August 20, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Pop singer Madonna (a.k.a. Esther) and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, will spend the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah in Israel, it was confirmed by Rabbi Yehuda Berg, co-director of the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles. The couple will spend two days in the Holy Land, primarily at the associated Kabbalah Center in Tel Aviv, Berg said. However, he denied Israeli press reports that Madonna and Ritchie would meet with Israeli-based Kabbalah sage Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri to seek spiritual guidance.
Madonna has said she intends to embark on the spiritual journey to Israel to rejuvenate her spirits and absorb "positive Kabbalah energy" from the "upper world." Staunch followers of the Kabbalah Center believe the pilgrimage enables sinners to undo their past misdeeds and begin afresh in life.
Madonna also recently announced that she's funding a $22 million Kabbalist grammar school for children, which is due to open at the end of the year and will teach students the beliefs of the mystical aspects to the Jewish faith. The religious instruction is to be incorporated into a normal school curriculum. "The school has been a dream of Madonna's for some time," a source said. "Education means a lot to her, and she was keen to make the most of her money by leaving a lasting mark as well as helping kids."
In May, Madonna canceled a series of concerts she was supposed to perform in Israel after reportedly receiving a series of written threats that included "specific information on the movements of her, her children and the people around her."
"The threats were very detailed and sent in the name of a Palestinian terror group," a source close to the entertainer said at the time.
A high-ranking Israeli security official told WorldNetDaily he is suspicious the threats actually came from any Palestinian terror group. "These threats would be out of character for Hamas and Islamic Jihad," he said. "And why [Madonna], not the many, many other artists who have performed in Israel the past few years?"
01/07/2004 - 12:41:58
Madonna has reportedly reserved the best seats on her world tour to members of the Kabbalah.
The singer, a devout follower of the mystic branch of Judaism, has dedicated 50 free seats at each gig on her Reinvention tour to fellow Kabbalists - but, according to American website PageSix, many members are cashing in on the star by selling the tickets for huge profit.
PageSix discovered Avner Mader- the head of the Boston Kabbalah Center - offering tickets on website Craigslist.org, with the following message: "Madonna VIP Tickets $300-600 - Tax Deductible . . . VIP tickets, best seats in the house."
"If you have been wanting to see this show, then this is the way. All monies go to a non-profit foundation, and your donation is tax deductible. Enjoy the show with the best seats in the house, and get a tax write-off!"
Big News Network.com Friday 25th June, 2004
A man accused of stalking Madonna was thrown out of two of the pop diva's New York concerts, it was reported Thursday.
The alleged stalker, who had been repeatedly calling Madonna's office, was spotted last Wednesday and Thursday during the first two nights of the entertainer's Manhattan dates at Madison Square Garden, the New York Post said.
Security, who recognized the man from a photo handed out to all guards, promptly escorted the man from the facility on both nights.
The first night, he was removed from outside the building. The second night, he was inside the building with a concert ticket.
Madonna did not have a restraining order against the man, so security could only eject him. He was not arrested.
A prior Madonna stalking incident in 1996 resulted in Robert Hoskins being sent to jail for 10 years for making violent threats against the singer.
Madonna's final New York show is Thursday.
Jun 24, 2:20 PM EST
The Associated Press
JERUSALEM -- Pop star Madonna plans to tour holy places in Israel in October with a group of more than 100 students studying cabala, or Jewish mysticism, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.
Madonna recently said she's chosen the Hebrew name Esther for herself as a follower of cabala. The 45-year-old singer wears a red thread on her wrist that's a symbol of Jewish mysticism.
She canceled three Israeli stops on her Re-Invention tour because of violence in the region. "It's not a good idea to go there and do concerts," she told syndicated entertainment TV show "Access Hollywood" in an interview last month.
Her trip is planned to coincide with the Jewish New Year, Maariv reported. Madonna will stay in an out-of-the-way guesthouse and avoid fans and TV cameras so that she'll be able to focus on her cabala studies, the newspaper reported.
June 14, 2004 - BANG Showbiz
Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna have allegedly had an argument after the actress refused to join the trendy Kabbalah religion.
Sources claim mother-of-two Madonna called Gwyneth as soon as she gave birth to baby Apple, insisting she join the Jewish faith, popular with the Hollywood jet-set.
But, according to Britain's News of the World newspaper, the blonde beauty and her Coldplay husband, Chris Martin, refused Madonna's plea.
A friend revealed to the paper: "Madonna barely congratulated Gwyneth on Apple before she was going on and on about Kabbalah. She said that now Gwyneth was a mom, the time was right for her to join. But Gwyneth just doesn't want to get involved and told her that in no uncertain terms."
Madonna has successfully converted a host of celebrities, including Britney Spears and Demi Moore, to the mystic Jewish faith.
London June 14, 2004 4:33:19 PM IST
Madonna and Britney Spears reportedly want to recreate their kiss magic.
According to The Sun, Madonna has asked Britney to sing with her at the first of the six New York shows of her `Reinvention Tour' on Wednesday, and if the reports are to be believed, the insiders claim that the pair are on for a replay of their onstage snog.
The duo had earlier stunned the audience at the MTV Video Music Awards by suddenly locking lips during a duet of Madonna's song Hollywood. Both the singers enjoyed the fuss it caused and have been eagerly discussing a repeat performance for the last month.
Though their plans suffered a setback due to Britney's knee injury last week, she has promised Madonna to give her best for their upcoming gig. "Britney was delighted when Madonna asked her if she could join her on stage. They got loads of reaction the first time they kissed. She agreed to do it immediately. Their people have been faxing and e-mailing non-stop to sort things out. Everything was confirmed last week," the report quoted a source as saying.
"Britney was gutted when she had her fall. It was pretty serious. She had to have surgery and she will find out this week how long she'll be out of action. But she's promised to do her best to be there on the night at Madison Square Garden. She just won't be able to do strenuous dancing," the source added. (ANI)
Tue, 25 May 2004
Pop icon Madonna has reportedly cancelled three concerts at Israel's Tel Aviv stadium after she received letters threatening her life and those of her two children.
The threats were reportedly sent in letters from unknown Palestinian militants. According to The Sun, Madonna had at first decided to go ahead with the tour despite the threats, but after more letters, she began fearing for the lives of her children, Lourdes (7) and Rocco (3).
The Sun reports that the letters were delivered to the pop icon's office, and allegedly "displayed in-depth knowledge" about Madonna's close aides. They reportedly said that Madonna's children would be killed if she went ahead with the gigs.
Madonna last performed in Israel in 1993. The Sun quotes a source: "The notes were unbelievably scary. Madonna is a strong woman but she freaked out when her kids were mentioned. At first she was prepared to go on stage anyway and hire extra security. "But she was not ready to take chances with her kids, they are her whole world."
Madonna is thought to be targeted as she is a huge icon representing the west, and not because she is a a member of the Kabbalah faith, a derivative of the Jewish faith. Madonna's office, however, has stuck to its story that the singer cancelled the tour because she wants to concentrate fully on her work in Europe.
POP singer Madonna has reportedly cancelled three concerts in Israel after Palestinian terrorists threatened to kill her and her two young children.
Madonna was said to be terrified by threatening letters from an unnamed Palestinian group, which included details about her children, Lourdes, 7, and Rocco, 3, British newspaper The Sun reported.
It quoted a source as saying the singer was a target because she was a symbol of the West and not because she practises the Jewish faith Kabbalah.
"At first she was prepared to go on stage anyway and hire extra security," the source said. "But she was not ready to take chances with her kids.
"It became clear that these people were not messing around -- they even knew intimate details like who her personal staff are."
With 43 Palestinians dead, the Israeli army yesterday lifted its siege of a key Rafah neighbourhood.
Operation Rainbow is part of preparations for a pullout from the area envisaged by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. His Likud party rejected the original proposals and a revised plan will go to the Cabinet in a week.
The new formula reportedly calls for a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements in stages, instead of all at once. - AAP
Thursday, May 20, 2004
The Sun Newspaper Online
MADONNA is planning her most shocking stage performance yet by being executed live on stage.
Backstage insiders have lifted the lid on the Queen of Pops explicit new Re-Invention tour, which hits the UK this summer. It can be revealed that Madonna pushes the boundaries to new limits even by her outrageous standards.
Fans at the shows will see:
Her being frazzled in an electric chair.
Images of corpses of people slaughtered in Iraq beamed on to a huge video screen.
Simulated steamy lesbian sex as Madonna tangos with a female dancer.
A parade of scantily-clad pregnant women while she sings Papa Dont Preach.
One source reveals: This show will make peoples hair stand on end. Madonna has pulled out all the stops to make it her most controversial yet. The electric chair scene is breathtaking.
The concerts are really going to cause a stir on the same level as her controversial Sex book and the Erotica album. But tempers have frayed and she has been swearing every five minutes at the team putting the show together. The atmosphere is really fraught.
Madonna has been putting the finishing touches to the massive production, which is costing more than £1million. Preparations have been shrouded in secrecy. But the set alone has cost a fortune, including thousands of pounds on pyrotechnics for the execution scene.
After her performance of Lament, from the musical Evita, the stage will be plunged into darkness. There will be a thunderous flash of fireworks to reveal her strapped in the electric chair.
Her stage version of single American Life will be a big anti-war statement. The sound of bombs dropping will be linked with onstage video footage of troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During her cover of John Lennons Imagine, she will break down in tears in front of pictures of starving children.
While singing Bedtime Story, influenced by her Kabbalah faith, Madonna will be seen rising from the dead.
But fans neednt worry about the show being all death and destruction. Madonna will model a series of provocative outfits and there will be a big finale combining her hits Holiday and Music.
The tour opens in California next Monday.
20 May 2004
BBC - Radio 1 News
There are reports today that Madonna's Re-Invention tour will include the megastar being frazzled in an electric chair and is said to be quite literally her most shocking show yet.
After their MTV snog last year, it seems her Madgesty and pop princess Britney Spears are now trying to outdo each other when it comes concert controversy.
And harking back to that girl-on-girl action, Mrs Ritchie's latest stage extravaganza will also apparently feature simulated lesbian sex when she tangos with a female dancer.
But Bush will come under fire in a big anti-war statement in her performance of 'American Life' - it's claimed the sound of bombs dropping and video footage of war in Iraq will accompany the track.
If the rumours are to be believed fans can expect to see scantily clad pregnant women parading around on stage for 'Papa Don't Preach' and the electrocution scene will come in a blaze of fireworks at the end of the song 'Lament' from the musical 'Evita'.
John Lennon's 'Imagine' will also get the Madonna treatment, with the star breaking down in tears in front of pictures of starving children while she sings the track.
Madonna recently added another date to the UK leg of the tour, with a performance at the Manchester Evening News Arena on 15 August.
London | May 20, 2004 2:45:44 PM IST
Pop queen Madonna plans to astound her fans during her Re-Invention Tour, which is slated to begin in the UK this summer. The pop diva is reportedly planning an outrageous combo act of gory images of people slaughtered in Iraq along with a wild lesbian orgy.
To top it all, The 'Frozen' star will be seen "frazzled" in an electric chair. The singer is trying to make an anti-war statement through her surreal images.
"This show will make people's hair stand on end. Madonna has pulled out all the stops to make it her most controversial yet. The electric chair scene is breathtaking," The Sun quoted a source as saying. "The concerts are really going to cause a stir on the same level as her controversial sex book and the Erotica album," he added.
As a grand finale, Madonna will be seen "rising from the dead", singing Bedtime Story, which has been inspired by her Kabbalah faith. (ANI)
By JPOST.COM STAFF
May. 20, 2004 16:21
Madonna has cancelled her scheduled appearance in Israel, according to a report on MSNBC. Madonna made international headlines in March when it was revealed that she had tentatively made plans to give a concert here.
"I know Madonna really wanted to go there but perhaps the political climate has been a bit difficult to plan such a huge undertaking in that area," spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg told The Scoop. "I think her management decided that having the routing include other European markets would make more sense."
May 12, 2004 - World Entertainment News Network
Superstar Madonna has exhausted herself rehearsing for her upcoming Reinvention world tour. The Material Girl, 45, has been practicing her stage sequences for several months, but still finding time to attend all-night Kabbalah meetings in Los Angeles.
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie were photographer leaving a Kabbalah centre in the early hours of the morning, with the singer's gaunt and tired appearance shocking onlookers. One onlooker says, "I've never seen her looking so tired. She looks like she's pushing herself very hard and could do with a good meal."
A member of Madonna's tour team disputes the star's health is suffering and her aberrance is simply due to working hard. The pal says, "The truth is Madonna is putting in a huge amount of work to prepare for her Reinvention tour. She is a perfectionist and doesn't want to disappoint her fans. She looks knackered because she is knackered."
"Mentally and physically preparing for a huge world tour isn't a walk in the park. It drains the hell out of you. She's maybe been pushing it a little bit hard but she knows her limits."
Madonna is rehearing 12 hours a day to get in shape for the 48-date tour, which starts at Los Angeles FORUM on May 24.
London | May 12, 2004 5:15:18 PM IST
Pop diva Madonna has raised a lot of speculation after she was spotted looking gaunt and ill while coming back from a religious Kabbalah meeting. According to IMDb, the singer who has always been known as a fashion icon might be overexerting herself and taking her religious duties a bit too far. She was seen leaving an all night kabbalah meeting, wearing a loose tracksuit and had to be helped into the car by her husband Guy Ritchie.
Her fans are shocked by this image of the high energy star "I've never seen her looking so tired. She has always kept fit and taken great care of her appearance. She's looks like she's pushing herself very hard and could do with a good meal," said a fan.
However a spokesperson for the singer denies this and says she has not lost any weight. Instead he blames her upcoming tour for the washed out look. "The truth is Madonna is putting in a huge amount of work to prepare for her upcoming Re-Invention tour. She is a perfectionist and doesn't want to disappoint her fans. She looks worn out because she is worn out. Mentally and physically preparing for a huge world tour isn't a walk in the park. It drains the hell out of you," he said.
The tour, which will start in Los Angeles on May 24, is said to be Madonna's most ambitious yet. She is said to be rehearsing 12 hours a day to get in shape for opening night. The show will have acrobatic routines, numerous costume changes and large set pieces based on the teachings of her religion.
04.29.2004 6:26 PM EDT
The war between Madonna and her record label is starting to heat up, as the singer has finally spoken out about Warner Music Group's lawsuit against Maverick Records, the boutique imprint she owns with it in a partnership that's ending this year.
"I find myself in the ludicrous position of being sued by my own record company," Madonna said in a statement, "whom I have been loyal, industrious and reliable to for over 20 years. For them to behave this way is nothing short of treason."
The two record labels filed lawsuits against each other late last month, after negotiations to resolve the ending partnership faltered between Madonna's partners in Maverick and WMG's new chief executive and part owner, Edgar Bronfman Jr. At the heart of the dispute was the value of the 60 percent share Madonna and her partners Guy Oseary and Ronnie Dashev co-owned, and whether Warner would buy out that share when its agreement with Maverick runs out on December 31.
But on March 24, Warner Music filed a "preemptive" suit in Delaware, asking the court to affirm that it had not breached its contract with Maverick and that it has no further obligation to the label. In the complaint, WMG claims that Maverick has amassed $66 million in loses since 1999. The suit also reveals that WMG expects to be paid $92.5 million before Maverick would be able to make an offer for WMG's 40 percent share of the joint venture the alleged losses plus repayment of a $20 million loan plus a $6.5 million "special fee."
The next day, Maverick filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against WMG, claiming that the record label group failed to keep up its end of the joint venture due to fraud and improper accounting. Maverick, which is home to such artists as Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch, claimed that WMG "repeatedly and willfully" breached its 1992 joint-venture pact, manipulating figures to show that Maverick was losing money by not crediting it with the profits generated by the manufacture, distribution and international sales of Maverick releases, which they estimate are in the realm of $100 million. The suit alleges the label had to spend $30 million in promotion, publicity, new media, sales and marketing expenses which WMG was required to pay under the pact. The suit also charges that Warner coerced them to settle a lawsuit with Branch to keep her manager happy, since the manager represents other Warner Music artists.
In addition to damages to be determined, though it's estimated to be more than $200 million, the suit also seeks a declaration that the label has the right to terminate the joint venture.
Madonna, who is preparing for her world tour, owes two more albums to Warner Bros. Records. Meanwhile, Morissette's new album, So-Called Chaos, is due in May.
The next court date in the case is May 7, when a Delaware judge will hear a motion to stay Warner's action to allow the California complaint to proceed.
New York | April 16, 2004 3:28:19 PM IST
K is the world for Madonna these days, who is obsessed with Kabbalah, the tradition of Jewish mysticism. So much so, that she has reportedly broken ties with her longtime best friend Debi Mazar because Mazar doesn't believe in the religion. "They are no longer best friends. Debi is very hurt and confused, but Madonna has made up her mind. These women have been friends for 20 years and now, nothing, " a source was quoted by the New York Post as saying.
However, Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's represntative said: "They are still friends. Madonna is rehearsing six days a week so she doesn't have a lot of time, but the love is still there." Madonna now prefers hanging around with Ingrid Casares and Britney Spears, both of whom have started following the precepts of Kabbalah.
The "Material Girl" is so crazy about the religion that all proceeds from Madonna's children's books go to the Kabbalah- inspired Spirituality for Kids Foundation. She also insists on drinking only the Center's "blessed" bottled water and has donated five million dollars to its center in London. Not only that she has persuaded her husband Guy Richie to write a movie with Kabbalah themes. Insiders also say she'll donate a chunk of change from her upcoming "Re-Invention Tour" to the Center. (ANI)
09 Apr 2004 19:21
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Pop diva Madonna came under fire from Christians in Ireland on Friday after it was confirmed she would play her first ever Irish concert on a Sunday.
Madonna is due to play Slane Castle, 30 miles north of Dublin, on Sunday, August 29, the castle's owner Lord Henry Mount Charles confirmed.
He denied that Madonna, who has developed an interest in Jewish mysticism recently, had refused to play on Saturday because it is the Jewish Sabbath. "It is the only date and day feasible," he said.
But Joe Deegan, Slane's parish priest, said the decision was insensitive in a country where 90 percent of the population is Roman Catholic. "The Lord's Day for a lot of people around this part of the world is Sunday and it seems a bit inconsiderate and insensitive that our religious beliefs are not taken into account," he told RTE state radio on Friday.
The last time Slane Castle hosted a major concert on a Sunday -- in 1984 when Bob Dylan played -- it sparked riots. "I knew people would stir up memories of 1984," Lord Mount Charles said. "This year Bob Dylan is playing in Galway on Sunday, June 27. So if he can play there on a Sunday, I am puzzled why there is opposition to Madonna playing Slane on a Sunday."
Deegan said he was also concerned about the content of Madonna's notoriously raunchy stage show. "It's very sexually provocative," he said, adding, however, that he would probably go to concert, whenever it was staged, because he enjoyed Madonna's music.
By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem----March 31...Madonna, one of the world's most famous performers, is about to teach the U.S. State Department a lesson in counter-terrorism. Madonna, who will be performing twice at Israel's Tel Aviv Bloomfield Stadium in September, is saying: don't give into terrorism's greatest weapon - fear.
"We are pleased to confirm the rumors. Madonna will be touring during the coming summer and fall," Caresse Henry, the singer's longtime manager, said yesterday. This would be Madonna's second appearance in Israel. Her first was in October 1993.
"The Re-Invention Tour" is slated to kick off in Los Angeles on May 24 and will include shows in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami. Madonna will then head to London for an August 18 performance followed by shows in Paris, Israel and Ireland.
Israel is asking the U.S. to remove its travel warning for tourists planning trips to the country, Israel's tourism ministry said on Tuesday. A U.S. travel warning to Israel would have a direct and damaging impact on Israel's economy. Israel is presently hosting two global High Tech events this week in Tel Aviv with many participants coming from Europe. Many U.S. Hi Tech executives were forced to cancel their plans to the Israeli VC Tech events as they were refused travel insurance - a direct effect of the U.S. State Department travel warnings. But it appears that with or without travel insurance Madonna will be bringing many smiles to her fans in Israel.
"We are quite pleased that Madonna, one of the world's leading entertainers will visit Israel this year," Ronn Torossian, spokesman for Israel's Ministry of Tourism told the Israel News Agency. "We hope and expect that millions of others will follow her lead to visit the religious, spiritual and cultural capital of the world."
The State Department, which was already warning against travel to the region, updated its travel advisory to Israel last week in light of the targeted killing of Hamas master terrorist Ahmed Yassin. The advisory urged all Americans to leave the Gaza Strip "as early as it is safe to do so" and advised Americans to defer travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
Israel's Tourism Minister Benny Elon met with Doug Baker, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Deputy Assistant Secretary of Tourism, in Washington to discuss the U.S. travel warning to Israel.
"I traveled to Washington to encourage the U.S. to amend their warning regarding travel to Israel of American citizens," Elon said in a statement following the meeting. "Tourism to Israel continues to increase, and we look forward to working with Mr. Baker's office to encourage even more Americans to visit the Holy Land," Elon said.
Israel Tourism Ministry spokesperson Ronn Torossian said Israel would continue to fight the travel warnings. "In these days of terrorism, where [terrorism] strikes New York, Madrid and Jerusalem, the American government should soften its warning on travel to Israel," Torossian said by telephone. "We feel Israel is a very safe place to visit," he said.
Although Americans have died in suicide bombings and other terror attacks during the last three and a half years of Palestinian intifadah, Americans were never specifically targeted until last October. Three American security personnel were killed when a U.S. diplomatic convoy was targeted in a roadside bomb attack in the Gaza Strip. No group has seriously claimed responsibility for that attack.
Hamas initially threatened to target Americans in retaliation for the Israel's killing of Yassin last week, apparently prompting the increased warning but the terrorist organization's leaders reversed the threat the following day. Nevertheless, on Sunday, newly appointed Hamas leader in Gaza Abdul Aziz Rantisi said God himself had "declared war against America."
But Torossian said that terrorism should not deter Americans from visiting the country and having a "great life-changing experience." "The State of Israel clearly has terrorist attacks," Torossian said. "But that is a fact of life anywhere in the world today."
In his meeting with Baker, Elon also discussed the possibility of the U.S. federal government entering into a bilateral tourism agreement with Israel, which would encourage tourism. More than three years of Palestinian violence and terrorism severely crimped Israel's tourism industry and virtually destroyed any tourism to Palestinian Authority areas such as Bethlehem.
But a serious public relations campaign on the part of Israel's Tourism Ministry brought about an increase of some 31 percent in tourists in 2003 over 2002. There were more than one million tourists visiting Israel in 2003 and Israel is expecting 1.5 million this year, Torossian said. Tourism nets Israel some $4 billion a year.
The legendary Madonna preferred the grass at the Tel Aviv soccer stadium to that at Hayarkon Park, and has decided to hold her Israeli concerts at the stadium.
Guy Ritchie, Madonna's husband and manager, was supposed to land in Israel this week to check out the stadium and confirm it as the location for the concerts. For personal reasons, Ritchie has delayed his visit until next week. Madonna's Israeli producer, Shuki Weiss, has already hammered out the details with the managers of the Sports Center which manages Bloomfield Stadium. Weiss has already toured the facilities at Bloomfield a number of times and is perfectly satisfied that the stadium fulfills all the necessary requirements.
The huge stage the singer uses in her concerts will be set up between gates 7 and 8. Most of the audience will stand on the grass, but there will be seating up in the balcony. Some 16,000 tickets will be sold for each performance.
The Sports Center management has confirmed that Madonna will perform at Bloomfield Stadium. They say it's a dream come true that Madonna will perform there.
Madonna is expected to perform in Israel in August or September as part of her world tour.
Shuki Weiss, who will produce Madonna's performances in Israel, said that the exact dates have not yet been determined. "The artist has promised to perform in Israel and this is certainly going to be a bigger show than she has ever done," Weiss said. "The performance will be set for August or September," Weiss said.
Madonna may very well be planning a surprise performance for U.S. troops in Iraq, but her visit to Israel is now certain. "Madonna will be most welcomed in Israel," said another Israeli official. "Her presence here is a clear statement to every citizen in the free and democratic world not to give into terrorism, to maintain your normal routine and to keep our economies functioning."
The Daily Mirror
Mar 23 2004
LOOKING more like Marie Antoinette than the Queen of Pop, Madonna prepares to launch her first world tour for three years.
And majestic Madge, 45, is promising a right royal rave up.
Her re-Invention tour begins in LA on May 24, with British dates at Earls Court (August 18 and 19), Wembley (August 23, 25 and 26) and Dublin's Slane Castle (August 29).
A spokesman said: "She can't wait to get back on stage."
COMMENT: Looks like the meat of the tour will be in bloody August. It will be interesting to see whether Madonna is able to keep her head when she visits France -- poor Marie Antoinette, whom she is modeling herself after, lost hers on the Paris guillotine! And Jayne Mansfield lost hers on a lonesome Louisiana backroad ... not far from where Britney Spears was born and grew up. Oooh la la!
By Nui Te Koha
February 24, 2004
MADONNA is set to announce a world tour.
But Australia does not figure in her plans. Yet. Local promoters are quietly confident Madonna will visit, with an arena show, later this year.
A spokeswoman for the Frontier Touring Company, which toured Madonna in 1992, said the performer has not yet offered Australian dates. "Needless to say, we are not even at the bidding stage," the spokeswoman said.
Madonna will open her tour, rehearsing under the working title Whore of Babylon, in San Francisco on June 1. She will play shows in 32 US cities, 15 European centres and four dates in Israel.
This week, Madonna put out word on the streets for dancers. She will hold auditions in New York and Los Angeles. "Choreography will be unpredictable: anything goes," her advertisement said.
"Looking to see anything from acrobatics, breaking, popping, locking, to ballet, reeling, riverdancing and tango. Madonna's last visit to Melbourne was three sellout nights in 1993 for her Girlie Show at the MCG.
Wednesday, 28 January, 2004, 09:45 GMT
Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie are to be taken to court by an actor who claims the couple stole the idea for their 2002 film Swept Away.
Vincent D'Onofrio says he pitched the idea to the pair in 1997 - but they cut him out of the credits. The couple say he has no proof of a contract.
The legal action was started in October 2002, but a court date has now been set for Los Angeles on 4 May. Swept Away, a remake of a 1975 Italian comedy, flopped on release in 2002.
The movie starred Madonna as a wealthy woman stranded on a desert island with a sailor, and was mauled by critics.
D'Onofrio is seeking $10m (£5.5m). Last year, Madonna and Ritchie asked a judge in Los Angeles to throw out the case after one of D'Onofrio's lawyer failed to turn up for a court date.
Describing himself as a singer, songwriter, director and actor, D'Onofrio is not the actor of the same name who appeared in TV drama Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
Swept Away took five Golden Raspberries - the unofficial awards for bad films - in 2003. They included worst picture, worst actress and worst director.
The picture's poor reception in the US meant it did not even get a cinema release in the UK.
10:52 AM PST January 27, 2004
NBC 4 - Entertainment
LOS ANGELES -- A May 4 trial date was set Tuesday in a lawsuit filed against Madonna and her director-husband by a man who claims the couple cut him out of credit and compensation for the film flop remake "Swept Away."
Vincent D'Onofrio sued the singer, Guy Ritchie and Sony Pictures in Los Angeles Superior Court in October 2002. He claims he came up with the idea to redo Lina Wertmuller's classic film about a wealthy woman and a sailor stranded on a deserted island when their cruise liner sinks.
The plaintiff is not the actor of the same name who portrays Detective Bobby Goren on NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
D'Onofrio alleges he pitched the idea to Madonna in April 1997 and had several meetings with the "Material Girl" and her husband, who has directed such films as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." But D'Onofrio, a self-described singer, songwriter, actor, director, writer and producer, claims Madonna and Ritchie made the film without him, and he received no screen credit or money.
Attorneys for the defendants claim D'Onofrio does not have proof of a contract with either Sony or Madonna, and D'Onofrio's attorney, Morris Getzels, says only that his client had a "quasi-contract" with the defendants. Getzels has said he would seek $10 million in damages.
Madonna's version of "Swept Away," was a critical and box office bomb, sinking quickly from theaters. It was recently released on home video.
The Sunday Express
25 January 2004
Madonna has been criticised by officials of her new-found Kabbalah faith for allowing upmarket shooting parties to be held at her 1,100-acre estate.
Shoots at the estate in Wiltshire, owned by the material girl and her film director husband Guy Ritchie will cost £10,000 a day and earn them £500,000.
Yesterday, Ian Broadmore, 45, who runs the Kabbalah School at Hellingly in East Sussex, said: 'Three hundred years ago, it was quite acceptable for people to shoot and hunt for food but there is a world of difference between that and shooting birds for fun. The birds are part of creation, created by God, and as such, are part of God.'
At Ashcombe House Estate, each shooting party will be limited to eight guests, with breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea at a local hotel included in the price.
Madonna and Ritchie paid £9 million for Ashcombe Estate and the six-bedroomed Georgian manor house in 2001. Ritchie a crack shot, and Madonna were determined to buy the property and signed the deal within weeks.
Encouraged by her husband, Madonna took private shooting lessons with top gunsmiths Holland and Holland (who charge £500 a day) and invested in an entire new 'country-set' wardrobe.
Worried locals, who feared all shooting on the estate might be abandoned and up to 50 local people might lose their part-time jobs, are delighted. One said: 'It would be a big loss to the area if they stopped shooting at Ashcombe.'
Yesterday, Madonna's estate manager Willie Cole said: 'Mr and Mrs Ritchie bought Ashcombe as a working country estate and will to continue to run it as such. Two gamekeepers are employed and, this year, we are selling 40 days shooting on the estate. All the shooting we have is fully booked and we have a waiting list.'
Asked about the Ashcombe shoots, Madonna's spokeswoman Barbara Sharon said: 'We never comment about her personal life.'
Independent Digital (UK) Ltd
06 January 2004
A long-running dispute between Madonna and ramblers who are demanding the right to roam across her Wiltshire estate is to be resolved by a public inquiry. In the two and half years since the singer moved into the 1,200-acre Ashcombe House estate, she and her husband, Guy Ritchie, have become increasingly concerned about the threat to their privacy.
Madonna wrote to Tony Blair last year to express her concern over right-to-roam legislation which would have opened a footpath 100 yards from her Grade II listed Georgian mansion. In July, the Countryside Agency agreed that walkers would be denied access to 15-acres of the estate.
But Madonna has continued to fight to protect other parts of her estate which have been classified as "open land" by the agency. The Planning Inspectorate has decided to resolve the dispute through a public inquiry. A spokesman for the Countryside Agency said: "The land around Madonna's house was mapped as open land and a draft map was produced last year. Four parcels of land were removed from the classification. The fact that it was Madonna's land was neither here nor there. It could have been anyone's garden."
The Ramblers' Association said that even if the land were given public access status, it did not anticipate that many walkers would visit the estate. A spokeswoman said: "This new legislation will give people the freedom to enjoy walking in our wildest most beautiful countryside. It isn't in their interest to affect people's privacy but simply to enjoy walking. It will not mean there will be lots of people on Madonna's estate. It is not our thing to disturb people. It's just our thing to enjoy walking."
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act came into effect in January 2001 and was the first stage of the Government's plan to give access to most mountains, moorland and commons in England. Draft maps detailing proposed areas of the countryside where ramblers would gain access to pathways to private property were published the following November.
The new access rights will not be granted until 2005, when approved maps of the country will be completed. But the plans face resistance from some farmers who have used the complex appeals process to object to the maps.
If Madonna loses her case, which is scheduled for the end of March, the land will be deemed "common ground" and may be accessible to the public. The estate, near Tollard Royal, was the former home of the photographer Cecil Beaton, and lies about 25 miles from Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. In the past, Madonna has complained about low-flying aircraft and she was ordered to take down 12ft-high security gates because she failed to apply for planning permission.
Ron Moore, 75, chairman of the Wiltshire and Swindon Rambling Association, said that although the landscape around the singer's home was extremely beautiful, the inquiry's decision would not impinge on the ramblers enjoying other local walking routes.
He said: "There is chalk downland which is very undulating. It is incredibly green and Madonna's home is at the bottom of a steep valley which is quite a long way from the nearest road."
Saturday, November 29, 2003
Add Paris Hilton to the list of movie stars fooling around with the Kabbalah, an ancient body of mystical Jewish thought that has become a real fad in some circles lately.
OK, Paris is not really a movie star, only a dirty-home-video star, but that's close enough, I think. Anyway, she's been spotted, www.thesmokinggun.com reports, coming out of the Kabbalah Centre in L.A., a place also frequented by Roseanne Barr, Demi Moore, Madonna, and even Britney Spears.
And Paris left wearing the requisite red string around her left wrist, which I understand is supposed to protect one from negative influences. Well, the girl can use all the help she can get.
28/11/2003 - 09:22:14
Madonna says Britney Spears often asks her for career advice and says she treats the young singer like her little sister.
She made the comments on the Jay Leno show in the US.
Madonna told the chat show host: "I see her as my little sister. She asks me (for) career advice."
She added: "For the most part I try to make her understand this isn't real life and she can't take everything people say seriously. I can understand some of the stuff she's going through. I help her with that."
Madonna also talked about her relationship with Guy Ritchie, reports The Sun.
She told Leno: "Marriage isn't easy. It is a challenge especially if there are two strong-willed people who get together. Guy likes chaos, and I like order."
12 November 2003
In a poll compiled from thousands of public votes for TV station VH1 Madonna has been voted as the Greatest Female Pop Culture Icon. In the whole poll Madonna was second - behind David Beckham who was voted the Greatest Pop Culture Icon. In third place was Elvis Presley, followed by The Beatles in fourth and Diana, Princess of Wales in fifth.
05 November 2003
The Evening Standard
Feisty chart star Pink says she would love to do a Britney and share a kiss with Madonna.
The US singer - in London to promote her third album Try This - admitted Madonna was one of her all-time favourite stars.
Britney Spears famously drew gasps from the crowd when she briefly snogged Madonna on stage at an MTV awards bash recently.
Pink said yesterday: 'I love Madonna. I'm a die-hard fan. She was my god when I was eight.'
'If Madonna came to me with her mouth open I wouldn't know what to do,' said the grinning singer.
23 October 2003
A kiss is just a kiss - except when it involves Madonna, Britney and the UK tabloids!
Today's press was full of pictures of Madonna and Britney's new kiss in the video for Me Against The Music and the couple even made the front page of The Sun with the caption Oops! They're at it again.
19 October 2003
Jerry Hall has turned her back on the controversial sect Kabbalah after it's leader asked her to solicit substantial donations from her celebrity friends.
The former supermodel, once one of the most famous advocates of the sect, an offshoot of Judiasm, has told how she was encouraged to ask friends for a tenth of their annual incomes.
'They always talked about giving in order to receive, but I didn't realise that in order to go through a door of miracles you had to give ten per cent of your income' she said.
Like many celebrities including Madonna, who spent £3.65 million on a Grade II listed building in the heart of London's West End to give Kabbalah a British home, Jerry has spoken openly about the spiritual teachings and benefits of the religion, which is based on 4,000-year-old Hebrew teachings.
She held weekly Kabbalah meetings at her home in Richmond, Surrey, and also studied the 72 Hebrew letters on which the Kabbalah is based.
But now 46-year-old Jerry has spoken out against it. In a BBC3 TV program, Jerry Hall's Gurus, to be screened next month, she says she stopped holding Kabbalah meetings after a year because she felt it was 'impolite' to ask her friends to pay money into the Kabbalah Centre.
The news that Jerry has turned her back on the tradition she once spoke so highly of will confirm the doubts of Kabbalah's critics who claim the centre is using it's famoous followers as pawns to encourage others to join and bring more money to the centre.
08 October 2003
Madonnas embrace of the Kabbalah faith has been branded a 'publicity stunt' by a leading Rabbi.
Jewish cleric Shmuley Boteach says: 'Dependence on depraved pop cultural icons to make it appeal to the masses is a sign of desperation.'
Thats rich coming from the same bloke who hangs around with Michael Jackson, but Rabbi Boteach, who also lists Uri Geller as a close pal, insists the singer has given Judaism a bad name.
Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - NEW YORK (AP) -- A fashion photographer's son has sued Madonna, saying the singer copied his late father's images in a set of videos for her song "Hollywood." Samuel Bourdin claims he holds the rights to the images created by his father, Guy Bourdin, who died in 1991. The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accuses Madonna of copyright infringement for her imitation of poses and images in at least 11 works of Bourdin, whose photos were published in French Vogue from the mid-1950s through the late 1980s. Samuel Bourdin seeks unspecified damages from the 45-year-old pop star and companies and individuals involved in production of the videos. A message left with a publicist for Madonna was not immediately returned. According to the lawsuit, Bourdin is recognized as one of the most influential fashion photographers for his highly constructed compositions in unusual settings. The lawsuit includes comparisons of Bourdin's photographs with video images of Madonna. In one Bourdin picture, a scantily clad woman peers into a round mirror. Madonna does the same. In another Bourdin picture, a woman squats on a floor with what appears to be a large television-size screen between her legs. Madonna does the same.
Friday 12 September 2003,12:44
Â© 2003 Breakthrough Publishing Ltd.
A REPORT said that US crooner Britney Spears is not only snogging Madonna from time to time, but also studying occult techniques of the mystical Kabbalah.
The Kabbalah â top texts the Sefer Yetzirah and the Zohar -- is based on an oral tradition too, funnily enough.
It originated and is associated with the Jewish religion and some claim that non-Jewish people are not capable of understanding its doctrines, which include neo-Platonic doctrines and mystical speculations, based on 10 "emanations" or sephiroth.
Nevertheless, it has had many non-Jewish adherents including Renaissance figures, and now, Madge and Britters.
According to SF Gate, Britney was spotted wearing a so-called "Kabbalah" string bracelet after she left a rehearsal for the MTV VMA Awards.
Sept. 11 It looks like Madonna has gotten to Britney Spears with more than just her tongue. The inter-generational best friends created a stir with their televised smooch at the MTV Video Music Awards, but the buzz is that when theyre off camera, Madonna has been busy preaching the virtues of Kabbalah, the study of ancient Jewish texts that has become all the rage among certain celebs these days.
IN ADDITION to Madonna, stars such as Roseanne, Naomi Campbell, Elizabeth Taylor and Barbra Streisand have all reportedly studied Kabbalah as taught by Rabbi Berg at the super-trendy Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles.
Kabbalah is an ancient form of study of Jewish text, but the Kabbalah Center has come under attack from traditional Jewish scholars.
Madonna seems to be the high priestess of proselytizing for the Bergs and the Kaballah Centre, Rick Ross, an expert on cults and alternative religions who has been an outspoken critic of the Kabbalah Centre, tells The Scoop. No doubt shes pitched it to anyone with a brain in their head, and that might include Ms. Spears.
A Spears spokeswoman confirms the story. Britney was introduced to Kabbalah through her friendship with Madonna, the rep tells the Scoop. She is now learning more about it."
5 September 03
Madonna has thanked Britney Spears for last week's MTV snogathon in a way most women would appreciate; by giving her diamonds. Madge forked out ten grand on necklace that has a bejewelled 'B' to thank her for reciprocating the kiss.
Britney has admitted that despite rehearsing their routine, which opened the MTV video awards, the kiss came as a complete shock. Britters, though surprised at locking lips with Madonna, was ever the professional and obliged the 45-year-old mother of two, much to the delight of the audience who included Mr Madonna, Guy Ritchie.
However it was not all plain sailing. The controlling blonde terrahawk did chastise Britters throughout rehearsals for her consistent smoking. Madge has done a complete turnaround since her puffing days of the early 1990s where she was rarely spotted without a fag or cigar, and her rep Liz Rosenberg has revealed, 'Madonna was telling her she shouldn't smoke. It was a really funny exchange, but Britney said she liked the way cigarettes make her voice sound.'
Britney, it will only make your voice sound throaty and off-key. Didn't you hear Madonna whilst you sang together?
Thursday, September 4, 2003 Posted: 0548 GMT ( 1:48 PM HKT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A gum-smacking Britney Spears told CNN Wednesday that she has never before kissed a woman and never would again -- unless the woman is Madonna. The pop star exchanged a prolonged, open-mouth kiss with the Material Girl during MTV's Music Video Awards show last week.
"I didn't know it was going to be that long and everything," said Spears. She said the singers had played around during rehearsal and Madonna had told her they would "just feel it out and see what happens" during the performance. "I've never kissed a woman before," Spears said demurely.
When asked if she would "do it again," she squealed, "No, I would not do it," but then added, "Maybe with Madonna."
When asked about how her image has changed from when she was a squeaky clean Mouseketeers, Spears said, "I think I'm still clean living. I mean I don't go home and have orgies or anything like that." The singer said she is just "performing and expressing myself." She also believes that by fulfilling her own dreams and having fun doing it, she is inspiring her fans.
Spears said she would love to make another movie or a musical, but she is focusing on her music right now.
Spears avoided the political pot hole that other entertainers have fallen into when she was asked about whether she supported the war in Iraq. "Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that," she said. She said she trusted President Bush but said she didn't know if he would get re-elected to the White House.
However, the singer would love to move to another country. She may follow Madonna's lead and take up residence in London.
"It's the one place that I feel completely anonymous. And I just like the way they treasure everything. Everything is very simply done," she explained. "The milkman still comes to the door. And Iike the simplicity of that."
However much she would like to avoid cameras following her everywhere, she said she really enjoys the reality TV shows. When asked what else she watched, she said, "Oh CNN all the time, all the time."
Friday, August 29, 2003 Posted: 1543 GMT (11:43 PM HKT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Just like her first time, Madonna made jaws drop and cheeks blush at the 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards -- only she had help Thursday night from the latest generation of video divas, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Proving they've come a long way from their Mouseketeer days, the young pop tarts gave a gyrating, writhing tribute to Madonna to open the show. Dressed in the same kind of white bustier wedding dress Madonna wore while performing "Like a Virgin" during MTV's inaugural awards broadcast in 1984, Spears and Aguilera sang a cover of the not-so-innocent tune.
Then, while Madonna sang her new "Hollywood" in a masculine all-black outfit, she shared an open-mouthed kiss with both Aguilera and Spears. It was all in a night's work for MTV's annual extravaganza, where mere music takes a back seat to wacky antics, barely there outfits and eye-popping performances ...
Fri, Aug 8, 2003
The Sun Newspaper
A MADONNA fan has been arrested after repeatedly trying to get into the singers country home. The 31-year-old German was last night being held in hospital under the Mental Health Act. He had spent three days travelling from Germany to the £9million Ashcombe Estate, near Tollard Royal, Wiltshire. Staff saw him making several attempts to get into the grounds after being turned away.
Police said he will not face any action. PC Graham Briant said: There is no evidence or suggestion that he intended to cause anybody any harm or distress.
Madonna and film director husband Guy Ritchie were not in at the time of the incident.
15 June 2003
The Sunday Mirror
Whatever Madonna wants, she must have. Even if it means putting her life at risk.
The 44-year-old Queen of Pop is insisting her next video - Nothing Fails - is shot in Israel.
The song makes references to Kabbalah - based on Jewish mysticism. Despite concern from her record company, Warner's, Madge has put her foot down.
My spies tell me: 'Her record bosses are really worried about it. They are trying to talk her around, but she's having none of it. She has told them it makes sense to shoot it in Israel as the Kabbalah originates from there.
Madonna is not particulary bothered about her safety and potential risks. She doesn't think it's as bad as it seems.'
The second accident in two months, the last one left Madonna with a black eye. No injuries occurred in this latest incident, which could be a subtle warning in and of itself:
02 June 2003 -- The Sun - Pop queen Madonna brings Beverly Hills to a standstill by falling off her mountain bike. The material girl came a cropper while trying to ride while carrying a cup of coffee. Madonna, 44, was heading to a meeting to study Kabbalah a mystical offshoot of Judaism near her Californian home. The mum of two escaped injury, despite wearing a flat cap instead of a crash helmet. Drivers waited as her bodyguard helped her to her feet. An onlooker said: 'Madonna looked a little shaken but the only thing that was badly damaged was her pride. She soon got up and dusted herself down.'
29 May 2003 -- The Sun (excerpt) - I know Madonna is famous for changing her image, but this is ridiculous. The Queen of Pop has already ditched her brown locks and reverted to her trademark blonde barnet. Madge dyed her hair dark and wore a beret for a string of low key gigs while promoting her last single American Life. But she obviously thinks blondes have more fun as shes been back to the hairdressers. She was snapped strolling in Beverly Hills with a cup of coffee in her hand. Her blonde tresses peeped out from under a tweed flat cap. An onlooker said: 'Madonna is an icon and has created some of the most memorable images of the past 20 years. She obviously didnt like her last style. Blonde suits her more.'
All I can say is this places her back in danger of an adjacent Jayne Mansfield scenario or the doom portended in Quatrain 1.39.
DRUDGE REPORT 2003®
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON MARCH 31, 2003 21:38:09 ET XXXXX
AOLTIMEWARNER recording mogul Madonna late Monday announced she will not release her shock video AMERICAN LIFE in the United States -- a short which depicted soldiers dressed as transvestites in a fashion show along with a scene of the star throwing a grenade at a President Bush look-alike!
"I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video," Madonna announced.
Instead, AMERICAN LIFE aired Monday night on German Music TV. It received strong applause from those in the studio.
The DRUDGE REPORT obtained the clip, which is by far the most controversial work ever made by the artist.
Scenes of stealth bombers and missile launches are edited with flashes of the American flag, while Madonna is shown urinating on a toilet.
Later, images of mushroom clouds are mixed with innocent faces of Iraqi children.
"F**k It!" Madonna says in the video, moments before she pulls the pin on a grenade and throws it at a President Bush look alike.
The "president" picks up the lit grenade that Madonna throws -- and lights his cigar with it!
The image is "my wish to find an alternative to violence to war and destruction," the singer said over the weekend before deciding to shelve the project. "...It's me being ironic and tongue in cheek."
Madonna claims the video has been "the subject of rumors and misinformation."
"It was filmed before the war started," she explains, "and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time."
Last month, the DRUDGE REPORT revealed in an exclusive how editing was in progress on "the most shocking anti-war, anti-Bush statement yet to come from the showbusiness industry."
"[AMERICAN LIFE] may still get aired this week throughout Europe," a WARNER BROS. source said late Monday.
It was not immediately clear if the 5-minute video would be offered for purchase in the United States.
As the NEW YORK TIMES questioned if the superstar "may be looking at the final stages of a long career."
DRUDGE REPORT 2003®
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FRI MARCH 28, 2003 20:52:37 ET XXXXX
A final shock scene in the video of AOLTIMEWARNER recording artist Madonna's upcoming release -- is that of the singer throwing a grenade in the lap of President Bush!
"It is not me being anti-Bush, it's me being ironic and tongue in cheek," Madonna explains to NBC's ACCESS HOLLYWOOD this weekend.
"My kind of wish for peace and my desire to sort of turn a weapon of destruction, which is a grenade, into something that is completely innocuous."
Madonna uses a Bush look-alike in the final scene of AMERICAN LIFE. The "president" picks up the lit grenade that Madonna throws -- and lights his cigar with it!
The image is "my wish to find an alternative to violence to war and destruction," the singer says.
Last month the DRUDGE REPORT first revealed how Madonna was hoping to cause maximum controversy with the new video.
AMERICAN LIFE will make its debut late next week.
26 February 2003
madonnalicious.com - aka thelittlestar.co.uk
Here's the latest picture of Madonna cycling around Los Angeles taken from OK! magazine.
Madonnalicious has noticed that the black-eye that was reported by the UK press on 09 February is definately there - you can see the redness and the bruising more clearly - last time it just looked like a shadow!
09 February 2003
News of the World
Her Madgesty The Queen unveiled a black eye as she went to visit a trendy healing center.
But Madonna is staying silent about how she really picked up the injury which had left her right eye dark and swollen. Madonna - in tracksuit and trainers - was hoping the holistic healer in Beverley Hills would help soothe her pain.
Passers-by were shocked by how pale and drawn the normally super-fit megastar looked as she left her Californian home.
Bond 20 - 25-08-02
Madonna was injured during a fencing scene during the filming of the "Die Another Day" music video.
Filming took place on Thursday 22nd August 2002 and Friday 23rd before being delayed due to a small injury in a "fight" sequence. She was reportedly very upset that shooting had to be stalled due to her accident. Filming is due to continue on Monday 26th and wrap on Tuesday 27th.
Unlike the previous Brosnan Bond films, the "Die Another Day" music video will not feature any scenes from the film. It is rumoured that a few bars from the new title track will be part of the full trailer due for release on September 6th 2002.
18 August 2002
News of the World
Madonna's hubby looks like a poor little Ritchie guy as he turns up alone for a meeting with a spiritual guru.
The 33-year-old film director fuelled rumours that he and Madonna, have had a bust-up when he visited the Jewish Kabbalah centre in Hollywood last week.
Madonna is a firm believer in the Kabbalah philosophy, which promises peace and joy to those who accept it's beliefs.
She introduced Guy to the faith and it looked like he got some good advice.
He wore a skullcap during his meeting and left looking content. A Kabbalah source said: 'Guy is a lovely person, always eager to listen and learn, just like his wife.'
A spokesman for Guy played down rumours of a rift with Madonna. He said: 'Madonna and Guy are very happy together.'
May 24, 2002 04:41 AM ET
By Paul Majendie
LONDON (Reuters) - British theater critics decided on Friday that pop superstar Madonna was more Mechanical Girl than Material Girl in her much hyped London stage debut. But her London run in "Up for Grabs" by Australian playwright David Williamson is critic-proof -- the show has already sold out and tickets are changing hands on the black market for over ten times face value.
Celebrity friends, from fellow singer Sting to fashion designer Stella McCartney, rallied round after Thursday's glittering first night to praise the world's most famous female pop star for taking to the stage. "She was wonderful," Sting told reporters. The audience too were certainly in awe of her -- Madonna was greeted with whoops of delight at curtain-up.
But next day the critics were distinctly lukewarm. "Madonna fails to shine," decreed the Guardian. "Mechanical Girl distorts the message of soft-centered satire," said The Independent.
The play's sex scenes certainly raised a few eyebrows in the auditorium. Playing a voracious art dealer out to bump up the price of a Jackson Pollock painting, Madonna was locked in a passionate lesbian embrace with a prospective client in one scene and strapped on a giant sex aid to service a corpulent billionaire buyer in another.
London has lately been attracting a steady stream of Hollywood stars from Nicole Kidman to Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon, eagerly accepting stage roles in Britain to boost their acting credentials back home.
For some the gamble paid off -- Nicole Kidman was hailed as "pure theatrical viagra" in "The Blue Room" -- but London's theater critics generally felt that Madonna was better off sticking to the day job.
"Madonna's acting, though it strengthens as the evening progresses, is a bit like her neat little trench coat: pale, wan and lacking in color," concluded The Times, referring to the coat she wears at various times during the show. The Daily Mail said: "Unlike Nicole Kidman or Gwyneth Paltrow, she is not accomplished enough to convince you that the idea -- any idea -- of artistic seriousness comes first." Her voice did not project at the start, she did look decidedly nervous at the beginning and The Guardian concluded: "Madonna is not positively bad, just technically awkward."
But The Daily Telegraph decided that the play, which Williamson had rewritten to switch the venue from Sydney to New York, was as much to blame as the star: "In the final analysis Madonna strikes me as being about as good as the play -- OK but hardly sensational," said critic Charles Spencer.
Entertainment Weekly - EW.com
FRIDAY, May 24, 2002
CURTAIN CALL After a couple weeks of previews, Madonna officially made her London stage debut Thursday with the opening night of ''Up for Grabs.'' The pop star plays an art dealer in David Williamson's play. Onstage, she hangs out in trendy downtown Manhattan, hobnobs with artists, displays brazen ambition, tries to squeeze another couple million dollars out of a client, plays with sex toys, kisses a woman, and (in an apparent accident in Thursday's performance), pops a couple buttons on her blouse and exposes her bra.
In other words, a typical day at the office for Madonna.
Still, newspaper critics were lukewarm, suggesting that the play could use a livelier lead. Said the Independent, ''Madonna is so busy concentrating on rehearsed effects that she fails to create any sense of spontaneous connection.'' The Times of London wrote, ''She looks terrific, moves sinuously, suggests a certain waywardness and... generates some emotional heat. But she never forthrightly imposes herself on the role and, especially during a low-key, low-voice opening, could use a mike.'' The Guardian referred to the star as ''Mechanical Girl.''
Nonetheless, she got a standing ovation from a celeb-studded opening night crowd that included husband Guy Ritchie, Sting and Trudie Styler, Donatella Versace, and Stella McCartney. The play's two-month run is sold out. Notes the 60-year-old playwright, ''I'll probably go down in history as the writer whose name they cannot remember who wrote the play Madonna was in.'"
By DEREK BROWN
The Sun Newspaper Online
14 May 2002
MADONNA 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 Whos That Girl, is a ruthless art dealer in the comedy Up For Grabs. She admits Ive never done it with another woman, before her kiss with leather-clad co-star Megan Dodds. The play opens officially at Londons Wyndham Theatre on May 23 and is already heavily booked.
Monday, 13 May, 2002, 22:59 GMT 23:59 UK
Pop star Madonna has completed her West End debut in the play up for Up For Grabs at London's Wyndhams Theatre. Fans queued in the rain for a chance to see the 43-year-old's first stage appearance since 1988, when she appeared in David Mamet's Speed the Plow in New York. Security was tight as the doors opened and staff quickly ushered those with tickets inside the theatre, which holds just under 700. Members of the press were not allowed into the auditorium, but ticket-holders soon revealed their mixed views on her performance.
Madonna left the theatre through its front entrance shortly after the performance ended, making her way past crowds of onlookers and photographers to reach her car. Earlier her director husband, Guy Ritchie, entered the theatre by the stage door and left half-an-hour later with son Rocco, about an hour before the performance started.
Many of those who saw the production thought the singer improved as she grew more confident in the second half. Victoria Bateman, 32, said: "I thought she was a lot better than expected, she was excellent." Malva Green, 41, said: "She was nervous to start with but got a lot better." Mark Collins, 28, said he did not think Madonna put in the show's best performance, but added: "When she got into it she was really good."
Madonna stars in the play, penned by Australian David Williamson, as an art dealer who tries to manipulate her friends when a Jackson Pollock painting goes on the market. The play has already been a massive success in Australia, breaking box office records in Sydney. The cast of seven are directed by Laurence Boswell, whose recent credits include A Day In The Life Of Joe Egg and Popcorn, by Ben Elton. Preparations for the play were hit early on when matinee performances were dropped because of Madonna's recording commitments. The singer's West End stage debut was also delayed by technical problems. Hollywood rivals The show officially opens on 23 May for a 10-week run.
Madonna has also appeared on stage with then husband Sean Penn in the 1986 off-Broadway play Goose and Tomtom. The singer has also appeared in various films. Before finding fame, she wrote her own part in a filmed stage play called In Artificial Light in 1980. After good reviews for her role in the film Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985, Madonna fared less well with 1986's Shanghai Surprise and Who's That Girl a year later.
A more recent musical performance as Eva Peron in Evita earned her better reviews, but her role in The Next Best Thing received a mixed reception. Madonna will next be seen in her husband Guy Ritchie's new movie Swept Away. She is also reportedly making a cameo appearance in the new James Bond movie, for which she sings the theme tune.
Madonna will be competing for audience members with her good actress friend Gwyneth Paltrow. Hollywood star Paltrow is starring in her West End debut Proof at the Donmar Warehouse. Madonna and Paltrow are just the latest US celebrities to tread the boards in the West End, including Kevin Spacey and Nicole Kidman. Also currently performing in the capital are Matt Damon, Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix, who are all appearing in the play This Is Our Youth.
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