Madonna news - April 2002

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30 April - Madonna poses for West End stage debut
Madonna at the Up For Grabs rehearsals Madonna at the Up For Grabs rehearsals Madonna at the Up For Grabs rehearsals Madonna has given a sneak preview of her new stage role as she rehearsed for her West End stage debut. The star posed for a series of arty black and white shots as she prepared to open in the sell-out run of the play, Up For Grabs. In one shot many Madonna fans would have been left wondering "Who's That Girl?" as she stood in silhouette with light flooding through a doorway behind her. She appeared to be enjoying herself as she ran through the biting satire on the art world which first opened in Sydney, Australia, last year breaking box office records. Director Laurence Boswell said rehearsals were going well: "Everyone is extremely relaxed. It's a wonderful company." Previews of the show, which also stars Tom Irwin, begin on May 13 at Wyndham's Theatre and the production has its official opening 10 days later. Technical difficulties have meant the show opens three days later than originally planned. (source: Ananova) Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.

27 April - Madonna cameo in Bond movie confirmed (?)
Madonna will make an appearance in the forthcoming James Bond film, Die Another Day, it has been revealed. The cameo was announced by the movie's director, Lee Tamahori, on the American TV programme Entertainment Tonight. Although it is not yet known whether the Material One will play a goodie or a baddie, it is known that she will be on set for two days alongside Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry and will wear a 'specially designed outfit'. It has already been confirmed that Madonna is to sing the theme tune for the 20th Bond movie. (source: PeopleNews) There has been no official announcement from the Madonna camp yet...

27 April - Madonna bustier between Pop Music's Sacred Stuff
Saturday, May 4th - Seattle - Pop music memorabilia such as a Michael Jackson glove, a Madonna bustier, and spectacles worn by Buddy Holly and John Lennon, will be displayed for five months at the Experience Music Project in an exhibit titled "(Un)Common Objects: Pop Music's Sacred Stuff." (source: Reuters)

26 April - Up For Grabs previews delayed
Preview performances of Madonna's long awaited West End stage debut have been postponed because of technical hold-ups, producers have announced. The complex staging of her production Up For Grabs has meant the first preview will not take place until 13 May. Ticket-holders for the cancelled shows are being offered alternative dates, with three extra performances added. The axed shows, at Wyndhams Theatre on 9-11 May, will be replaced by performances on 13 May, 6 July and 13 July. A statement said: "The production has developed into a complex synchronicity between moving set, sound, music and projection and realising it in an older style theatre like the Wyndhams has increased necessary technical time." Ticket holders will be offered either tickets for one of the extra shows or a refund. It is not the first hitch to disrupt plans for the production - daytime performances were dropped due to the singer's recording commitments. Up For Grabs, written by Australian David Williamson, is a satire on the art world. It broke box office records when it opened in Sydney in February 2001. The play, which has a cast of seven, will be directed by Laurence Boswell, whose recent credits include A Day In The Life Of Joe Egg and Popcorn, by Ben Elton. After the previews, it will formally open on 23 May. (source: BBC) A special hotline has been set up to deal with the changes on 020 7369 1796.

26 April - Madonna on 'Best Ever Videos' polls
Fatboy Slim's Weapon Of Choice has been named the greatest music video ever made. A panel of music industry experts chose the video in a poll for music channel VH1. [...] A poll among VH1 viewers recently awarded Thriller video the top spot, with Madonna's Like A Prayer in second position. Madonna had the highest number of entries in the experts' poll, with seven in the top 100, while Jackson managed six. VH1 vice president of programming and production, Christine Boar, said: "Our chart verifies the fact that the music video industry has finally progressed on from Thriller. Thriller was ground-breaking for its time, but the industry prefer ingenuity to big budget extravaganzas." The chart will be counted down by DJ Sara Cox on VH1 from April 29, with 20 tracks each day until May 3. The entire chart will be played on May 4 and 5. Madonna's twice in the Top 20: Vogue on no. 8 and Justify My Love on no. 18. (source: Ananova)
MTV held a similar poll: Fatboy Slim's Praise You video has been voted the best of all time by viewers of MTV, on the 20th anniversary on the cable music channel's launch. Michael Jackson's groundbreaking 14-minute Thriller video came a close second in the poll carried out through MTV's website. [...] Overall, Jackson had three entries in the top 100 videos list. Madonna - a heroine of the MTV generation - had the most with four entries. They included the videos for Material Girl and Like A Prayer. The recent MTV's top 10 videos lists Ray Of Light on no. 4. (source: BBC)

25 April - Sexy secrets of Madonna play
[...] A reading of the original script shows that Up For Grabs is not just about art but also about sex and money. Madonna's character (now rechristened Loren) is a wannabe art dealer prepared to try, or turn, any trick to sell a painting. At one point, she sleeps with a prospective buyer, a bisexual woman, in front of her husband, who, after a botched penis-enlargement operation, has an erection like a "hoop". Later, Loren offers herself to a married male collector to draw him into a bidding war, only to be handed a large sex aid with which to pleasure him. These scenes, and the play's themes, may go some way to explaining why Madonna chose it. She loves to shock. She's a passionate collector of art. She's a canny businesswoman, fascinated by the interplay between commerce, culture and sexuality. Above all, she likes to reinvent herself, so returning to the stage in a sharp, funny, unknown play must have seemed all the more appealing. The sex acts themselves happen offstage, and if the seductions leading up to them, and Loren's anguished analytical monologues afterwards, are among the scenes being changed in rehearsal, it's likely they will become less rather than more explicit. This could be seen as sudden prudishness by the woman who posed starkers for Sapphic tableaux in her book Sex, and who regularly simulated coitus in her stage shows: Madonna is, after all, now 44, with two young children and a husband who doesn't like her to flash her "raspberries". What's more likely is she knows that nudity and on-stage nooky are no longer shocking in our no-holesbarred theatre: the only weapon left is surprise, and it's better to tease than to strip. These scenes will be all the more startling for audiences who, having forked out up to £145 for tickets on the internet on the strength of Madonna's name, will have little or no expectations of the play itself. (Read the full article at ThisIsLondon)

25 April - Madonna dress exhibited
Versace dressLondon's Victoria and Albert Museum is to pay tribute to late designer Versace. The museum is planning an exhibition in autumn. Exhibits will include creations worn by Princess Diana, Sir Elton John, Madonna and Courtney Love. (source: Ananova) Madonna donated the stunning dress she wore during her Bedtime Story performance at the 1995 Brit Awards.

25 April - Madonna joins Recording Artists Coalition
Reported by Billboard: Seven more prominent recording artists, including Madonna, have become members of the Recording Artists Coalition (RAC), bringing the number of members to 141. Other new RAC members include Puddle of Mudd, Toby Keith, Neil Diamond, Christina Aguilera, Stone Temple Pilots, and Seal. RAC was co-founded in 2000 by Don Henley and Sheryl Crow to create a recording artist-driven organization ensuring that their rights and views are presented in legislative arenas and in private negotiations. (source: MLVC mailing list)

24 April - Demo clips for download
Mad-Eyes offers you short demo clips from two unreleased Madonna tracks: 'Revenge' and 'Gone' (not to be confused with Gone from the Music album; both are leftovers from the Ray Of Light recording sessions). Click to download.

24 April - Madonna tracks on new compilations
Some Madonna songs were recently added to compilation albums. American Pie features on the Brazilian album 'Simply The Best Movie Album', containing several movie tracks. You'll See is added to a Japanese album 'The Best Of Me', referring to producer/arranger David Foster. Finally the GHV2 Thunderpuss Megamix can be found on Asian album 'Max 9'. (source: Madonna Online & Madonnarama)

24 April - Boy George removes Madonna joke from his musical
Boy George has removed a joke about Madonna from his '80s musical. Madonna was reportedly upset about George's spoof version of her hit Vogue in his show Taboo. The DJ and former Culture Club star said the jokey reference was "a tiny send-up." The track changed the lyrics of Madonna's Vogue to: "Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, that Madonna, dyes her hair." George has now removed the song from Taboo. He told The Sun: "I thought she was having a joke. I used to think she was an icon but she's more eyesore to me now. It's all so inoffensive - it's a tiny send-up. We send up everyone in the show. The Human League and Spandau Ballet both agreed. We didn't ask her but, you know, I thought she might laugh. She thinks she's a born-again Brit but she's clearly not. It's a shame because the song was funny but she obviously has no sense of humour." (source: Ananova)

24 April - Madonna donates for disaster relief
Country singer Wynonna got fellow entertainers such as Madonna, Britney Spears and Shania Twain to make donations for an Internet charity auction to benefit disaster relief. Airline tickets and a seat for a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show"; a guitar autographed by Twain; and a Seventeen magazine signed by Spears are among the items that became available for bidding on eBay on Monday. The auction continues through May 9. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross. "I was delightfully surprised at the generosity of my fellow artists who committed to this cause," Wynonna said. "As amazed as I am by the talents of Madonna, Dolly (Parton), Rosie (O'Donnell), Garth (Brooks) and Oprah, and all of the others who donated, I am forever changed by the size of their hearts." (source: Yahoo!)

24 April - Peter Rauhofer interview
Read an interview with Peter Rauhofer at DJ Times, where he talks about remixing for Madonna. He mentions remixing Runaway Lover and how Warner wanted to release it as a single but then changed its mind. I'm sure he means Impressive Instant though.

21 April - Remixes at Sp!n Extended
Check out the new section of Sp!n Online: Sp!n Extended, which features classic Sp!n remixes inspired by the 12" 80s and 70s extended versions. Now ready for download: Another Suitcase In Another Hall and Drowned World/Substitute For Love, with more to come soon.

21 April - Madonnathon on VH1 tomorrow
VH-1 is having a Madonnathon on Monday, April 22 (All times in EDT):
11:00am-11:30am: Pop-Up Video: Madonna;
11:30am-01:00pm: Behind The Music;
01:00pm-04:00pm: Truth Or Dare;
04:00pm-06:00pm: Ciao Italia;
06:00pm-07:00pm: Driven;
07:00pm-08:00pm: Greatest TV Moments. (source:

18 April - She's no Prima Donna
Pop icon Madonna is no prima donna. So said her publicist Thursday, dismissing media reports that the superstar had made a string of unreasonable demands before her London stage debut next month in "Up for Grabs". Madonna was said to have demanded a raised stage to stop fans rushing her, theater staff were told not to have eye contact with her and cast members were firmly told not to use her nickname 'Madge'. "It is absolute rubbish," spokeswoman Barbara Charone told Reuters when asked about the press reports. The London box office was besieged last month when it was announced that Madonna was to star in Australian playwright David Williamson's hit play about an ambitious art dealer. A spokeswoman for the producers said: "She has been utterly charming in rehearsals. Everyone is very relaxed and she is mucking in like a trouper." Matinee performances for the play, which has its first night on May 23, have had to be canceled because of Madonna's recording commitments. She last appeared on the stage in 1988 when she played a secretary on Broadway in American playwright David Mamet's satire on Hollywood, "Speed the Plow". (source: Reuters)

18 April - ICON scans
Check the Brazilian fansite Madonna Online for scans of ICON Magazine #37, which has been sent out to members.

17 April - Rare sample at Ashram
Soon the new version of Madonna's Ashram will be launched, but now you can check the site to listen to a short, previously unheard sample of Madonna. To know what it really is - possibly a demo from an old recording session - we'll have to wait for the launch early May.

17 April - Oscar nominee Lerner joins Madonna in Up For Grabs
Michael Lerner will co-star with Madonna in Up For Grabs in the West End. Lerner earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film Barton Fink. His other film appearances include The Mummy, My Favourite Martian and Radioland Murders. The cast of Up For Grabs also includes the British actresses Megan Dodds and Sian Thomas. The show is at the Wyndhams Theatre from May 23 to July 13. (source: Ananova)

17 April - Call her M, not Madge
The writer of Madonna's new play says everyone calls her M because she hates the nickname Madge. David Williamson has been working with her as she prepares to make her West End debut in Up For Grabs. He says Madonna hates the nickname British newspapers have given her. "They call her Madge to try to domesticate her and she hates it," Williamson told "One of the actors didn't realise and called her that in rehearsals and got a fairly sharp response." He admits the pair have clashed over the play's ending. "I'm not a pushover, and I've had a couple of arguments with her in the rehearsal room," he says. "I'm not doing everything she tells me by any means. She would ask 'David, are you telling me I have to do it that way?' and I say 'M, I would never tell you what to do, I'm just suggesting'." Up For Grabs opens at Wyndhams Theatre on May 23. (source: Ananova)

17 April - Spokeswoman denies pregnancy rumours
If some new pictures of Madonna are anything to go by, it looks like the 43-year-old may well be expecting her third child - and that son Madonna shows Rocco her bellyRocco is in on the secret. Rumours that the pop icon is again pregnant by film director husband Guy Ritchie have been doing the showbusiness rounds for weeks but photographs, taken during a shopping trip in Beverly Hills, seem to indicate there may be some truth in them. The photographs appear to show Madonna raising her top and encouraging her son by Guy Ritchie to pat her stomach. The health-conscious yoga fanatic certainly looks more shapely than her usual muscular self, and what would be more natural than to lift her top to show young Rocco where his new brother or sister is growing? Crucially, speculation has been reported on the celebrity gossip website - which correctly predicted her last pregnancy and even the couple's choice of the name Rocco. It may also explain why she chose to cancel all the matinée performances of Up For Grabs, the play in which she is set to make her West End stage debut next month. Of course publicists for the stars will be reluctant to confirm if their client is pregnant in the critical early stages up to the three-month scan. However, often months after that - even right up to the birth - a star's pregnancy will still be officially denied. Madonna's press agent, Moira Bellas, told the Standard today: "We have been inundated with calls over the last 10 days about this. I have personally been in contact with Madonna's camp more than once about it and am reliably informed she's not pregnant." Publicists also denied Madonna's first two pregnancies with her daughter Lourdes and then Rocco, until it became too obvious. This time Madonna might feel it is even more important to conceal the pregnancy, given the fact that there are more risks attached to older motherhood. It was also claimed last year in the unauthorised biography, Goddess, that Madonna had 11 abortions by the time she was 18 years old - a claim which, were it true, would also affect her ability to have children. Those claims were strenuously denied by the star at the time, though Madonna did not take any legal action against author Barbara Victor. Rocco was born in August 2000, a few months before Madonna Ciccone married Ritchie at the Highlands castle of Skibo. Lourdes, now five, is her child by personal fitness trainer Carlos Leon. Ritchie has described fatherhood as one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of his life, and he has also expressed his desire to have more children with Madonna. Of course, the pictures, published in Heat magazine today, could simply show an intimate moment where mother and child compare belly-buttons, but it is certainly unusual for the off-stage Madonna to be this demonstrative in public. (source: ThisIsLondon)

17 April - Madonna turns to Kabbalah guru
Madonna has been a devotee of the ancient Jewish teachings for years - and she credits the Kabbalah with her successes over the past few years.Now she's determined to make sure she gets her dates right for new projects, which include a new album and a stage play insider says, "Devotees of the Kabbalah believe there are perfect times for launches of business ventures. Madonna has always made sure she seeks advice on good dates to release albums and the like." Madonna is holding up plans to begin a new vacation venture in Los Angeles - the brains behind the project shares her Kabbalah guru, and he's in London with his famous devotee. (source: Where Life Begins)

16 April - Madonna's letter in ICON
Check Madonnarama for a scan of the Madonna's letter that's being sent out with the latest edition of ICON Magazine.

16 April - Madonna supports England's World Cup team
In an unprecedented move into supporting football, Madonna is backing the England World Cup squad, writes Paul Thomson. The superstar American singer and her English film-director husband Guy Ritchie are backing Sven-Goran Eriksson's England team by signing a joint message on a St George's Cross flag. Madonna's message to the team said: "Come on chaps. Ra, ra, rattle rattle - bring that ruddy cup home." The gesture is just the latest tying Madonna, 43, to her adopted home. She lives near Marble Arch and has chosen to bring up and educate her two children, Rocco and Lourdes, in England. Her husband Ritchie cast footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones in his hit film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The Football Association and sponsor Nationwide want to create theworld's biggest fans' flag, which will measure 20 x 10 metres. The flag can accommodate up to one million signatures of support from England well-wishers. Fans can go online to to register their details and leave a good-luck message. Other celebrities including Davina McCall, Tim Henman and Johnny Vaughan have joined Madonna to pledge their support by signing a smaller version of the flag. All proceeds from the sale of the flag - which will be taken out to Japan and presented to the England players - will go to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Eriksson is also a big fan of the flag and said: "This campaign is amagnificent way of symbolising the entire country's support for the national team. "We will travel to the World Cup with wonderful support behind us, it will mean a lot to me and all the players."
Material Girl's football duets: Don't Cry For Me Argentina (with David Beckham), Gambler (with Kevin Keegan), Jimmy Jimmy (with Jimmy Hill), Like A Virgin (with Dwight Yorke), True Blue (with Ken Bates), Causing A Commotion (with Alan Smith), Who's That Girl (with David Seaman). (source: ThisIsLondon)

16 April - Maverick moves into television
Madonna is moving into the world of television. Her production company Maverick is to make a new game show for American network NBC. A pilot version of Truth Or Dare has already been filmed, and a series is looking likely. NBC's Jeff Gaspin told the show is a half-hour "slightly edgy adult game show" based on the game of the same name. The series will include lie-detector tests to assess the truthfulness of the answers. (source: Ananova)

16 April - Madonna is hottest ticket in town
Madonna's first stage appearance in 13 years has developed into the West End's hottest ticket - all seats have sold out and the touts are already charging up to £150 [about 250 €]. Even higher prices are expected as the 9 May date of Madonna's first preview performance of Up For Grabs looms ever closer. Many agents have been unable to source supplies of the in-demand tickets. Those that have are charging no less than £100 [about 167 €] for stalls seats with a face value of just £37.50 [about 62.50 €]. Madonna first appeared on stage in David Mamet's Speed-The-Plow on Broadway in 1988. (source: ThisIsLondon)
~ Like most articles this one also forgets about Madonna's short theatre debut in 1986's Goose And Tom-Tom.

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