Madonna was late, but that did not discourage the horde of screaming fans who had arrived an hour earlier to behold the world premiere of the Material Girl’s latest documentary, Madonna: The MDNA Tour, which chronicles the soon-to-be-55-year-old’s globetrotting 2012 tour. Indeed, the upper balcony of The Paris Theatre bordered on rambunctious, while some of Cinema Society’s finest guests, including Questlove, Debi Mazar, Nicky Hilton, CNN’s Alina Cho, Lorenzo Martone and Kelly Osbourne, sat below. The celebs found slightly more subdued ways to amuse themselves, munching on gourmet popcorn. Not everyone was so patient, however.
Martha Stewart hightailed it home before 9 p.m. after an hour-plus wait, Jill Kargman duly informed Shindigger. Ms. Stewart was apparently fed up with the delay. In her defense, she had an early-morning crafting date with Matt Lauer on Today. But it was her loss, frankly.
To pass the time, Shindigger cozied up to Caroline Rhea.
“Is the popcorn good? Thumbs up or down?” we asked the comedienne.
Ms. Rhea hoisted a big thumbs-up as she chomped on her organic kernels.
“So did you see her MDNA Tour?” Shindigger said, getting right down to it.
“I have a 4-and-a-half-year-old,” Ms. Rhea confessed, “so I haven’t seen her tour in a long time. But she has defied gravity—she’s not aging! If I had a body like that, I’d be like ‘Where’s my bedazzled one-piece? I’m going to the grocery store!’”
Ms. Rhea then asked Shindigger to point out some of the notable guests scattered around the theater. We spotted Johan Lindeberg, Jenna Lyons and Salman Rushdie, right off the bat.
“That one always freaks me out,” she whispered. “I’m always freaked out when I’m near Salman Rushdie.”
As Madonna’s dancers, her children Rocco and Lourdes, and other entourage VIPs began arriving, the whooping and hollering escalated to even higher decibel levels from the upper balcony. Back in our seats, Ms. Kargman said that the Queen of Pop had finally graced the premises and was working the red carpet.
Soon after, the superstar sauntered into the theater, sporting a customized Tom Ford tuxedo and top hat ensemble, paying homage to Marlene Dietrich, and the show (finally!) began.
Madonna: The MDNA Tour is a roller-coaster ride of all things modern Madge. It is excessively violent and flashy, a hyper-sexualized feast for the eyes (provided you don’t suffer an epileptic fit). Her dancers are hotter and more talented than ever. Her Jean Paul Gaultier wardrobe is fabulous. And most prominently displayed throughout the film, of course, is Madonna’s immaculately chiseled body. All in all, it is pretty astonishing. We loved it.
“I can honestly say that my tour is over,” Madonna sighed after the screening, opening up the floor for questions from her adoring fans. “But please,” she implored, “intelligent, interesting, inspiring questions only! Okay?”
One person asked how on God’s green earth she was able to put on such a show, night after exhausting night.
“First of all, thank God I didn’t have to it every night,” Madonna replied. “I did the show about four or five times a week. Yeah, it was hard—probably the hardest tour I’ve ever done. I was a mess, just talk to my manager.”
But that’s the sort of performer she is. “The show must go on,” she told the crowd. “I’m a human being like everyone else. I would have my bad nights and cry and say, ‘I don’t wanna do this.’ But in my book, if you don’t leave a pound of flesh on the stage every night, you did not do your job. Go hard or go home!”
Another attendee wanted to know details about the workshops Madonna gives for her dancers before the tour.
“So many people came from all around the world to do the workshop, and I made everyone try everything,” Madonna explained. Dancers who had mastered hip-hop were schooled in classic dance, and vice-versa.
“I forced everyone to go outside of their comfort zones. Straight boys had to wear high heels and gay boys had to man up,” she said.
Madonna had many favorite moments from the MDNA shows. “I loved all the fighting and violence of ‘Gang Bang,’” she said. “I got a lot of aggression out, and I felt so much better afterwards.”
But she admitted it would be hard to chose just one favorite song.
“I love doing ‘Sagarra Jo.’ It’s just a joyful song. You can’t help but be happy doing that song.”
“Fuck yeah!” shrieked a balcony loudmouth, who was misheard.
“Did you just say ‘Fuck you’?” Madonna blasted back into the mic. “Did you see me fighting in ‘Gang Bang’? Watch out!”
The Q&A concluded with a video teaser for an upcoming Madonna project, but by that time Shindigger was ready for a drink, and we snuck out to the after-party at Harlow.
“I saw the tour a few times,” Andy Cohen told us over a glass of champagne. The Bravo host hadn’t quite digested the party yet. “I just got here. I had to do my show,” he said. As other celebrity attendees like John Travolta, Adam Lambert and Zachary Quinto slurped down tequila cocktails, the queen herself paraded about, boogying down with her boy-toy Brahim Zaibat and backup dancers, bodyguards at arm’s length. As she brushed past Shindigger by the bar, a warm tingle of ecstasy shot down our spine. It was official—we were high on MDNA, and the rest of the night was a boozy blur.