Take them”. I am still involved with the Royal College and indeed Prince Charles gave me my fellowship there earlier this year .
People know you from Yes, and from your solo albums and live extravaganzas, but you’ve appeared on some very famous records by other people too, including David Bowie, Cat Stevens, T Rex, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne.
Which was your favorite session work? You’ve named them really. Cat Stevens and Morning Has Broken was very special as indeed was working with David Bowie on Space Oddity and the Hunky Dory album. Playing on Ozzmosis with Ozzy was fantastic. That was a true prog-metal album. Just listen to Perry Mason. Fabulous track. What was the funniest thing that happened to you on tour in America? I could write a book... BUT most of my stories are unprintable... AND best kept that way!!! Why did you set fire to your Mellotron? It was knackered. Let me down every day. Great sound, but totally unsuitable for the road. I now have two Mellotrons which I wouldn’t part with for the world. Which is your favorite solo album? Changes every day! They are all so different that it’s like trying to compare a baseball player with a footballer or basketball player. They all play sports, but all so different. You were a co-owner of the Philadelphia Fury soccer team in the 1970s. Was it a good experience? I love soccer and still do. It was a real dream to be part of a sporting revolution and indeed a sporting revelation in the USA. I made so many friends, and many of the footballers I brought to Philly I still keep in touch with. It was very expensive, but fabulous. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. How would you like people to remember ‘prog rock’? I think in years to come, long after I’ve gone, people will look back and realise what a phenomenal contribution prog made to all genres of music. Virtually every performer has a touch
PHOTO © LEE WILKINSON
of prog rock in them these days, however small. Sadly, institutions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame never acknowledge this and so it’s been left for the public to decide, and thankfully they’ve taken it to their hearts. Most musicians can’t string a sentence together. How come you’re such a raconteur – is it natural? It started at school when I realised I made people laugh. I continued this when I started appearing on stage, then television came in in a big way for me and radio too, and suddenly I found myself doing everything from straight plays to comedy and indeed, in one magazine in the UK, I didn’t feature in their music poll at all, but finished 4th as best stand up comedian! I am now full time on Watchdog, the BBC consumer show and also Grumpy Old Men, the hit BBC series. I loved doing Countdown [the Channel 4 numbers and words game show] when the late Richard Whitely was the host. He was irreplaceable and when Carol Vorderman left, it was no longer the same . You’ve owned a lot of cars - any American ones? Loads... it’s my one weakness. I don’t buy flash clothes or go on flash holidays but I love cars. Over the years I’ve had a 1947 Packard, a 1957 Cadillac limo, a Mach 1 Mustang (an early seventies model if I recall), a Cadillac Eldo-
rado convertible, one of the last, a 1971 I think it was, two Dodge RVs... There are more. I absolutely love American cars of the ’50s and ’60s in particular. They are getting very expensive here, and then in America too. I am an ardent fan of Chasing Classic Cars and one day during a tour of America I would love to visit their garage and showroom. You’re headlining at the Crystal Palace Garden Party this month (June), which is a revitalising of the ‘hippie’ festival last held in the 1970s. What do you remember about playing there? I don’t really remember the Yes show there in 1972, but the Journey to the Centre of the Earth show I did in 1974 was amazing. There are some fabulous pictures on the internet which brought back loads of memories. It’s a fantastic venue and I hope the parties are back for good. What can people expect when they come to the gig? Hopefully what they hope to hear plus a few surprises. We do stuff from Journey, King Arthur, The Six Wives and loads more. It’s the best band I’ve ever had too, we have so much fun together. Finally, will you be wearing the famous silver cape? Not the silver one. Probably the gold one! H
Crystal Palace Garden Party Rick Wakeman (interviewed on page 28) headlines the rock half of this two-day ‘Festival of Rock & Pomp’ in the Crystal Palace Park Bowl, Upper Norwood, South London. The venue, a natural and picturesque amphitheatre set beside a scenic lake, was famous for its ‘hippie’ concerts in the early seventies and now you can relive those glory days. It’s the be-caped keyboard wizard’s sole UK show this year, and he’ll be joined on the bill by other big name bands from that prog-tastic era, including Hawkwind, Focus, The Strawbs, and Curved Air. How on earth can you follow that? With a classical Sunday, of course, to be specific a Jubilee Proms concert with The London Gala Symphony Orchestra. Both days will also feature attractions including comedy and Shakespeare excerpts, funfair rides, performance artists and other diversions. June 23 and 24. Rick Wakeman isn’t a stranger to palace performances, here unleashing The Six Wives of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace in 2009 PHOTO © LEE WILKINSON
LIVE AND KICKING Winterwell Festival Near Cirencester, Gloucestershire
n the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds countryside lies a festival with a difference. Every year the Winterwell Festival has a theme – this year it’s the Old West. And they do mean the American West – Winterwell will be transformed into a frontier town for 3 days complete with saloon, cantina, bordello and jailhouse. Winterwell are employing a creative team that specialise in immersive arts and creative installations where everyone can get involved and star in their own spaghetti western. There’s a cabaret tent, debating tent, camp fires, a night lit woodland trail, sunset chill-out bar, holistic field, massage tents, pingtron (Tron-themed glow in the dark festival ping-pong!) and a ‘go to jail’ area for mischievous revellers to send their friends to. Music varies from folk and indy to electro, funk and house. Huey Morgan from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals will be making a guest appearance with Norman Jay, and The American will be there, making tracks to see American Otis Gibbs, who’s also playing a string of dates in the UK (see otisgibbs.com/tour-dates). Unusually, tickets are half price for under-25s, so students could have a post-exam bash on a budget. June 29th to 2nd July.
A blizzard of blues hits London this month with the multi-venue BluesFest. Many of the top-line artists are British, among them Van Morrison, Ronnie Wood, Tom Jones, Mick Taylor and ‘House’ himself, Hugh Laurie. Among the American stars are Robert Cray, John Hiatt, Eric Bibb, George Benson, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Gov’t Mule and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The festival runs from June 26th to July 6th with too many dates to list individually – see www.bluesfest.co.uk for full details. On June 30th, Ronnie Wood has put together a stunning cast of musical friends and associates to celebrate the great Chess Records label at Hammersmith Apollo. They’re not saying who exactly, but expect some great musicians and singers. And, for Americans, where better to be on July 4th than at a Gov’t Mule or Kenny Wayne Shepherd gig? (See page 32).
After the, er, mixed reception accorded his collaborative album with Metallica, Lulu, Lou Reed is embarking on a European tour. Entitled From VU To Lulu the tour will feature songs from, it’s promised, all eras of Reed’s music songs from the Velvet Underground up to date. Maybe not Metal Machine
Music though, eh Lou? The dates are as follows – see if you can spot the rather odd omission: June 6th Luxembourg Rockhal; 8th Lille, France, L’Aeronef; 14th Amsterdam, Netherlands, Heineken Music Hall; 15th Brussels, Belgium, Ancienne Belgique; 18th Copenhagen, Denmark, Falconer Salen; 20th Berlin, Germany, Citadel Music Festival; 23rd Mainz, Germany, Zollhafen/Nordmole; 25th Clermont Ferrand, France, Coopérative de Mai; 26th Bordeaux, France, Fête le Vin; 29th Bonn, Germany, Kunst!Rasen; 30th Dresden, Germany, Filmnächte am Elbufer; July 1st Munich, Germany, Tollwood Festival, Olympic Park; 5th Trencin, Slovakia, Pohoda Festival. Notice it? Yup, I’d say the old cuss is avoiding the UK and Ireland. Lou, was it something we said?
Metallica – Orion Music + More And what are Lou’s old mates Metallica up to while he’s gallivanting round Europe? What would you do if you were one of metal’s major acts Metallica
and you’d appeared at every festival around the globe you’d ever wanted to? Why, start your own back home in the States of course. Orion Music + More is a plank-spanking new annual music, arts, and lifestyle festival founded by the band. They say it’s a natural progression: “We’ve had the idea of doing our own lifestyle festival with lots of diverse music and fun and games for years,” said Lars Ulrich. “Finally this year all the practical ducks lined up in a row, and we are beyond psyched to bring Orion to our fans, friends and the curious. After the most incredible of weeks ever in December 2011 celebrating our 30th anniversary at the Fillmore in San Francisco, CA, bringing the spirit of that week, the looseness of that week, the possibilities of that week, the fan interactive elements of that week, and the ‘fill in your own blank here’ of that week to a festival setting is so exciting we can hardly contain ourselves.” The festival will feature multiple live music stages plus a ‘lifestyle ele-
ment’ that reflects each of the band members’ personal interests. Metallica will headline both nights, playing The Black Album in its entirety one night and Ride The Lightning on the other – the only time they will perform the albums in North America in 2012. But it’s not just a metal-fest: the lineup spans multiple musical genres from punk to country, with Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold, Modest Mouse, The Gaslight Anthem, Cage The Elephant, Best Coast, Hot Snakes, Titus Andronicus, Gary Clark Jr., Lucero, Roky Erickson, The Black Angels, The Sword, Liturgy, and more. Head home to Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 23rd and 24th.
Westport Festival of Music and Performing Arts Westport, County Mayo, Ireland
A brand new festival is born, way out west – the West of Ireland. On June 23rd and 24th, more than 50 international and Irish acts will include Ray Davies (pictured above), The Waterboys, Seasick Steve, Alison Moyet, The Chieftains, Nick Lowe, The Dubliners, Marc Almond, and many more. Intriguingly the organizers describe it as ‘a grown-up festival for music fans who treasure their record collections’ – but grown-ups have kids, so there’s ‘a kids area to rival any music festival in Ireland or abroad’ too! Spend a summer weekend in a stunning 400 acre site in the heart of one of Ireland’s most welcoming towns, surrounded by great sounds.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd See him at BluesFest on July 4th, courtesy of The American One of the hottest young blues guitarists on the planet is playing a small venue in London. See him close-up now – next time he comes over to the UK he could be half a mile away in a stadium! As part of BluesFest London, KWS is at The Islington Assembly Hall on Independence Day. Buy tickets – or better yet win a pair. Just answer the following question and you’ll go into the draw. Kenny Wayne Shepherd has a Signature guitar made by Fender. Which model is it? A Stratocaster B Telecaster C Starcaster HOW TO ENTER: Email your answer and contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number) to theamerican@ blueedge.co.uk with KWS COMPETITION in the subject line to arrive by mid-day Friday June 29. 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 for the July 4, 2012 performance and are not transferable. You are responsible for any travel, accommodation and other expenses.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd PHOTO: RAFAEL REZENDE
ALBUMS THEOF MONTH By Michael Burland
Walk With Me The Skatalites Wrasse Records
Not many bands can claim to have created a whole musical form, but without a group of elite Jamaican musicians getting together in 1964 to fuse the local musical forms of mento and calypso with the jazz and rhythm and blues they heard on American radio then ska might never have happened. And if no ska, then arguably none of its derivatives: rocksteady, bluebeat, reggae, dancehall, and the ‘third wave ska’ and punk-ska that grabbed young bands on the two ocean coasts of the States. And what about toasting – maybe even rapping? The name of that influential band? The Skatalites. After a decades-long stop-start career it seems extraordinary that the legendary group are still active (albeit with a different line-up) yet here is their new album, Walk With Me (wrongly called All Roads in our Live & Kicking pages in which we listed the band’s current UK tour dates last month – blame editorial brain-fade). Mainly instrumental, all featuring peerless jazz-tinged performances, and all with that familiar off-beat ska rhythm, you won’t find a better album to put on when the sun is out and the rum is flowing. One criticism? It seems churlish to ever complain about quality on a record, but these ears have a soft spot for the compressed production sounds and perfectly-slighty-out-of-tune horns on the early ’60s recordings, and this modern recording sounds perhaps too perfect. ( Just writing that sounds
persnickety!) The last original member, bass player Lloyd Brevett, died May 4. In his memory, and for the sheer enjoyment of it, put it on, pour one (or roll one) and enjoy.
Long Ride Home
Darrell Scott Full Light Records A trip into the spotlight for one of American music’s great side-men. Scott, most recently part of Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, has the guitar credentials (acoustic, electric and steel) that make him a speed-dial on many top-flight frontpersons’ cellphones, but on this, his seventh solo studio album, he shows he has a warm, heartfelt voice that does full justice to a collection of songs that evoke ‘real’ country music without ever sounding like pastiche. He’s joined by musicians and singers like Lloyd Green, Guy Clark, Tim O’Brien, Charlie McCoy, Patty Griffin, Rodney Crowell and Darell’s Daddy Wayne, for a great countrified, sanctified album.
BOOK REVIEWS Reviewed by Virginia E. Schultz, Jarlath O’Connell and Richard L. Gale
‘I’m on the Train!’
Barbra: A Retrospective
By Wendy Perriam £19.99 for hard cover Robert Hale Publisher
By Allegra Rossi
With the busy lives most of us lead, I often wonder why more writers don’t write short stories. Fortunately, one of the best, and too often unappreciated English writers, Wendy Perriam, delivers passionate and moving tales about relationships in this collection of short stories. Being Wendy, her characters have deliciously, wickedly funny and imaginative sex which either leave you crying or laughing out loud. Like Wendy herself (and she is a friend) fear and tragedy is something she lives with for 24 hours and perhaps why men and women in each tale feel so very real no matter their foibles or shortcomings because of a hint of ourselves beneath the surface of our smiles. “The short story,” Wendy writes, “is a one night stand, as against a long term relationship, but, however brief the experience, it should still be passionately involving.” Whether you read one of these stories in bed or on the beach, the brief encounter with each character will be one you’ll long remember. I’m on the Train! is short story form at its best. – VS
This lavishly illustrated coffee-table book is an excellent summary of the career, with each album and each film getting its own spread, and what it lacks in analysis, it more than makes up for in authority. Only the glummest of fans could split hairs about its presentation of the facts. Facts such as that she is the only artist to accrue Billboard No. 1 LPs over five consecutive decades, and that, unlike anyone before her or since, she nabbed the Oscar, the Tony, the Emmy and the Grammy by the age of 29. Unlike too many previous biographies this doesn’t try for sleazy character assassination or take the lazy and predictable route of assembling cuttings and rehashing the same familiar photos. Rossi is obviously a long time fan and this has been a work of devotion, particularly unearthing some rarely-seen photos. Non-believers should not be turned off, however, as it is always best to hear from someone with a passion. For the most part Rossi retains some perspective here except for the opening essay, where she does go over the top and down the other side.
Mindful of upsetting her core market she holds back on any major criticism (such as the over-production of so many of her later albums) and only gets round to chiding Barbra for the occasional fall from grace. The unfortunate fling and resultant album Till I Loved You (and album cover!) with Don Johnson has a veil quietly cast over it. Barbra is also reprimanded (rightly so) for not being picky enough in her recent comedy choices. Cinema history will not, I fear, spend much time on Little Fockers. Unlike Elvis or Michael Jackson, Barbra survived by retaining control and this is probably the lesson that younger artists can learn from her. She came in at the top and with the help of producer Ray Stark and her dutiful manager of 50 years Marty Erlichman, she always did it her way. That of course let her open to accusations of egomaniacal perfectionism but, in the end, it’s what is on the disc or in the can that counts and there she has always delivered. Rossi makes one key observation, that in an age when singers are expected to be (and remain), children, Barbra has forged a career in which she has matured with her dignity intact. Not many others have done so. This is an accomplished retrospective and a great celebration of a unique star. – JOC
READER OFFER Barbra: A Retrospective
Published by Sterling. ISBN 13: 9781402788239 RRP £25.00, offer price £18.75 plus p&p (£2.95 for the first item and £1.95 for each additional item). To order, please call 01273 488005 or go to www.thegmcgroup.com and quote code R3611. Closing date: 24 July 2012.
Coping with Anti-Americanism: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Studying Abroad By Carol Madison Graham Published by Potomac Books 218pp, Paperback, $17.95 On the face of it, the idea that students may need to combat anti-Americanism may make them feel they are living in the shadow of American foreign policy. But while American students may sleep safe in their college dormitories without fear of torches and pitchforks outside the windows, anti-Americanism exists and takes many forms – you only have to see the reaction of British soccer fans to any threat of a ‘Yank’ take-over. Perhaps antipathy or raging resistance are the natural reactions of any other nation to the prevalant cultural force of its day. 200 years ago, that was the British Empire; now it is the United States. In her book, Carol Madison Graham offers students the heads-up on how to respond to anti-American comments, assumptions and prejudice students may encounter, as well as suggesting that anti-Americanism may offer an insight into the resident culture and its preoccupations. From common criticisms of the American government to America’s perceived lack of tradition, to dealing with the behavior of fellow Americans abroad, the author has it covered. Sections include ‘Countering Historical Ignorance’, ‘Sterotyping the South’, ‘The Slave Legacy versus the Land of Opportunity’, and the ‘Vague Understanding of American Political Parties’ amongst many other themes. For countering a similar stormfront of ignorance from a nation’s residents to that so often leveled at Americans abroad, this book is an invaluable aid. – RLG
Rebecca Coleman Virginia E. Schultz interviews the author of The Kingdom of Childhood
s I wrote in my review of The Kingdom of Childhood in April, the author, Rebecca Coleman, paints a disquieting portrait of a middle age woman destroying everything she loves and believes in when she has an affair with, Zach, the sixteen year old friend of her son. A native New Yorker, Rebecca comes from an academic background and was for nine years a Mormon, but has since left the faith. The period she lived in Bavaria, Germany as a child provided the information on the protagonist’s background. Rebecca now lives in Maryland with her family where I interviewed her by telephone.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Under my picture in my senior year book in high school it says my goal was to be a writer, although I don’t think I knew what that meant at the time and it wasn’t until after my third child was born that I became serious. As mother of a son and grandmother of two boys, I found it diﬃcult to relate to Judy’s affair with not only a sixteen year old, but her son’s best friend. I have four kids and that was my same thought the morning I was listening to the news and they aired the story of an affair between a female teacher and a young boy. I found myself wondering why any woman, let alone a teacher, would consider an affair with a teenager when she has everything to lose. As a result, I did a lot of research into female sex offenders and the motivation behind their actions.
My heart goes out to Zach, but I found it diﬃcult to feel sympathy for Judy. I purposely tried to make Zach sympathetic, although, because he’s intelligent, I didn’t want to make it appear he was completely victimized. Judy does get sympathy from me because as a child she didn’t receive the kind of moral compass that would have made her walk away before she became involved. It doesn’t mean, however, I don’t find her actions objectionable. As a culture we find an older man who has an affair with a teenager creepy, but when it comes to women we find it amusing and the majority of people don’t consider it a crime and in many cases, the women when caught gets little more than probation. Society forgets that boys Zach’s age are hormonal and the guilt they feel because
of an adulterous affair can affect their relationship with girls their own age as well as screw up their life later on. Did you know the kind of person Judy was from the beginning? At first I conceived her as a shy, somewhat overweight middle-aged woman who is tempted by her son’s friend but it didn’t gel and I decided to invent a new Judy and that’s when I began imagining a petite, dark haired attractive woman who had been an unhappy even scary child who carried that personality into adulthood. Have you considered writing about how Zach turned out when he’s older? I’m thinking of writing about Zach when he’s in his twenties. The affair happened during his formative years and certainly this had to screw him up in later life. That doesn’t mean I want to moralize or turn him into a victim. I loved writing about Zach but then my favourite characters are those who struggle between right or wrong and for some reason have run off the rails. When and where do you write and how long did it take to write The Kingdom of Childhood? I don’t write in coffee shops as many writers say they do. That’s too noisy for me. I write with my laptop sitting in my rocking chair, usually between ten and two am. It took about two and a half years to complete Kingdom. Is there another book in the pipeline? I just finished my next book about a woman whose husband decides to seek revenge on the government after the suicide of his brother, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. It will be coming out in the States in August. H You can visit Rebecca on Facebook or at www.RebeccaColeman.net
THEATER PREVIEWS Two Gatsbys head to London
ow regarded as a classic, F Scott Fitzgerald’s prohibition-era tale The Great Gatsby only reached acclaimed status after the author’s death in the 1940s. Over the coming months, two productions of the great work take to the stage in London.
GATZ Noël Coward Theatre 8 June – 15 July www.gatzlondon.com/ Gatz (pictured above) is an ambitious eight-hour event performance newly arrived from New York. Spread over four acts (with a dining interval) Gatz is not a retelling of the Gatsby story but an uncut enactment of the novel and part of the London 2012 Festival. The show includes a cast of thirteen, including Wooster Group regular and Obie Award winner Scott Shepherd. However, don’t delay if you want tickets – this epic enactment is coming to London for a strictly limited season, playing just 23 performances.
THE GREAT GATSBY MUSICAL King’s Head Theatre, Islington N1, London August 7 - September 1 The second Gatsby headed this way is a musical – or rather the musical, in its world premiere at the King’s
Head Theatre. Discover the glitzy world of speakeasys, glamour and jazz, the Charleston, American tango, waltz, and ragtime. Directed by Linnie Reedman (whose previous credits include Dorian Gray (Cafe Royal), and Romeo and Juliet (Leicester Square Theatre), the performance will be accompanied by original music by award-winning composer Joe Evans, performed live, forming an integral part of the script.
Globe Hamlet goes on tour Shakespeare’s Globe will be touring Hamlet from June. Using an Elizabethan-inspired stage – influenced by paintings and etchings from Shakespeare’s time, when touring was prevalent – eight actors will visit beautiful and inspiring settings across the UK. This small-scale production of Shakespeare’s masterpiece begins its tour in Portsmouth, June 7, and finishes in London at the Globe, September 1. Globe regular Dominic Dromgoole has previously directed a host of Shakespeare’s plays at the Globe, including Henry V (2012), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2007 and 2009), and King Lear (2008). Hamlet will be played by Michael Benz, with Carlyss Peer in the role of Ophelia. To find out locations and booking information visit www.shakespearesglobe.com
The Duchess of Malfi ve Best, who had a great hit here with Kevin Spacey in A Moon for the Misbegotten, returns in triumph in this lucid and fast-paced production of Webster’s grisly masterpiece. Her entrance would be the envy of many a diva. Back stage centre, great doors burst open and a back lit majestic figure appears in courtly procession. The play begins with a masque and this stylised movement sets the scene for what will be an unsettling evening. What you take away, though, is the memory of Soutra Gilmour’s skewed cathedral-like set, a ravishingly ornate pile of gilded gothic splendour. James Farncombe’s lighting also lets loose with this aesthetic and Ben and Max Ringham’s music and sound design is also quite ravishing. These combine with an overpowering scent of incense, to create an assault on the senses. With this solid production Jamie Lloyd copper-fastens his reputation as one of the most exciting young directors currently working on the London stage. His productions combine ravishing visuals with an intellectual rigour which clarifies difficult texts, simplifies the action and all the while he coaxes great performances from his actors. Webster’s play is in many ways Shakespeare lite (sorry Bard, if you’re swivelling in your grave). The language is not as challenging, the plotting more nimble and we’re saved the tedious comic interludes. One can’t help thinking here of the line from Make ’em Laugh about how in Hamlet “everyone ends up as mincemeat”. Like stepping onto a roller coaster, in this play, you know that as soon as the Duchess embarks on the seduction of her lowly steward Antonio, against the explicit
By John Webster • Old Vic Theatre, London • Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell
THEATER REVIEWS wishes of her two crazed brothers, she is doomed. It is the anticipation of the horrors to come which gives the piece its momentum. This is slasher horror par excellence. The Jacobean trend for stage violence includes murder by smothering using a poisoned bible (a neat trick attempted by a dodgy Cardinal), and a gruesome strangulation, which is rather too prolonged for the audience’s comfort. Best pitches her performance with great accuracy. By first bringing out the carefree romantic spirit of the young Duchess, she makes it all the more poignant later on, when the role degenerates into a downward spiral of anguish. Tom Bateman, who made a splash in The Lion in Winter, here consolidates his leading man potential as the love interest Antonio. Rugged and handsome and with a great speaking voice, he is certainly going places. Mark Bonnar presents a lively Bosola, the central character of the play, who journeys from dutiful henchman to the Cardinal to a Damascene conversion in which he is confronted by the quiet virtue of the Duchess facing her death. Mark Bonnar gives the character a thick Scottish accent which sharpens the sour melancholy of the character. Webster couldn’t have come up with two better baddies than the two vengeful brothers. Finbar Lynch seethes malevolently as the dodgy Cardinal, vigorously
humping his latest disposable mistress, and Harry Lloyd gives us Ferdinand as a gaunt and haunted figure who is obviously unhinged from the outset. He progresses from sadistically dreaming up new tortures for his victims, to stark raving mad, by way of lycanthropy (thinking he’s a wolf). Gilmour had to fashion a nifty 17th century take on the arm sling after Lynch was in an accident and broke his arm just before opening night. The resulting leather gauntlet makes the Cardinal look even more like a Bond villain. On the night I visited, the cast also recovered brilliantly from a bed which collapsed. A production crowded with incident, then.
PHOTO: JOHAN PERSSON
Long Day’s Journey Into Night By Eugene O’Neill Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell
avid Suchet and Laurie Metcalf triumph in this sterling revival by Anthony Page of O’Neill’s great masterpiece. The story of the Tyrone family, retired theatrical star James Tyrone, his morphine addicted wife Mary and their two wayward sons follows the course of their squabbling over one day in summer 1912, as they holiday in a Connecticut seaside home, enveloped by fog.
“What are you two arguing about”, “Same old stuff ”. O’Neill got the nature of families spot-on and by framing the action over the course of a day he reminds us that it’s always the same old argument. They start up like bushfires and eventually burn themselves out when they get too close to the un-sayable. Written in 1941, O’Neill forbade the play to be published until 25 years after his death, but just three years after, in 1956, his widow Carlotta disobeyed those instructions. It has since entered the canon as one of the greatest plays of all time and Sidney Lumet’s luminous film version
from 1962 is one of the most perfect screen adaptations. O’Neill dubbed it a “play of old sorrow written in tears and blood” and it is a mountain to climb for actors. Suchet, one of our great classical actors but better known the world over as Hercule Poirot, and Metcalf who came to fame in the US sitcom Roseanne, here mine new depths in these great roles. Metcalf, who got her acting wings at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, brings a nervy Method-like edge to the part, which discomfits at first but then delivers fresh insights. No fey madness here and for a while you even sympathise with James Snr. for putting up with her endless kvetching. It is also a pitch perfect portrayal of the loneliness of the addict. The rambling, the dissembling, the mood swings, are all beautifully observed. By contrast, Suchet underplays the actorly flourishes as Tyrone Snr. Like O’Neill’s own father, Tyrone is an actor whose early potential in Shakespeare was thwarted by settling for easy success in a long running pot-boiler. That play brought him great financial security but typecast him for the rest of his career. Scarred by a childhood of abject poverty, it set
David Suchet and Laurie Metcalf as James and Mary Tyrone PHOTO: JOHAN PERSSON
Trevor White, David Suchet and Kyle Soller in Long Day’s Journey Into Night PHOTO: JOHAN PERSSON
the template for his later miserliness and his obsessive unscrewing of light bulbs, to save on the electric bill. This is one of the play’s great images. While he may not fly off the handle with an Irish temper, like many others have done, Suchet nevertheless brings a still authority to the part. You are in no doubt who rules the roost. The parts of the sons have created the reputations for many a young actor. Jason Robards Jnr. created the role of Jamie on Broadway in 1956 and Kevin Spacey was memorable in the part in Jonathan Miller’s famed 1986 revival. Trevor White plays the part here while the sickly younger son Edmund (modelled on O’Neill himself) is played by the young American actor Kyle Soller. Now Londonbased, Soller has made a great splash of late in both The Glass Menagerie and The Government Inspector at the Young Vic and is a name to watch. The challenge for both the sons is to perfectly calibrate the encroaching drunkenness as the night wears on and here they don’t quite nail it. They forget that what defines a drunk is how he tries so hard not to be. One of the high watermarks of theatrical realism, the play requires an uber-realistic set and Lez Brotherston’s beautiful house is perfectly conceived. Page ends the piece with the characters in isolation, each trapped in their own story, a perfect coda to an unforgettable production.
Top Hat Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, based on RKO’s motion picture Aldwych Theatre, London WC2 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell
or the first time the estate of Irving Berlin has allowed this great Astaire and Rogers musical to be staged and in Matthew White’s lavish production the West End receives a sparkling version, graced by two likeable stars Summer Strallen and Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers. The 1935 film on which it was based was one of nine classics that Astaire and Rogers completed for RKO between 1933 and 1939. They’ve rightly entered cinema history and if this show introduces them to a new audience then it has done its work. Packed with imperishable Berlin songs such as Putting on the Ritz, No Strings, Isn’t This a Lovely Day and Cheek to Cheek, you leave humming, and tomorrow morning in the shower you will still be humming. The original, perfect at 95 minutes, has been padded out with no less than ten additional songs by Berlin, including Let’s Face the Music and Dance. Sometimes this works, as when the gazelle-like Strallen gets a chance to shine in solo numbers such as the sultry Wild About You, but often they’re superfluous. The Strallen sisters truly are a wonder of the West End. Summer’s sister Scarlett is currently wowing them in Singin’ In the Rain and both are the famous “triple threat”: they can sing, act and dance divinely. If only there were a similar family producing a line of male leads of such quality, the future of musical theatre would be assured.
The challenge for Tom Chambers here was immense, not only must he follow in the footsteps of Fred Astaire, but he’s also up against a more experienced troupe of musical theatre performers. With a crooked grin and a boyish bonhomie he inhabits the part well, but up against a Strallen, his lack of technique, particularly in the singing, does show. The supporting cast are all pitch perfect with Ricardo Afonso hilarious as the explosive Italian dress maker Beddini and Stephen Boswell, a caustic joy as the butler Bates. Vivien Parry is a barbed delight as the friend of the heroine, Madge, who gets all the best lines. Martin Ball has to follow in the great footsteps of Edward Everett Horton who played Horace - Horton was the master of the double take in so many glorious 1930s comedies. Ball here gives the part a British spin and could be right out of P G Woodhouse. As for the plot, it doesn’t really matter that it is paper-thin, the emotion is in the dancing and in those moments of transcendence that only musicals can provide.
compromise. Here choreographer Bill Deamer probably lost out and his perfectly drilled ensemble look hemmed in during key moments when they need to fly. The ensemble are top class, as are the band, aided by Chris Walker’s wonderful arrangements. The Cheek to Cheek number with Ginger in that amazing feathered gown is of course the iconic image from the film and while Jon Morrell’s costumes are generally exquisite he seems to have lost his nerve on that one. He delivers a poor shadow of the original, looking more like a negligee, and one wonders if perhaps he ran out of marabou feathers! It’s a small flaw however in an otherwise haute couture production. H
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus
MOVIES OF THE MONTH
PHOTO: ALAISTAIR MUIR
A Depression-era escapist fantasy like this, of course, requires conspicuous consumption and Hildegard Bechtler’s glorious art deco sets truly deliver this. At times their scale does tend to overwhelm the space given to the dancers but it’s a difficult
istorical action flick Red Tails (the story of the Tuskegee airmen, America’s first African-American air force pilots) easily tops our must-see list [see our Cuba Gooding Jr. interview overleaf]. However, for sheer boxoffice clout watch for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s return to the H.R. Giger aesthetics and dirty sci-fi of the Alien universe, and Snow White and the Huntsman, a full-force live-action fantasy apt to be as popular at the multiplex as Narnia at the very least, and a good fantasy filler until half a hobbit falls in our laps this Christmas. More weirdness to look out for: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, featuring the least likely undeadslayer since Elvis took on an Egyptian mummy in Bubba Ho-Tep; the David Cronenberg-directed Cosmopolis, a slick, 20-minutes-into-the-future SF drama about power and technology; A Fantastic Fear of Everything, a low-budget British psychological comedy starring Simon Pegg; and Red Lights, in which parapsychologist Sigourney Weaver and assistant Cillian Murphy investigate eerie stage psychic Robert De Niro. For lighter viewing there’s Rock of Ages, based on the broadway musical and starring Tom Cruise (could be the next Footloose, but just as easily the next Streets of Fire); and Joyful Noise, as a plucky gospel choir pulls together with the help of rivals Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. That still sounds like Citizen Kane by comparison to Miley Cyrus vehicle LOL and its social media tagline: ‘Status may change, but true love remains’. Ugh!H
Cuba Gooding Jr. The Oscar winner was recently in London to promote his new film, Red Tails, about the Tuskegee airmen
uba, the Tuskegee airmen may not be known to all our readers. Tell me about them. It was a time during World War II when the American military was segregated, and they didn’t have blacks fighting in the war effort. Eleanor Roosevelt visited the air base in Tuskegee, Alabama where black pilots were training – she actually went up and flew with them. When she went back to the White House she pressured the President to incorporate them into the war effort. They became the the 99th Fighter Squadron, and they were first sent to Ramitelli Airfield in Italy. It was an all-black air base, they were still segregated. They had to do a lot of strafing missions, for two or three years, but they didn’t let them engage in air combat. The strafing runs were dangerous, they were like sitting ducks, but it enhanced their skills to where they were essentially aces by the time they saw combat. They became so proficient that they were finally assigned to escort the heavy bombers on their long-distance runs over Berlin. They ended up with one of the best records for American pilots during the war. The film Red Tails is specifically about their exploits during their war effort in World War II, flying bomber escort in the skies over Berlin.
I hear that the bomber pilots would ask for ‘those guys with the red tails’ to provide escort cover, without necessarily knowing they were black – they just knew they were the best. Exactly right – the tails of their planes were painted red. There was one incident when one of the bombers had to land at the 99th’s base. When the crew got out they were shocked to see that they were all blacks – but they couldn’t deny their mastery of flying. I think the average number of missions that pilots would fly in WWII would be 10 to 20. These pilots would do 50 to 70 missions, months on end. Were they made to do more missions because of their color? No, I think it was because they were so good – everyone requested them. One of the things that made them stand out was that a lot of the white pilots on bomber escort would engage with enemy planes to try and shoot them down, to get the glory, and leave the bombers as sitting ducks. The standing order for the Red Tails pilots was never to leave the bombers. They followed those orders, and although German fighters would shoot some of them down they had a high rate of success because they never left their bombers alone. They were taken on equal terms during the war because of their bravery and skill. Did that carry on into peace-time? And how important were they to the civil rights campaign that followed? They jump-started the Civil Rights movement. What they did showed that blacks and whites could work together harmoniously. When they shipped back to America after the war there were signs at the end of the gangplank, Left Whites Only, Right Blacks Only. But people couldn’t deny their contribution to the war effort and that
started a lot of changes. And a lot of things that happen in the military are echoed in the society in America. You met some of the surviving Tuskegee airmen – what were they like? I met them, traveled with them, went to Veterans Day Parades in Washington, D.C. and New York with them. There have been several of them at every screening that we’ve done of Red Tails in the States. It’s always an emotional experience. They’re older now, in their 90s, so every year we lose a few – out of 3,000 there are less than 70 left. It’s great to be able to shake them by the hand and thank them personally for their contribution. Who do you play in Red Tails? The characters are amalgamations of a few different real people. My character, Major Emanuel Stance, is loosely based on Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, the commander of what had become the 332nd Fighter Group, but with elements of a few other people. The film has some amazing flying sequences. Was any of it real, or is it CGI? A lot of it’s real planes. We shot outside Prague in the Czech Republic in an abandoned Russian air base. We had P-51 fighters and bombers. It was a treat for three months watching them fly. Did you get to fly in them? Not this time. This is my second go around with this story – I did a film called Tuskegee Airmen in 1991 in which I was a pilot and I was up flying in the planes a lot. This time I was stuck in the watchtower by the runway, watching them – I got buzzed by a lot of planes though!
Lt. Howard A Wooten, USAAF, one of the original Tuskegee airmen
What was it like working with George Lucas? This guy’s an icon! Anthony Hemingway [director of Wire] directed Red Tails, but George keeps his hand in every aspect of the production, the dialog, the way set looks, costumes, everything. He’s a stickler, but it was really interesting to watch, and his companies look after everything, the post-production, the editing. And George let Anthony’s voice shine through - it was like having a general and a captain on the set. It was educational. Do you have any thoughts of directing? I do actually, and this was great training for my directing career. Since I was in high school it’s been my passion to tell stories. I write now, and I’ve been in the editing room – there’s an art to editing and directing.
Sunshine Boy Hits Town Danny DeVito’s in London, starring on the stage for the first time in four decades! He tells Michael Burland all about it.
Cuba Gooding Jr. in Red Tails
You have said: “I have never made a decision based on race and never will,” but Red Tails does have racial implications. Anthony Hemingway says it’s not just a black story, it’s definitely an American story- would you agree? Yes, it’s a bit of everything. When I said that in the 1980s I meant that I wouldn’t define myself as a black actor, making a black statement. But now I have sons who are 15 and 17, and a daughter who’s six, and I want them to have a pride and a confidence about who they are and where they come from. Now my choices are about the film-maker. Today I don’t care about the script – if it’s being made by a brilliant director, count me in! Finally, you’ve done some interviews where you say that you love Britain and want to work here. What is it that you like? I’ve seen a lot of British films and TV shows that have a distinct voice, and there a lot of great young film-makers there. I want to make great films with real film makers, wherever they are. H
want to ask you, of course, about The Sunshine Boys, which you’re starring in in London, but first, can I ask you about New Jersey? Ah, New Jersey, my home town! Asbury Park, New Jersey, down the shore, midway between New York and Atlantic City. Years ago when my Dad first came to New Jersey from Brooklyn, people drove to Atlantic City to go to the Steel Pier and all the clubs and entertainments. But it was a very long trip on those semi-dirt roads in those little rickety cars, so they needed a stopping off point half way. And it was topographically beautiful, it had lakes and inlets from the sea and beaches. This little town grew into a resort. I was born there in 1944. My mother was born there – my grandparents were all from Italy – and my Jersey life was just fantastic, growing up there in the fifties. Jersey still features strongly in your life doesn’t it? Yes, I called my company Jersey and I have two older sisters who live there, in Interlaken, near Asbury.
Do you find that a lot of people, even other Americans know New Jersey for – shall we say – things like The Sopranos? Yes, but that sort of activity was further north around Newark. Down
the shore the only illegal activities were around gambling – the horses or playing the numbers. When I was a kid it wasn’t taxable, but then the government cracked down on all the little bookmakers and they put in off track betting. They claimed that all the tax money goes to schools - I have yet to see that! But that’s not just New Jersey, it’s the same with every state government. Asbury Park is also famous for Bruce Springsteen. Do you ever meet him on the street? Bruce is our hero! He was actually born in Freehold, New Jersey, right next to Asbury. He used to come to Asbury in the late ’60s and early ’70s, to The Stone Pony, a bar down on the loop. We would drive around the loop like in American Graﬃti, looking for girls. We had no idea that – and now you’re gonna hear the politics – we were playing into the hands of the oil companies. But it was a lot of fun. Bruce is younger than me – he’s a baby! – but we’ve known each other since the late ’70s. I inducted him into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, he inducted me. How did you get into acting? As a kid I thought it would be a real fun thing to do, but I never had the
guts to try it. Now I’ve been doing it for forty years, and I’ve had to find the guts to go to the Savoy Theatre and be in The Sunshine Boys. You studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. How did that come about? Yeah, my sister had a beauty parlor in Asbury. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so she sent me to beauty school for a while. I got sidetracked when I went to New York to learn about makeup, and there was nowhere to learn it apart from one course, and in order to do it you had to enrol as an actor. I got bit by the bug and forgot everything else. I loved it, doing some plays OffBroadway, Off-Off-Broadway, Summer stock, stuff like that. I did One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Off-Broadway and then I got a part in the movie and moved to California. That was my big break – movies was what I was really interested in. It was a lot of fun, but I still couldn’t get any work until the late ’70s when I got a job on Taxi. Taxi brought me into people’s homes. It was a learning experience, and I loved working on it. I was fortunate because at that time not many people came out of TV into movies but Jim Brooks, one of the creators of Taxi wrote and directed a movie called Terms of Endearment and I got a part in that. Then Michael did Romancing the Stone and I was in that. They were successful, and things led on from there. That’s Michael Douglas – how long has he been a friend of yours? All our lives! PHOTO: JOHAN PERSSON
How is he now? He’s doing really well, thank God, he’s out of the woods with his cancer problem, and he’s a very strong guy, a fighter. After those movies I directed The War of the Roses with Michael in it.
Did you always want to produce and direct? I didn’t really know. I saw The Battle of Algiers in the ‘60s, a movie I love, and I wondered how a movie was made, what a director does, how it’s all put together. In my career I’ve been fortunate to be around people on the set, working with great directors like Milos Forman, and Hal Ashby who became a good friend. What do you get out of directing that you don’t out of acting? The whole reason to be a director is because the position of God is already filled! If you really want your views and your ideas and your creative juices to be fulfilled, that’s the place for you. Theater directing is great also – I’m learning with Thea Sharrock, who I’m working with right now, she’s a terrific director and really smart. It’s been a learning experience for me with her and Richard Griffiths and all the people in The Sunshine Boys. I’m looking forward to fumbling my way through it! You’re making it sound like your the new kid on the block. Whaddaya mean, of course I’m the new kid on the block – on the West End block! The great thing is, I feel I’m in good hands, with people who know their way around the West End block. We have a great play, really well written by Neil Simon, which saves our butt every once in a while. Look, it’s taken me a long time to get back to the stage, I haven’t done it since Cuckoo’s Nest in 1971. If you’re going to throw yourself out there, you might as well do it with people who know what they’re doing. Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths appear together in The Sunshine Boys, now in London’s West End PHOTO: MICHAEL BIRT
“The whole reason to be a director is because the position of God is already filled!” Why this one – you must have been offered other stage productions, maybe on Broadway? You have to be able to receive gifts when they’re given. And you have to remember I’ve been busy doing all kinds of cool stuff, raising a family, making movies. I’m in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the eighth season starts in July – Kaitlin Olson, who’s in the show, just had her second baby so we decided to move the shooting dates back, so I had a window to do
this play when it came up. The timing was perfect, I wanted to go back to the stage, the West End is the perfect place to do it, it’s a beautiful theater, The Sunshine Boys is a great play and it has Richard Griffiths in it, who I’m a big fan of, and Thea directing. It was like being given a gift. H
See how America works, with stunning views from above
America Revealed PBS (UK) • 7.50pm, Wednesday June 20
he British arm of America’s Public Broadcasting Service is broadcasting a fantastic new series showing the U.S.A. in a whole new light – America Revealed. The four-episode weekly miniseries premieres at 7.50pm on Wednesday June 20th on PBS (UK). It features stunning aerial footage, high-definition video, CGI and real-time satellite data, helping viewers to explore and understand the United States from a new perspective. The graphics are based on the techniques that the producers, Lion Television, developed for the BBC’s Britain from Above, but, they say, taken to a whole new level. The series’ adventurous (and handsome) presenter is Yul Kwon, a technology expert and communications attorney, and winner of America’s Survivor: Cook Islands, who jumps out of aeroplanes, climbs up energy towers in Montana, accompanies a Nebraska farmer on a crop harvest and rides with Las Vegas cabbies during the city’s annual cowboy convention to give a fresh and surprising view of how an incredibly vast and complex country like America actually works, from the migration of salmon to the journeys of pizza deliveries. For more information, go to pbs.co.uk H
Yul Kwon guides viewers around new aspects of the United States
US ELECTION 2012 What is it about elections these days, asks Sir Robert Worcester
t’s a great time for psephologists, the nerds (like me), who live for the excitement of elections. Especially when they’re close run things. In the London Mayoral election there was a cliff hanger on 3rd May, 52% to Boris Johnson over 48% for former Mayor Ken Livingstone. On Sunday 6th May the French elected Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate, by a narrow 52% to 48% over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. And the French electorate, just having had a two-round election for the Presidency, are being asked to go to the polls again for the French Assembly elections, on the 12th and 17th of June. And of course the American election, now more than a year old already, trundles on.
Electoral College Voting, 2008
At the last American Presidential Election, held in 2008, Barack Obama won the popular vote by 53% to 46%. It looks to be closer this year. The two principal tracking polls, Rasmussen and Gallup, have the candidates neck and neck. Rasmussen has the current state of play as Obama 47%, Romney 45% while Gallup has Romney at 46% and Obama at 45%, in other words, level pegging. The key states are where it counts, as when you look at the map of the USA coloured red for the Republicans and blue for the Democrats, there’s a sea of red across the southern, mid-western and mountain states, geographically greater, but in terms of electoral votes based on electors
(those eligible to vote) there are greater numbers in the east and western coastal states. California has 55 electoral votes, cancelling out Washington (12), Oregon (7), Idaho (4), Utah (6) Montana (3) North and South Dakota (3 each) Nebraska (5), Kansas (6) and Colorado (9) all by itself – and California’s solid for Obama. Texas is likely to vote its 38 electoral votes for Mitt Romney, and counter Minnesota (10), Michigan (16), and Illinois (20). In 2008, California’s 55 voted 61% for Obama and 37% for McCain. I can’t see that swinging into the Romney camp, nor Texas’ 38 votes going for Obama when four years ago they voted 55% to 45% for the Republican. The likely ‘swing’ states which for the moment are too close to call include Arizona (11), Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Missouri (10) – closest last time – New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18) and Virginia (13). In 2004 the bellwether states were Florida (remember the fight over the ‘chads’?), Ohio and Pennsylvania. Four years ago it was those three plus North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Georgia and Montana, Arizona and Virginia. Our old friends economy and jobs are of concern to the greatest numbers of potential voters no matter where they live and who they are in terms of gender, age, religion and the other demographics which we use to dissect the electorate. Issues of second rank include, now as in 2008, health care,
education and the budget deficit, the last overlapping in people’s minds with the economy. Obama’s health care bill, passed by the Congress with difficulty during his first term is still a contentious issue with the American electorate, with a majority of Americans saying that if they could, they’d vote to repeal it. Romney is bound to make this and the President’s record on the economy and jobs his three main talking points as the campaign settles down to a slug fest over the summer up to the party conferences and the start, finally, of the election proper, on the first Monday in September, Labor Day. Some of the so-called ‘hot button’ issues, gun control, abortion and gay marriage are ‘single-issue’ voters’ dividing lines, but are now so embedded in the two-way, Republican v. Democrats, allegiances, they are no longer game changers to the mass of the electorate. Afghanistan has dropped significantly as an issue for now, as has terrorism, but should Iran erupt or a major terrorist attack succeed, these issues could ignite public concern, and much will depend on how the President responds as to how they will affect the election.
There are four hurdles to jump for issues to ‘bite’ in electoral terms, causing a supporter of one party to defect to another: first, they have to care about the issue, think it important to them and their family; second, they have to differentiate between the parties on the issue(s) they think important, for if it is not salient to them, or they think that the parties’ policies overlap, they won’t transfer their vote at the voting machine; third, they have to believe that the party if in power would do something about the issue; and fourthly, that the party if in power could do something about it. Clinton is often quoted saying ‘It’s the economy, stupid’, but when the world is in recession, the public may give the President some slack and not switch from supporting him in November unless the American economy stops bucking the trend of the world’s economic muddle. Health care is a different case and could indeed switch some votes. H Sir Robert Worcester is the Founder of MORI. Follow him for updates on Twitter: @RobertWorcester.
Electoral College Votes by State, 2012
If Romney can claim Arizona – which John McCain won – it’ll be worth one more electoral college vote than in ’08 PHOTO: GAGE SKIDMORE
Obama’s Electoral Lead Narrows If the 2012 election were today, would you vote for... Obama 48
Economic Issues Top Voters’ Agenda Percent rating each as “very important” to their vote 86
Health Care Education
Abortion Birth control Gay marriage
39 34 28
PEW RESEARCH CENTER APR. 4-15. 2012. BASED ON REGISTERED VOTERS
GoingElectric In The Real World Chevrolet’s Volt is the first EV you can practically own as your sole car even if you live in the sticks, finds Michael Burland on its European launch
t’s won a shelf-load of awards, including European Car of the Year 2012, but what make the Chevrolet Volt so different to the many electric/hyrid eco vehicles vying for your attention and your budget? After all, Renault has announced that electric is the way to go, and Lexus has sold hybrids for years. The Volt claims to be the first electric car that you can have as your main transport if you live away from city centers. How so? Simply this: the Volt is driven electrically all the time, but when the electrons run out the Chevy has an ace up its sleeve – a small petrol engine. C’mon, you say, I can think of any number of hybrids.
Sure, Chevrolet counters, but they’re internal combustion vehicles with electric assistance. The Volt is all-electric until the current stops flowing, at which time its petrolpowered generator takes over, so you won’t end up stranded on the hard shoulder. Ideal for country-dwellers? We’ll see. All this is academic if A) the Volt doesn’t achieve Chevrolet’s claims (a full battery charge plus a full tank of fuel will allegedly provide up to 300 miles of driving, while one battery charge can give up to 50 miles or B) it’s not a useful or pleasant car to drive. Chevrolet realize this and commenced the Volt’s launch in Britain’s
most modern city, Milton Keynes, sending us out into English countryside toward Cambridge, an ancient city, but also one of the UK’s science hotspots with links to Michael Faraday, who (pretty much) invented the electric transformer and generator. See the volt-age connections? The Volt passed Test A well. It was pretty flat landscape, and the lack of major hills helped the electric range, but the Volt gave around 38 miles of electric motoring without troubling the generator – in the upper half of Chevrolet’s estimated 25 to 50 miles – whereupon the 1.4 liter 4 cylinder petrol engine kicked in. When it did it was so quiet and unobtrusive I honestly didn’t notice. It covered the rest of the trip on dinosaur power at around 70mpg. Test B was no sweat to the Chevy
WIN A MODEL VOLT either. A modern family compact, lots of body-colour plastic on the dash and console (very iPod), all mod cons, bright and airy. In short it feels like a smart, quality modern car, not a hair-shirted, look-at-me-I’m-atree-hugger compromise. A small trunk is the only fly in the practicality ointment, caused by the need to put the battery pack somewhere. All this comes at a cost: a heady £34,995. Even with the government’s £5,000 EV discount that’s double what you might pay for a smallengined super-frugal diesel or directinject petrol engined hatchback, so why would you? Perhaps to be an early adopter, to support the progress of ecologically friendly motoring, or to future-proof yourself against possible fossil-fuel taxes. Or maybe just to avail yourself of virtually free local motoring – a charge costs around £1, and there’s no road tax or congestion charges. We’ll run a full road test soon to see how it works as a truly everyday car (the editor lives miles from anywhere) but for now the Volt ticks all the boxes bar the price. Chevrolet have done a fine job.
The good folks at Chevrolet have kindly let us have two beautiful 1:18 scale die-cast metal models of the ground-breaking Volt for The American’s readers to win. Just answer the following question correctly and you’ll be in with a chance of winning one of them. What kind of battery pack does the Chevrolet Volt use? ANSWER A lead-acid B lithium-ion C Duracell AAA HOW TO ENTER: Email your answer and your contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number) to email@example.com with VOLTCOMPETITION in the subject line; or send a postcard to: VOLT COMPETITION, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK; to arrive by mid-day June 30, 2012. 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. H
Football in Finsbury A
merican football... in London. Gridiron football has been going on in the UK – regularly – for about 30 years, just out of sight, just off the national sports radar. Highlights of the national final appear once a year as an aside during Sky Sports’ NFL coverage, and British die-hard supporters of the sport know it’s out there, yet for most U.S. expats it’s the least expected export of American sports culture. Finding American football in Finsbury Park’s athletics stadium is a little like finding a branch of Waffle House next to Marks & Spencer. Its presence even caught some of its present players off-guard:
Richard L Gale drops in on the London Blitz “I was watching The Waterboy, reminiscing a bit” London Blitz’s defensive back Rob Lombardi explains. “I moved to London two years ago with my company, Merrill Lynch. I was two years out of college, and I just went online and looked for football. Flag football was what I was expecting, and I found this.” Rob played corner for the University of Pennsylvania for four years. I ask him how this compares. “There’s really a lot of really good talent, guys who could have played at the top colleges in the U.S. It seems like they’ve got a great program, it’s a lot like my high school program the way we run practice, look at the film, break down teams. We run a lot of different coverages.” Running back Jenerro Wade, now in his second season with the team, had a similarly pleasant surprise.
COURTES Y OF L OND
“I came over to England to get my Masters Degree in International Sports Management. I just Googled, looking for flag football. “At most positions I feel like we have athletes that could compete at the Division 1 level. American football is still trying to break in to this country – people have been playing since Pop Warner in the US, and people start playing here in college.” The age of introduction is something London Blitz chairman Ed Morgan would like to see change. “One thing we don’t shout loud enough about in the UK is that we lead the way in collegiate football in Europe [but] it would be great to get kids playing at 12 rather than at 19.” The London Blitz are doing their part, with a flag team for ages 10+, a youth kitted team for ages 14+, and junior football for 17-19 year old. Like their senior squad, the children’s flag team and the junior team are reigning national champions. The field may only be 90 yards long (to fit inside an athletics track), seating is wherever you find a step, and the concessions stand is an ad hoc (albeit tasty) burger stand, but it is, nonetheless, hard, competitive American football in London. Did Rob Lombardi imagine playing football again? “Never in a million years - probably one of the best things that’s happened to me in the UK”. H To catch some of the action, or even to get involved with the London Blitz visit www.londonblitz.com
Your Guide to British Tennis in June:
The Road to SW19 ooking for something to bridge the gap between the flag-waving of the Jubilee celebrations and the 2012 Olympics? The world’s biggest tennis stars will be in the country this month, and in London not once but twice. The ATP tour returns to England with the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club (named after Queen Victoria) a week after the Jubilee festivities, while Birmingham welcomes the WTA tour the same day. A week later, the tours combine down beside the seaside in Eastbourne. The tournaments represent a great (and relatively inexpensive) opportunity to see the biggest stars of tennis in relaxed surroundings ahead of the big one at the end of the month: Wimbledon. While London SW19 may host the most iconic tennis venue in the world, we recommend the buzz of the build up, as players and media alike get their game face on for the Grand Slam tournament – 25 of the past 27 Wimbledon champions have played at the Aegon Championships beforehand.
Aegon Classic, Birmingham
Ladies’ tournament, June 11-17 Location: Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham B15 2UZ Reigning Singles Champ: Sabine Lisicki Confirmed to attend: Lisicki, Daniela Hantuchova, Roberta Vinci, Kaia Kanepi, Christina McHale, Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Sorana Cirstea Getting there: From M6, J6 for A38(M), then use the center lane through three tunnels and set of traffic lights; at the next lights turn right into Priory Road, then right after 50 meters. Tickets: £10 (Mon) to £30 per day
Aegon International, Eastbourne
Combined tournament, June 16-23 Location: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, Sussex BN21 4JJ Reigning Singles Champs: Marion Bartoli, Andreas Seppi Confirmed to attend: Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki; Seppi, Richard Gasquet, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Donald Young Getting there: By car via A22 (London), A259 (Hastings) and A27 (Brighton); By train to Eastbourne Railway Station from London Victoria (80 mins). Tickets: £14 to £41 per day
Aegon Championships, London
Men’s tournament, June 11-17 Location: Queen’s Club, London W14 9EQ Reigning Champ: Andy Murray Confirmed to attend: Murray, Mardy Fish, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Janko Tipsarevic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Roddick, Donald Young, Ryan Harrison Getting there: Public transport advisable: Baron’s Court Underground (Piccadilly and District Lines) or bus routes 9, 10, 27, 28, 74, 190, 295, or 391. Tickets: £17 (Mon-Fri) to £103 per day
The Championships (Wimbledon)
PHOTOS © AELTC
Grand Slam Event Dates: June 25 to July 8 Location: London SW19 5AE Reigning Singles Champs: Novak Djokovic, Petra Kvitova Expected to attend: Everybody! Getting there: Parking costs in the region of £25 (£10 for motorcycles), so public transport is highly advisable. District line (underground) to Wimbledon Station; then use London General shuttle bus service to The Championships. Tickets: Center, No.1 and No.2 courts (£35 to £90 depending on the day) extremely limited at the turnstiles. However, access to the grounds (and other courts) still costs downward of £20. H Websites: www.lta.org.uk and www.wimbledon.org
© CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
ike former Vancouver Canucks power-forward Todd Bertuzzi before him, Phoenix Coyotes winger Raffi Torres has managed the rare feat of evolving from hockey player to global pariah. It’s impossible not to be familiar with the details of his uncommon transformation, but let’s recap it anyway – just for giggles. Because that’s what the NHL’s policy on headshots and violence has become – a joke – so why not have a laugh at it? Halfway through the first round of the playoffs, in Game 3, Torres delivered a late, high bodycheck on puckless Chicago Blackhawks star Marian Hossa, sending him to the hospital on a stretcher. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety, headed by former player Brendan Shanahan, came short of tarring and feathering Torres for his hit – but just. Torres ended up with a 25-game suspension, the most severe in playoff history, and became a symbol for both sides of the debate surrounding violence in the NHL. You say debate; I say debacle. You say fair; I say fiasco.
Torres 25 Keith 5?
NHL makes Torres walk the plank in a sea of inconsistency, writes Jeremy Lanaway
Needless to say, Torres isn’t in the mood for singing classics with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In fact, on 3rd May, he and the NHL Players Association announced their intention to appeal the league’s ruling on the grounds of its severity. Torres, his agent, and a group of NHLPA representatives will meet with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss the lengthy ban, which will carry over into next season. Bettman isn’t likely to overturn the decision of his top disciplinarian, not with the NHL and consistency fast becoming an oxymoron among professional sports, but the NHLPA is using the occasion to send a message. ‘One person making a decision is a bad idea,’ said Coyotes player representative Jason LaBarbera. ‘I think you need to have three people – one from the league, one from the PA, and an independent person. It needs to be voted on. When it’s in one person’s hands, I think it’s too much responsibility and too much power. I don’t envy [Shanahan’s] job. I know it’s difficult, but it’s just been so inconsistent. If you ask a lot of guys, I don’t think anybody
really knows what the hell is right and what’s wrong anymore.’ Shanahan justified the Torres ruling in a video statement: ‘Despite knowing that Hossa no longer has the puck, Torres decides to finish his check past the amount of time when Hossa is eligible to be bodychecked. While we acknowledge the circumstances of certain hits [causing] a player’s skates to come off the ice, on this hit, Torres launches himself into the air before making contact. [...] The position of Hossa’s head does not change just prior to or simultaneous with this hit. The onus, therefore, is on Torres not to make it the principal point of contact. By leaping, Torres makes Hossa’s head the principal point of contact.’ It sounds clear, informed, methodical, right? Torres delivered a late hit; he allowed his momentum to lift him off the ice; he made contact with Hossa’s head. The boxes are ticked, so there’s no arguing the suspension – the problem is the length of the suspension. Shanahan has stated publicly that Hossa’s injury and Torres’ history with knocking players out of commission were factors in handing down twentyfive games, which will cost Torres $21,341 per puck-drop, and possibly signify the beginning of the end of his NHL career.
How can the NHL justify 25 games for a bodycheck that wasn’t penalised on the ice? If you’re willing to give the league the benefit of the doubt, you might accept the explanation that the referees simply didn’t see the infraction. Okay, maybe, but what about the league’s inaction on a high, late check by Ottawa Senators grinder Chris Neil just two days after the Torres incident – a hit that left New York Rangers centreman Brian Boyle concussed? Neil is a repeat offender, but clearly not as ripe for picking as Torres. The seed of inconsistency was planted back in Game 1 of the Predators-Red Wings series, when superstar defenceman Shea Weber drove Henrik Zetterberg’s face into the glass, WWE-style, not once but twice, mere metres away from Bettman’s position in the crowd. The NHL tosses about the phrases ‘hockey play’ and ‘non-hockey play’ on a regular basis, and Weber’s actions clearly had nothing to do with hockey. Did he receive a suspension for ramming Zetterberg’s head into the glass with enough force to crack his helmet? Of course not. Weber is a stud defenceman, the face of the Predators, a gold-medal-winning Olympian, and Zetterberg eluded injury on the play. Weber’s non-hockey assault netted him a stern warning and a $2,500 fine. In an ironic twist of fate, Bertuzzi took it upon himself to mete out his own justice by fighting Weber in the next game, a worthy gesture, but moot. Speaking of non-hockey plays, if you rewind to the pre-playoffs stretch-run, you’ll find a brutal elbow delivered by Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith on Canucks top scorer Daniel Sedin. The hit was premeditated and predatory, leaving Sedin with a concussion that forced him to miss the final seven games of the regular season and the first three games of his team’s series against the Los Angeles
Kings. Most hockey insiders agreed that the infraction looked worse than Torres’ ill-fated bodycheck, as it was the embodiment of a non-hockey play, and yet it warranted only a fivegame suspension for Keith, who was shielded from reprimand by his status as a world-class player. These are just two of many misses by the NHL in recent weeks and months – misjudgements and failings that led to one of the most violent first rounds in playoff history. Shanahan couldn’t keep up with the brutality that was taking place on the ice, especially in the Penguins-Flyers series, which saw hockey quickly devolve from sport to spectacle. It’s a wonder that Flyers superstar and playoffs scoring leader Claude Giroux, whose career has already been truncated by a long-term concussion, managed to get out of the round with his head still affixed to his shoulders. By the time Torres delivered his bodycheck on Hossa, the mob had been
assembled and the torches had been lit. The league desperately needed to regain an appearance of control and respectability, and who better to use as an example than Torres? The suspension had the desired effect, mollifying the masses and returning hockey to its rightful place within the sports pages, but at what cost? The NHL has backed itself into a corner, leaving itself no room to maneuver when assigning supplementary discipline in the future. What will Shanahan do if Weber gives a player a concussion with a high hit next week, or even next season? What kind of suspension will Keith receive if he once again decides to effect retribution with an elbow to the face? Will Weber or Keith get 25 games for being repeat offenders? What do you think? H
Win a pair of Pinch Hitter Caps
We have a pair of New Era Pinch Hitter Caps for you and a friend, courtesy of those nice folks at ESPN America. You choose the teams and all you have to do is enter our competition (...and win, of course). For the full range of New Era Pinch Hitter Cap options, visit the EPSN America Shop at www.espnamericashop.com. To enter the draw, answer the question below correctly and email your answer, contact details (name, address & daytime phone number) to firstname.lastname@example.org with PINCH HITTER CAPS COMPETITION in the subject line to arrive by mid-day June 30. 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.
The Question: Who is Major League Baseball’s all time pinch-hitting leader? a) Lenny Dykstra b) Lenny Harris c) Lenny Henry
The 2012 NFL Draft reviewed by Richard L Gale
ast year’s NFL Draft labored in the shadow of a lockout. The 2012 version benefited from rookie salary restrictions that provoked fast, frenzied trade activity, coaches embracing big franchise-defining names rather than GMs shying away from big spends. After the formality of draft history’s least surprising 1-2 selections, (franchise-inwaiting, QB Andrew Luck to the Colts, and Robert Griﬃn III to Washington after a March deal with the Rams), the shuﬄing began. The Browns traded up for RB Trent Richardson, and added QB Brandon Weeden in the first round, and the Dolphins started over at QB with Ryan Tannehill. The Jags leaped in to intercept WR Justin Blackmon from the clutches of St Louis, who subsequently traded down to allow Dallas to scoop CB Morris Claiborne. Some of the best trades – and thus grades – were the result of more subtle moves, however...
Andrew Luck has looked a certainty for NFL greatness since he first took to the field at Stanford © STANFORD ATHLETICS 2009
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (Grade A-)
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (Grade C)
Headline additions: R1 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford / R2 Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford / R3 Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson / T.Y. Hilton, WR, FIU
Headline additions: R1 Robert Griﬃn III, QB, Baylor / R3 Josh LeRibeus, G, SMU / R4 Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
After Indy’s major house-clearance, the Colts restocked on offense with TE-targeting franchise QB Luck, adding not just his favorite college outlet, but another TDscoring TE and wiry, cover-shedding receiver Hilton. A decent goal-line runner (Vick Ballard, Miss. St.) and a much-needed new back-up QB (fleet-footed Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois) were added later.
Washington traded Round 1 picks from multiple years to get to exciting ticket-shifting QB Griffin, but with LeRibeus hardly a lock to help the line soon, you have to wonder Washington’s expectations for his durability, taking Cousins in R4, rather than committing the pick to other needs, such as on defense, where ho-hum backups peppered the rest of their draft.
Well done, Jacksonville: Blackmon, that defensive guy... and a punter. That’s really going to sell out the stadium.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (Grade B+)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (Grade B+)
Headline additions: R1 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama / Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma St. / R2 Mitchell Schwartz, T, California / R4 Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami / R7 Brad Smelley, TE, Alabama
Headline additions: R1 Matt Kalil, T, USC / Harrison Smith, FS, Notre Dame / R3 Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida / R4 Jarius Wright, WR Arkansas / R4 Rhett Ellison, FB, USC / Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas
Cleveland paid R4, R5 & R6 picks to move up one space for Richardson, but the weekend’s final tally included a blue chip RB, a better arm at QB, a plug-in right tackle and receivers they can use. Make-over! And despite that opening trade they still ended up with 11 selections.
Traded down to take their most coveted player, adding three picks in a top-to-bottom quality draft. Top LT Kalil will aid QB Christian Ponder, Smith (a nice trade-up) and Robinson have start-potential, Wright is lightningquick, and Ellison’s a timely blocking FB. Adept stuff.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (Grade: B+)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (Grade B+)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (Grade: A)
Headline additions: R1 Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis / R2 Jeff Allen, OL, Illinois / R3 Donald Stephenson, OL, Oklahoma / R4 Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno State / R7 Junior Hemingway, WR, Michigan
Headline additions: R1 Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse / Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama / R2 Tavon Wilson, FS, Illinois / R7 Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Poe may be raw, but presence alone (6’3” 346lbs with rare movement for a player his size) may unleash the front seven. OL Stephenson is developmental, but Allen could be ready tomorrow. This is a nice mix of ‘now’ and ‘later’ for a team close to a breakthrough.
Other pundits slapped an A-grade on the Patriots out of habit – pass-rusher Jones and inside-out tackler Hightower were smart trade-up (up!) selections – but do the like of Wilson and draft-day faller Dennard look that much smarter because Belichick chose them? Of course.
Headline additions: R1 Mark Barron, SS, Alabama / Doug Martin, RB, Boise St. / R2 Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska / R5 Najee Goode, ILB, WVU / R6 Keith Tandy, CB, WVU
ARIZONA CARDINALS (Grade: B-) BALTIMORE RAVENS (Grade B) Headline additions: R2 Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama / Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State / R4 Gino Gradkowski, G, Delaware
Upshaw is a powerful edge-rusher who fell from R1, they added new guards with Osemele and Gradkowski, and later added twitchy nickel back Christian Thompson (SC State). The Ravens annually pick players who suit their style; this year they matched needs as well. CINCINNATI BENGALS (Grade B) Headline additions: R1 Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama / Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisc. / R2 Devon Still, DT, Penn State / R3 Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers / Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson/ R5 Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
Cincy rolled ‘character’ dice on Kirkpatrick and TE Orson Charles (Georgia), but counterbalanced with the likes of Thompson, Zeitler (a little overdrafted), Prater, and only LB Vontaze Burfict (ASU) is a genuine concern – and he was a post-draft addition. R3 Sanu was a nice pick.
Headline additions: R1 Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame / R4 Bobby Massie, T, Ole Miss / R5 Senio Kelemete, G, Wash, R7 Nate Potter, T, Boise St.
Floyd will look good opposite Larry Fitzgerald. Considering the college starting experience of Massie, Kelemete and Potter those were all good value. DALLAS COWBOYS (Grade B-) Headline additions: R1 Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU / R3 (81), Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise St. / R4 Kyle Wilber, OLB, Wake Forest
The Bucs worked the phones after initially missing out on Richardson and Claiborne, trading down to take Barron, the top safety, then back into R1 ahead of New York Giants for RB Martin, who has significant year-on-year Pro Bowl potential. Relentless tackler Lavonte David will produce better than R2. GREEN BAY PACKERS (Grade A-) Headline additions: R1 Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC / R2 Jerel Worthy, DE, Michigan State / Casey Hayward, DB, Vanderbilt / R4 Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa / Jerron McMillian, SS, Maine
After their sack tally crashed, the Packers selected Perry, who could unleash Clay Matthews on the other side. Worthy is a pass worrier, Daniels another situational QB-botherer, Manning has a penchant for bats and picks, Hayward is a ball-hawk. The Packers concentrated on possession-changing players.
Dallas traded up to take top cover corner Claiborne; he and Wilber fit Rob Ryan’s system. Crawford has upside, while Danny Coale (R5, WR, VT) and James Hanna (TE, Okla.) balance an unapologetically defensive haul.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (Grade A-)
HOUSTON TEXANS (Grade B-)
For the first time in a while, Chargers GM AJ Smith aced one. Ingram fell to them, but adding Reyes was a great 1-2 of pass-burying talent; I’ll just list their draft above – every single one will be useful.
Headline additions: R1 Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois / R3 DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State / Brandon Brooks, G, Miami (OH) / Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska / R5 Randy Bullock, K, Texas A&M
MIAMI DOLPHINS (Grade B)
OLB-DE Mercilus had 16 sacks last year and is a headline-writer’s dream, but with Neil Rackers gone, Bullock could be the most immediately significant pick.
Headline additions: R1 Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tex.A&M / R2 Jonathan Martin, T, Stan. / R3 Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (Grade B-)
The offseason inflated Ryan Tannehill’s stock until he became a top 10 pick, but he fits the system like a glove, and the Dolphins couldn’t miss on another QB. R2 Martin will have more immediate impact, though. A glaring safety need remains after the loss of Yeremiah Bell.
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Headline additions: R1 David DeCastro, G, Stanford / R2 Mike Adams, T, Ohio St. / R3 Sean Spence, LB, Miami / R4 Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Wash.
Finally, the Steelers address their sagging O-line. DeCastro will be an instant hit, though Adams must show football desire. Ta’amu is a boulder of a nose tackle.
Headline additions: R1 Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, S.Caro / R2 Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn / R3 Brandon Taylor, SS, LSU / R4 Ladarius Green, TE, LA-Lafayette. / R5 Johnnie Troutman, G, PSU / R7 David Molk, C, Mich. / Edwin Baker, RB, Mich. St.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Grade A-) Headline additions: R1 Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss.St. / R2 Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal / Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall / R3, Nick Foles, QB, Arizona / R5 Dennis Kelly, T, Purdue / UDFA Chris Polk, RB, Wash.
Cox is a disruptive player (in a good way!), Kendricks is a tackling machine, Curry will have moments collapsing the pocket, Kelly could build into a good tackle, and quality continued into the late rounds. Free agent Polk could be a Ryan Grant-like surprise.
Headline additions: R3 Tony Bergstrom, T, Utah / R4 Miles Burris, OLB, SDSU/ R5 Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State / Juron Criner, WR, Arizona / R6 Christo Bilukidi, DE, Georgia State
A low-risk, mature, former missionary, and a slow receiver? Is this the new Raiders? They selected four contenders for edge-rush duties but, still paying off old trade debts, corner and TE needs went untouched. That much felt like the old Raiders. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (Grade D) Headline additions: R1 Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. / R2 Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson / R3 Bryan Anger, P, Cal
They gave Blaine Gabbert the draft’s big-name WR. They went a little high for pass-rusher Branch. Then they spent a 3rd on a so-so punter. What?! Surely there were things they needed more than a Punter. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (Grade D) Headline additions: R3 Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina / R4 Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin / R5 Corey White, SS, Samford
They traded away their R1 last year, and lost the R2 to ‘Bountygate’. Hicks played ably (though not legendarily) in Canada, White played at a lower level, and the sizable Toon played in a run-first program. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (Grade D) Headline additions: R1 Bruce Irvin, DE, WVU / R2 Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah St. / R3 Russell Wilson, QB, Wisc. / R4 Winston Guy, DB, KY. / R7 J R Sweezy, DE, NC St. / Greg Scruggs, DE, Louisville
We can’t be sure who will turn out to be Hall of Famers and which will be busts and bit-part players, but we can grade on market value, and that leaves Seattle in remedial class. Surely nobody else was looking at shuﬄe-in pass rusher Irvin at Pick 15, or Wagner in R2. Guy, Sweezy & Scruggs sound like an alternative Stooges line-up.
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BUFFALO BILLS (Grade C+) Headline additions: R1 Stephon Gilmore, CB, S.Caro. / R2 Cordy Glenn, T, Georgia / R3 T.J. Graham, WR, NC State / R5 Tank Carder, ILB, TCU
Like last season, it started well – Gilmore has the moves and speed to go against the best – but ended ho-hum. DETROIT LIONS (Grade C+)
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Minnesota traded down and still landed their no.1 target, USC’s Matt Kalil, the top oﬀensive tackle of the draft
Headline additions: R1 Riley Reiff, T, Iowa / R2 Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma / R3 Dwight Bentley, CB, LA-Laf. / UDFA Kellen Moore, QB, Boise St.
OL help to keep Stafford upright, Broyles could be useful, but this draft was about defensive depth, headed by Bentley, who could transition to a start role soon. NEW YORK GIANTS (Grade C+) Headline additions: R1 David Wilson, RB, VT / R2 Rueben Randle, WR, LSU / R3 Jayron Hosley, CB, VT / R4 Adrien Robinson, TE, Cincinnati
A Tiki-style runner, a Manningham replacement, a TE... these things were needs, but NY seemed a pick/round behind the plot, missing better-value combination. NEW YORK JETS (Grade C+) Headline additions: R1 Quinton Coples, DL, N.Caro. / R2 Stephen Hill, WR, GT / R3 Demario Davis, OLB, Ark. St. / R6 Josh Bush, SS, Wake
Coples may need a fire lit under him; Hill must learn a full passing tree after G-Tech; later picks need work. Plus Tebowmania, Santonio Holmes... is it all too much? SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (Grade C+)
Come August, herds of preseason pundits will be charmed by the heady combo of Alex Smith and Mario Manningham (...and they say Americans don’t ‘do’ irony)
OAKLAND RAIDERS (Grade D+)
In the midst of one of the NFL’s zestiest drafts, the Giants nodded meekly like a Super Bowl party survivor clutching an alka-seltzer
PHOTO: JOHN PYLE
ATLANTA FALCONS (Grade C) Headline additions: R2 Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin / R3 Lamar Holmes, T, Southern Mississippi / R5 Bradie Ewing, FB, Wisconsin
Still paying for last year’s pick, WR Julio Jones, this was a limited draft, but they secured two slices of line beef, and a fullback used to breaking holes for the run. CAROLINA PANTHERS (Grade C) Headline additions: R1 Luke Kuechly, ILB, BC / R2 Amini Silatolu, T, Midwestern State. / R4 Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
Luke Kuechly may be the best ILB in the draft, salving the sting of losing Dan Conner, but in a year of trading up for need, Carolina exited with needs unaddressed. CHICAGO BEARS (Grade C) Headline additions: R1 Shea McClellin, DE, Boise St. / R2 Alshon Jeffery, WR, S.Caro. / R3 Brandon Hardin, FS, Oregon St.
James is a small (5’8” 194) open-field menace, and adds an offensive wrinkle [oh, surely he’s not that small – Ed.]. fast-accelerating Jenkins, Looney are injury depth.
I’m a little surprised McClellin went this high (pick 19) or to a 4-3 defense. Jeffery had sky-high productivity as a junior but looked a bit wallowy as a senior. Hardin’s size speed combination is good, but there’s potential for the Bears to reap surprisingly little from this draft.
TENNESSEE TITANS (Grade C+)
DENVER BRONCOS (Grade C)
Headline additions: R1 Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor / R2 Zach Brown, OLB, N.C. / R3 Mike Martin, DT, Mich. / R5 Taylor Thompson, TE, SMU
Headline additions: R2 Derek Wolfe, DT, Cin. / R2 Brock Osweiler, QB, Az St. / R3 Ronnie Hillman, RB, SDSU / R4 Omar Bolden, CB, Az St.
Wright – RGIII’s main weapon at Baylor – is an explosive threat, and can stretch the field in any direction, and could be one of the most impactful rookies.
Wolfe is a sacker, Hillma is multidimensional, but the picks seem a little early, a little jumpy. After the highs of free agency, this was a bit of an anticlimax. H
Headline additions: R1 A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois / R2 LaMichael James, RB, Ore. / R4 Joe Looney, G, Wake / R5 Darius Fleming, OLB, Notre Dame
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Coffee Break Answers
1 1953 – a bit of a trick question, the Queen began her reign in 1952 but her coronation was on June 2, 1953 2 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair 3 HRH Princess Elizabeth of York 4 Lilibet 5 c) a Corgi (her favorite breed of dog) 6 The Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) 7 VE (Victory in Europe) Day 8 Eight: three singles (1981, 1983, 1984) and five men’s doubles (1979, 1981, 1983, 1984 with Peter Fleming and 1992 with Michael Stich)
9 20: six singles, ten doubles and four mixed, a record she shares with Martina Navratilova 10 19 11 6 12 Jana Novotna
The winners of our fab Jeﬀ Dunham package of concert tickets, DVD and talking character doll were Natalie Teich of London N5, Ayman Abdel Jaber from London SW6, and Laetitia Gonsette Lemin of Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Published on May 31, 2012
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