- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2009

Joel, John to play D.C.

The new Nationals Park is moving into another big league in a major way.

District officials and promoters Live Nation on Monday announced plans for a July 11 concert at the ballpark headlined by superstars Billy Joel and Elton John.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. at www.tickets.com.

“This is part of our original vision for the stadium,” District Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said. “We should take civic pride in our ability to attract big performances and great artists.”

Mr. John and Mr. Joel have not performed together since 2003, bringing in an estimated $51 million, Chicagotribune.com reports.

During the July 11 concert Live Nation officials said that they will individually cover songs from each other’s illustrious careers as well as performing together.

Stadium officials expect the duo to fill about 39,000 seats of the nearly 42,000-seat venue for the event.

Food and wine

Celebrity chef Mario Batali added a couple dashes of profanity to a $1,000-a-plate dinner Thursday attended by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain in Miami.

Citing the Miami Herald, Associated Press reports that “those seated near the royal couple said the queen blanched” upon hearing the profanity and Gloria Estefanfixed “chortled.”

Mr. Batali became impatient when the crowd at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival fete didn’t quiet down quickly enough after he stepped to the microphone. He used the four-letter word and asked the audience if he could have “10 seconds of your time.”

Apparently that worked. Then, Mr. Batali used the same most un-royal word again while introducing celebrity chef Jose Andres, who has wowed Washington with the Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, Zaytinya and Oyamel restaurants; become a popular figure in his native Spain for his cooking shows on TV there; and has opened, to more acclaim, the Bazaar in Los Angeles. In finishing the introduction, Mr. Batali “grabbed Mr. Andres’ bottom,” AP says.

Mr. Andres is one cool chef. “This is what food and wine from Spain will do to you,” he remarked.

By the way, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila says Los Angeles “has never seen anything remotely like [the Bazaar].” She gave Mr. Andres’ “creative and adventurous cuisine” four stars, a rare ranking, according to the paper’s Web site.

Can’t shake it

Jane Fonda, winner of two Academy Awards, cannot shake the “Hanoi Jane” image from the Vietnam War. The actress, 71, is starring in the Broadway play “33 Variations.”

About a dozen Vietnam veterans and other protesters picketed the Eugene O’Neill Theater on Saturday, telling passers-by that Miss Fonda once visited their communist enemy in Hanoi, AP reports.

Miss Fonda was tagged with the sobriquet Hanoi Jane after she visited the North Vietnamese capital in 1972, made radio broadcasts there critical of U.S. policy and sat on an anti-aircraft gun laughing and clapping, as she describes in her autobiography, “My Life So Far.”

She still defends her antiwar activism but has acknowledged that the incident was “a betrayal” of American forces. “That two-minute lapse of sanity will haunt me until the day I die,” she wrote.

A friendly cameo

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he’ll be shooting a cameo appearance soon for a new movie by friend Sylvester Stallone, AP says.

The governor says that since he became governor, he has done three cameos in films when friends have asked him to appear. His favorite political movie, by the way, is “The Candidate” with Robert Redford.

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