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Madonna crew to make Filipinos crazy for her

By: - Desk Editor
/ 01:22 AM February 22, 2016
MADONNA: Manila performance to feature an expensive, elaborate stage set. YOSHIKA HORITA /CONTRIBUTOR

MADONNA: Manila performance to feature an expensive, elaborate stage set. YOSHIKA HORITA /CONTRIBUTOR

AT AGE 57, Madonna seems to have done everything, imaginable or otherwise, in her 36-year career.

But for her current “Rebel Heart” tour, the Queen of Pop is pulling out all the stops to give her fans, including Filipinos, a show they will remember for a long time.

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Staggering are the details involved in the production of Madonna’s tour, cited by Forbes magazine as “the most expensive” of 2015, and which rolls into Manila on Feb. 24 and 25 at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena:

More than 2 million Swarovski crystals adorn Madonna’s costumes, whose seven designers include Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Alexander Wang, Fausto Puglisi, Jeremy Scott for Moschino, Nicolas Jebran, MiuMiu and Prada.

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Over 1,000 wardrobe pieces are required for all the performers on stage, 500 pairs of shoes have been custom-made, and more than 200 pairs of fishnets will be worn by Madonna when the tour ends, with 60 people dressing, sewing and adjusting the costumes night after night.

While the audience are watching the show, some 2 million LED pixels will light up the rear screens on stage, with 63,500 kilograms (140,000 pounds) of lights, sound and video equipment in use for each night’s performance. The movable stage ramp alone weighs 24,970 kg (55,000 lb).

Comprising Madonna’s advance party are more than 100 crew members, who are due to arrive in Manila today to start mounting the elaborate stage set, which will also be flown in from Macau, the tour’s previous stop.

The stage—the same one used for the tour’s opening date on Sept. 9, 2015, at Bell Center in Montreal, Canada, and all other coming dates—was designed by Stufish, the design studio founded by Mark Fisher, which also did the sets of the respective tours of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, U2, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, among others.

guyito-0222The MOA Arena crowd will be thrilled to see that the Rebel Heart stage “is almost as long as the entire court floor area” of the venue, according to a representative of the tour’s Philippine promoter, Music Management International.

The main stage leads to a long catwalk extending from its middle to the center of the space. At the middle of the catwalk is a second, circular-shaped stage, while at the far end is a third, heart-shaped stage.

The stage will allow Madonna to move as freely as possible and reach out to all sections of the venue. In fact, there will be seven bouncing sway poles extending over the audience during the performance.

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The Rebel Heart concert averages 20 songs, give or take a couple of additional tunes, depending on Madonna.

The set list from the Feb. 20 show in Macau contains four segments: “Joan of Arc/Samurai” theme, opening with the Beatles’ “Revolution” accompanying a video, before segueing with five Madonna songs; “Rockabilly meets Tokyo,” five songs including “True Blue” and “Like A Virgin”; “Latin/Gypsy,” five songs including “La Isla Bonita”; “Party/Flapper,” five songs including “Material Girl”; plus an encore, “Holiday.”

The tour, which will end on March 20 in Sydney, has a total of 82 shows: 36 in North America, 25 in Europe, eight in Oceania, and 13 in Asia, including the two dates in MOA Arena.

It is presented by Live Nation.

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