Madonna news - May 2002

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14 May - Die Another Day trailer
You can see a teaser trailer of Die Another Day at Yahoo! Still no word whether or not Madonna has accepted to do the cameo or not.

14 May - Mad'House covers Holiday
After their hit with Like A Prayer it was expectable that Mad'House would try the same trick again. And yes, they'll be releasing a cover of Holiday pretty soon, trying to trick the audience again. Please someone free us of these jokers! (thanx to Madonna Electronica)

14 May - Fans queue hours in hope of seeing Madge
She is not officially royalty, but queues for returned tickets on the opening night of Madonna's foray into West End theatre resembled early morning stake-outs for Charles and Diana's wedding or the Harrods sale.
Fans arrived at 11am and waited in drizzle for eight hours for a chance to see the 43-year-old singer's West End debut in David Williamson's Up For Grabs - an arts-world satire in which she plays Loren, a ruthless dealer going to any length to shift a Jackson Pollock.
Queueing was a tiresome process, but cheaper than paying between £150 and £400 on the black market. By yesterday evening, only a few punters were queueing for return tickets to get into last night's preview of the sell-out satire. The run sold out months ago, with all matinees cancelled due to the singer's recording commitments.
Madonna leaving the theatre after the first preview of Up For GrabsAfter the play the audience - some of whom had come from the US to queue for tickets - said Madonna had cut a nervous figure who appeared to have fluffed a few lines. However she had impeccable comic timing and raised laughs during a two-minute kiss with another female character.
Michael Harrigan, a London-based actor, who had got a ticket after queueing, said: "She was clearly nervous and was moving her hands a lot which is a sign of nerves and the one thing you must never do as an actor. But she got stronger throughout the performance and she was clearly working the audience who were very receptive of her. I think her acting process will improve as the run continues."
Andrea Pastorelli, an Italian student, said: "She was slightly stuttery but she was great and she was very at ease with the sexual nature of her role. She is playing a highly strung character so her jumpiness came across as part of the role."
Madonna's choice of London venue gives her a hard act to follow - the Wyndham's Theatre previously hosted The Play What I Wrote, which had rave reviews and broke records for the highest advance ticket sales of any play in West End history. (source: Guardian Unlimited)

14 May - Fans pay upwards of £500 to see Madonna's West End debut
Madonna took to the stage for the first time in over a decade on Monday night, in the West End debut of Up For Grabs at London’s Wyndhams Theatre. Hundreds of fans had queued in the rain to secure one of the 700 tickets available for the first night performance – and some had even paid touts upwards of £500 for a coveted seat. The performance, Madonna’s first since she appeared in David Mamet’s Speed The Plow Stateside in 1988, was held under the tightest of security and members of the press were not allowed. Among those not in the audience were Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie and her young son Rocco, who stopped by earlier in the evening to wish the singer good luck, but left about 30 minutes before the performance. Throngs of screaming fans greeted the 43-year-old pop music icon as she left the building by the front entrance after the play. And while audience members outside the theatre gave mixed reviews, many thought the star had shaken off the jitters to eventually give a strong performance by the end of the play. “I thought she was a lot better than expected,” said one audience member. “She was excellent.” Another added, “She was nervous to start with but got better.” The Evita star’s West End debut, which sold out in four days when tickets went on sale in February, had been delayed by technical problems. Up For Grabs officially opens on May 23, and is set for a 10-week run. (source: Hello Magazine)

14 May - Who's girl kissing Madge?
Megan kisses MadonnaMadonna set pulses racing last night — as she enjoyed a steamy kiss with another woman. Fans flocked to see the pop superstar on her West End theatre debut, with £38 tickets changing hands for £200. And there were gasps from the audience as Madonna, 43, played out her lesbian scene. Madonna, whose hits include Who’s That Girl, is a ruthless art dealer in the comedy Up For Grabs. She admits “I’ve never done it with another woman,” before her kiss with leather-clad co-star Megan Dodds. The play opens officially at London’s Wyndham Theatre on May 23 — and is already heavily booked. (source: The Sun)

14 May - It's hard not to love Madge
I've strolled into a few places before to confront Madonna. Mostly, these have been large auditoria with thousands of people baying for entertainment. She has usually obliged by appearing with hordes of raunchy backing singers and brassieres to make Howard Hughes become centrifugal in his grave. On other occasions, we have crossed paths in the cinema. The most discreet of veils must be drawn over these encounters.
Madonna in Up For GrabsLast night, she popped up in the theatre. I was taken aback by the sheer intimacy of seeing the woman in what, for the first time in my experience, might adequately be described as the flesh.
There was cleavage, a lesbian kiss and a sex aid, but before any of that came something I have never seen in a lifetime of attending soirées dedicated to the art of greasepaint: I have never before witnessed an actress receiving an ovation before she had uttered a word. Madonna appeared somewhere around centre stage, to lapse into technical jargon, performed a step or two in the direction of the paying public, smiled, and the house came down.
It must be emphasised that the play she is appearing in, Up For Grabs, has not been cynically thrown together as a star vehicle. The story concerns a bidding war for a painting by Jackson Pollock, one of those American guys whose life, work, and death can all be summed up in a single phrase: car crash.
Madonna needs to get $20 million for the picture in question, for reasons that need not detain us here. Suffice it to say that she has to work her magic on three potential buyers. There is the inevitable couple who have made vast sums of imaginary money as a ensemble. There is the big, fat bloke and his screechy wife, who have made vast sums of money by more conventionally thuggish means. There is an etiolated red-haired woman who acts for people who have made vast sums of money, quite possibly by rebranding the Third Reich.
Into this atmosphere of greed and degredation steps Madonna. She is no angel. There is cleavage in this performance, and also a kicking off and putting on of shoes, that strongly suggests that Loren, the character Madonna is impersonating, is no stranger to the dark side. Incidentally, I should mention at this point that, even with shoes removed, there was no suggestion of the patter of tiny feet.
She realises that in order to make deals with the devils that inhabit the unacceptable warrens of the art world, the places where money actually changes hands, then certain sacrificies are necessary. These include, in no particular order, French-kissing, a mild session of lesbianism, the turning down of a line of cocaine, and an episode with a gigantic dildo.
Which brings me to the most extraordinary aspect of the evening's performance: Madonna is the nearest thing I've seen to a little girl since Shirley Temple. For a start, there is the voice. This is a woman who has commanded the open spaces of Wembley Stadium. Obviously, amplification is involved on these occasions, but there is still the shock of discovering that Madonna has a little voice. Add to this a certain nervousness of demeanour, and you might be forgiven for thinking that her first half-dozen lines were repeated requests to be allowed to visit the toilet.
Then there is the habit of resorting to the hands-on-hips posture when all other thoughts of acting have flown into the wings. The lady is not a stage natural. Yet something quite peculiar happens in the course of Up For Grabs, which is that I ended up loving the dame.
Possibly because it is not a realistic possibility with such an assured supporting cast, there is no attempt at scene stealing or upstaging. Perhaps, it's because her face looks sweet, at least from the gods. Maybe, it's because she's got a terrific American accent for an English bird. Anyway, the girl done good. (source: ThisIsLondon)

13 May - Mixed reactions after first Up For Grabs preview
Madonna has made her first stage performance for 13 years. The 43-year-old singer appeared in a preview performance of Up For Grabs at Wyndhams Theatre in her West End debut. She last appeared on stage in 1988 in US playwright David Mamet's Speed-The-Plow on Broadway. Madonna left the theatre by the front entrance shortly after the performance and was driven away in a waiting car. There were screams from the crowd as she scrambled for the car and the road outside was blocked by photographers and camera crews. Those who saw the play had mixed views on Madonna's performance, with most saying she improved in the second half once she had got over her nerves. Victoria Bateman, 32, said she thought the pop star was "fantastic". "I thought she was a lot better than expected, she was excellent." Malva Green, 41, said she thought the actress "put on a convincing performance". "She was nervous to start with but got a lot better." Theatregoers with tickets and others hoping to catch any returned tickets queued down Charing Cross Road in the rain before the show. In the play Madonna plays Simone, an ambitious art dealer whose attempts to break into the more exclusive buyers' market finds her bending the rules to get the highest bid for a Jackson Pollock picture. (source: Ananova)
~ Notice that it was reported earlier that the name of Madonna's character was changed to Loren.

10 May - New album on hold
Madonna will put the recording of her next album on hold while she makes her London theater debut in "Up for Grabs" this summer, her spokesperson said. She will return to the studio in August. (source:

Up For Grabs ad 10 May - Up For Grabs advert
On the right you find the advert for Up For Grabs that appeared in yesterday's London Evening Standard; click to enlarge. (source: Madonnarama, thanx to Burak)

08 May - Like A Prayer voted 5th in British All-Time Best Single poll
Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was named Britain's favorite pop single of all time Wednesday in a poll by Guinness World Records. More than 31,000 people voted in the poll for GWR's "British Hit Singles" book. Madonna's Like A Prayer made it to no. 5, while Vogue is on no. 24. The top 10 is as follows: 1. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen ; 2. Imagine - John Lennon; 3. Hey Jude - The Beatles; 4. Dancing Queen - Abba; 5. Like a Prayer - Madonna; 6. Angels - Robbie Williams; 7. Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles; 8. Wannabe - Spice Girls; 9. Yesterday - The Beatles; 10. Let It Be - The Beatles. (source: Reuters)

08 May - Swept Away release date
According to UpcomingMovies, Swept Away will be released on September 27th, 2002.

08 May - Madonna trivia book
Who's That Girl? The Ultimate Madonna Trivia BookJust how well do you know Madonna, the most famous woman in the world? Read 'Who's That Girl? The Ultimate Madonna Trivia Book' and find out! What Madonna hit was featured in a television ad for The Gap? Which Madonna sibling danced along side his sister in her "Lucky Star" music video? What snack food is reportedly Madonna's favorite? Which Madonna album is her biggest seller? From Material Girl to Mother of Two, Who's That Girl? The Ultimate Madonna Trivia Book explores the fascinating life of the world's most outspoken, controversial and celebrated superstar. Written with respect and admiration by best-selling author and pop culture expert Michael-Dante Craig, it is the ultimate trivia book for Madonna's legion of fans around the globe. Who's That Girl? The Ultimate Madonna Trivia Book is the perfect book for all True Blue Madonna fans. Buy it at Amazon.

08 May - Kylie sexier than Madonna?
The co-author of Kylie Minogue's new biography says the star is set to become a living legend. Nigel Goodall believes her girl-next-door quality is unique and makes her even sexier than Madonna. [...] Nigel told Ananova: "Despite her suggestive dances, Kylie's girly appeal is very refreshing. It's all done very tongue in cheek and naturally - that's the quality that makes her unique. Madonna is much more controversial which I believe doesn't make her as sexy." (source: Ananova)
~ Who do you think she copied that sexy image from, Nigel?

06 May - Relaunched Ashram hosts exclusive demo files
Madonna's Ashram was relaunched today and contains quite some goodies! If you simply register (for free) you'll be able to hear (in .asx) demo files from the Ray Of Light recording sessions. Four of them are demos of the tracks that Madonna did with Patrick Leonard: 'The Power Of Good-Bye' (original demo), 'To Have And Not To Hold' (acoustic original demo, very impressive), 'Little Star' (original demo) and 'No Substitute For Love' (original demo, quite different from Drowned World). Then there are three unknown demos, which Madonna supposedly wrote with Robert Miles, Rick Nowels and Greg Fitzgerald, but which she ditched for the Ray Of Light album. They are 'Gone Gone Gone' (part of which we heard before), 'Revenge' (heard some of that too) and... 'Like A Flower' (my personal favorite, imagine a third 'Like A..' song!!). In the Words section you'll find the lyrics for these demos and also a letter from Madonna to Patrick Leonard about her decision to drop the songs. Finally, in the Video section you can find several videos from the Drowned World Tour, most interestingly the one for Paradise. (Oh and do notice where the webmaster got his inspiration for the eyes-concept and the background color! ;-)

03 May - Madonna tiara in new exhibition
The jet encrusted tiara worn by Madonna in her Max Factor campaign is currently on display at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. For more information on the exhibition or to make an online booking, click here. (source:

03 May - Up For Grabs rumours denied - again
"All my work is based on trying to free up actors' creativity, to release their story. I'm not interested in imposing a singular vision," says the boomingly popular British director Laurence Boswell. Boswell is the director of choice for American stars who yearn for London's West End stages. He's directing Matt Damon and his pals in "This Is Our Youth" and also Madonna in her coming "Up for Grabs" drama. He debunks rumors about Madonna being "difficult." "Not much is being said officially, so people are making it up," Boswell says. "The stage being raised by 5 feet to prevent fans mobbing her--that is total, total rubbish. And people not being allowed to look her in the eye is nonsense.... Whenever any group of people get together, of course there are arguments. But nothing out of the ordinary." Tickets for the 10-week run of Madonna's starring turn, starting with previews May 13, sold out overnight. She plays a scheming art dealer with three sets of clients. Boswell says, "It's a crackling tale with an element of thriller. I liked the play and thought she would be good in the part. She's well known as an art collector." (source: LA Times)

02 May - Moby on collaborating with Madonna
In a recent interview for Top of the Pops, Moby has admitted that he was to record a track with Madonna last year: "I've know Madonna forever, for a really long time. She'd asked me to work on her last record with her, and I couldn't because I was on tour. Then my tour finished and her tour started, so I asked her to work on my record and she couldn't because she was on tour. The song I wanted her to work on is called 'Jam For The Ladies' and it's this throw-your-hands-in-the-air, sexy, fun hip hop track. Because she and I both came from this underground New York club culture, I thought her vocals would really suit that track, but she was on tour, so she couldn't do it. Maybe we could meet up one day and do a speed-metal song together." (source: Madonnarama)

02 May - Swept Away needs work
Looks like the Oscar will elude Madonna for another year. Her new film - a remake of Lena Wertmuller's 1975 classic 'Swept Away' - has been yanked from its planned premiere at Cannes this month after test audiences called it a stinker. Written and directed by husband Guy Ritchie, the film has been recalled by Sony Pictures for improvements. (source: PageSix)

01 May - Madonna covers all around
We reported it before; covering Madonna seems more trendy than ever:
  • There are three Like A Prayer covers in the German charts right now; the one by Mad'House even made it to no. 1. Ironically the fantastic original only made it to no. 2 in 1989...
  • British rock band Glitterbug also jumps on the Like A Prayer band wagon with their rock version of the song, which will be free for download on their website.
  • Meanwhile the internet joke 'The Wheels On The Bus', a parody of Ray Of Light, surprisingly entered the UK charts at no. 17 and will feature on this friday's Top Of The Pops in the UK.
  • Also this week, Kelly Osbourne will be filming the video for her Papa Don't Preach cover.
  • The band My Vitriol announced they'll release a rarities album called 'Between The Lines', which also features a cover of Oh Father.
  • And finally there's the rumour that Kylie intends to collaborate with the Pet Shop Boys on a cover of The Look Of Love, which would feature on her next single 'Love At First Sight', which arrives in stores in June. Talking about Madonna, she supposedly said: "She's the queen and I'm happy to be the princess". (sources: NME, AbsoluteMadonna, Madonna-Electronica & Madonnarama)

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