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Madame X Tour – Paper Magazine Review

As the 11th tour in her over three decade-long reign as the Queen of Pop, Madame X is entirely unlike any other Madonna tour to date. For one thing, the show is designed for the theater, as opposed to her usual sold-out baseball stadium fare. (The first venue on the trek, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, seats fewer than 3,000.)

Given the close quarters, there’s no catwalk to consider, nor do fans needs to panic about which side is “better.” It’s all relatively close (“intimate,” as she purred to the crowd), and all front and center. Seeing Madonna in that environment,her first time on a theater stage since her West End debut with Up for Grabs in 2002, is objectively a special experience.

The Madame X Tour is also phone-free.

It’s 2019: we’re all addicted to our phones. Even the woman on stage — who the audience paid hundreds, and in several cases, thousands of dollars to see — teased the crowd multiple times about their phonelessness, only to admit to being addicted to her own device during a misguided monologue about technological entrapment and slavery. (A rework is needed on that speech, ASAP.) read more →

Madame X Tour – The Atlantic Review

Her 17-date Brooklyn residency forgoes many of the greatest hits and fleshes out her Madame X secret-agent character to spectacular effect.

Madonna has banned cameras and phones from her performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House, but images will live on in attendees’ nightmares. They’ll not forget the traumatizing intro segment of chest-shaking gunshots and big onscreen bullet holes and a slain dancer. Or the apocalypse pangs later: a pianist in a gas mask, some riot-gear-clad ballerinas, pictures of burning forests projected behind her. Or—causing the biggest shiver at Thursday night’s show—how Madonna sat down next to a random crowd member and interrogated him about not having a date to her concert.

The abusement was the amusement, and the amusement was epic. “Artists are here to disturb the peace,” read the words typed out against a black backdrop at the start of the show, and the James Baldwin quotation proved malleable enough to explain the many confrontations of Madonna’s quite special Madame X tour. Rather than try to sell out arenas after a decade without a hit and the release of what’s arguably her oddest album, the 61-year-old icon has posted up for intimate residencies in a very few cities. Seventeen shows in Brooklyn kick off the gambit, with many tickets pricey enough to deserve censure by Elizabeth Warren. read more →

Madame X Tour – The Times Review

Well, she’s still got it. Not just the musical chops, but the ability to surprise. Madonna’s show at the 3,000-capacity Brooklyn Academy of Music, which comes to London for 15 nights in January, is two hours of intimate risk-taking, rapturously performed.

A recurring theme was a quote from James Baldwin that “artists should disturb”, the words punched on to a screen by a woman at a typewriter. Madonna has always liked to see herself as an agitator, but that often gets lost in bigger shows. Here the 61-year-old could communicate directly with a vocal audience, who were all the more engaged for being parted from their phones, which were sealed in special pouches at the door.

A bonkers blend of physical theatre, political sermon, club night and royal audience, the show criss-crossed between pop, disco, ballet strings, Portuguese fado and drumming from Cape Verde. The Portuguese influence comes from Madonna’s new home in Lisbon, where she moved to support her son David, a footballer with one of Benfica’s youth teams. He wasn’t here, but Madonna’s six-year-old twins, Estere and Stelle, danced ebulliently in feather boas, and her eldest daughter, Lourdes, 22, writhed in a giant-sized video cleverly projected over her tiny mother during her performance of Frozen. read more →

Madame X Tour – Variety Review

“Stop raping the matriarchy!” Madonna, clad in a sequin-encrusted Revolutionary war costume, shouted to the sold-out crowd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House on Thursday night. Like the Madame X character she crafted for her 14th album, the Madonna who has opted for a theater residency after 37 years of touring stadiums and arenas is playing with multiple dualities. And like the alter-egos at the center of the album that dominates the concert, the show itself has a range of identities: at times it’s performance art, a political rally, a comedy show, a church and even her home in Lisbon, which inspired the record. And Madonna is everything from a political activist and a spy to a comedian and a “cha-cha” dancer on the stage. So why not mix sequins with a getup Thomas Jefferson might have sported while trying to protect women’s rights?

As she never really lets you forget, Madonna is calling the shots with “Madame X,” this show and plenty else besides. And for her, that means attempting to use her privilege and power to enact change while still owning her artistry, even if it is inexplicable at times.

Madonna Madame X Tour
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Madame X Tour – Rolling Stone Review

Madonna has never shied away from taking chances. Thirty years after she set fire to the Eighties with the disco basilica Like a Prayer, she’s as gloriously weird as ever. Hence her excellent new Madame X tour, a testament to the genius in her madness. Instead of a full-blown tour, she’s doing these shows as residencies in intimate venues, starting with 17 nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. The tiny rooms are the perfect place for Our Lady to strut her stuff. Like her Madame X album, the show is messy, but anyone who’s scared of a mess should avoid Ms. Ciccone entirely, because as any fan knows, her weirdness is where she finds her greatness.

The show follows Madonna’s adventures around the globe. “Everybody knows I moved to Lisbon to become a soccer mom,” she said on Thursday night. “I found myself alone, without friends, a little bit bored.” So after too many Sundays at her son’s soccer games, she started going out to Lisbon clubs and flipped for Portugal’s fado rhythms, which got her creative juices flowing again. As she announced, “From now on, I’m Madame X and Madame X loves to dance!”

The show started extremely late — she didn’t go on until nearly 11 p.m., which she kept joking about all night. “Forgive me if I kept you waiting too long this evening,” Madonna purred seductively, stretched out on top of a piano. “I don’t like to keep you waiting. But I have an injury. I have six kids. I have a LOT of wigs.” Then she had a couple of her dancers help her off the piano and improvised a pop melody: “I bet you had more sleep than meeee!” No rest for the wicked, indeed.

Madonna Madame X Tour read more →

Madame X Tour – Billboard Review

The joy of being a Madonna fan is that she’s a true artist, an incisive creative eye who embeds meaning and shades of emotional grey into her work; the other great thing about being a Madonna fan is that she’s an artist who also happens to be a pop star. So when she has something to say, it’s in the details, yes — but wait long enough and it’ll also be bludgeoned over your head.

“Freedom is the theme of this show,” Madonna told an enthralled, intimate crowd at the Thursday (Sept. 19) night show of her Madame X Tour at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. “And the theme of my life, for that matter.”

She might have explicitly spelled out her mission statement during the show, but when it kicked off just before 11pm ET, she eased into the theme with a characteristically unabashed mixture of high art and high camp. As a silhouetted typist hammered out a James Baldwin quote at a desk, a lithe dancer mimed dodging bullets, eventually succumbing to the barrage. After that, Madonna hit the stage, staring out from beneath a Revolutionary War-style tricorn hat as a battered American flag fluttered via video projection. There probably isn’t a more deliciously kitschy way to introduce a show speaking to what personal freedom — and danger — means to the America-born pop artist.

The first song, Madame X’s lush disco standout “God Control,” turned the focus from national mythology to personal history, demonstrating exactly where Madonna found her freedom — on the sweaty floors of New York City discotheques in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s — and how she sees it, quite literally, under fire (the gunshot-punctuated musical odyssey explicitly nods to the 2016 Pulse massacre). read more →

Dennis Rodman Says Madonna Offered Him $20M to Get Her Pregnant

Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman was involved in a high-profile relationship with singer Madonna during the 1990s, and two decades later, he has shared some of the wildest details from their time together.

During an interview on 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, Rodman claimed that Madonna once offered him $20 million to impregnate her (starting around the 11:43 mark).

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Site Updates

September 20
Rebel Heart Album page is now online.
September 19
Madame X Album page is now online.
September 18
I Rise page is updated with official remixes, single formats etc.
Crave page is updated with official remixes, single formats etc. read more →

Madame X Tour Costume Sketch

Madonna’s Madame X Tour costume by Francesco Scognamiglio

Madonna's Madame X Tour costume by Francesco Scognamiglio

Madame X Tour Credits

SHOW
Created and directed by Madonna
Jamie King – Creative Producer
Megan Lawson – Co-Director and Lead Choreographer
Damien Jalet – Creative Advisor
Luigi Murenu & Iango Henzi – Creative Consultants
Carla Kama – Associate Creative Producer
Tiffany Olson – Associate Creative Producer
Stephanie Roos – Associate Creative Producer
Al Gurdon – Lighting Designer
Stufish Entertainment Architects – Set Design read more →

Photos: Madonna in New York (September 18 2019)

Madonna photographed in New York City (September 18 2019)

Madonna in NYC read more →

Madame X Tour – New York Times Review

Madonna Is Still Taking Chances

Her Madame X show reimagines pop spectacle for a theater stage, merging her newest music and calls for political awareness with striking intimacy.

“I’m not here to be popular. I’m here to be free,” Madonna declared to a packed, adoring audience on Tuesday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. It was the premiere of her Madame X tour, named after the album she released in June that she has said was influenced by the music in Lisbon, her adopted home. The show follows her decades of arena spectacles by scaling the same kind of razzle-dazzle — dancers! costumes! video! choir! — for a theater stage.

Unlike jukebox musicals or “Springsteen on Broadway,” Madame X is a concert focusing on new songs and the present moment. In other words, Madonna is still taking chances. She will reach arena-size attendance in only a handful of venues on the eight-city tour, but with much longer engagements; the Gilman Opera House holds 2,098, and she booked 17 shows there, through Oct. 12. Onstage, “selling” a selfie Polaroid to an audience member who happened to be Rosie O’Donnell, she claimed, “I’m not making a dime on this show.”

Concertgoers arrived to what was billed as a phone-free experience. Cellphones and smart watches were locked into bags at the door, though quickly unlocked afterward. It helped prevent online spoilers; it certainly removed the distractions of waving screens. (No photography was permitted, including press.)

Yes, she is 61, but her music remains determinedly contemporary, with the drum-machine sounds of trap, collaborations with hip-hop vocalists (Quavo and Swae Lee, shown on video) and the bilingual, reggaeton-flavored Latin pop sometimes called urbano (with the Colombian singer Maluma, also shown on video). The concert, with most of its music drawn from the “Madame X” album, was packed with pronouncements, symbols and enigmatic vignettes to frame the songs. Madonna often wore an eye patch with an X on it, no doubt a challenge to her depth perception as a dancer. read more →