General News

Madonna's Stage Debut Praised by Celebs, Panned by Critics

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May 24, 2002 | 9:39am EDT

Pop icon Madonna debuted on the London stage Thursday night in the premiere of Up for Grabs. While Madonna's A-list friends in attendance (Sting, Stella McCartney, etc.) gave the Material girl rave reviews and the audience whooped and hollered from the start, the UK critics were not quite as positive about her performance, Reuters reports.

Some of the British reviews quoted by Reuters include: "Mechanical Girl distorts the message of soft-centered satire."--The Independent

"Madonna fails to shine."--the Guardian

"Madonna's acting, though it strengthens as the evening progresses, is a bit like her neat little trench coat [that she wears during the play]: pale, wan and lacking in color."--The Times

"Unlike Nicole Kidman or Gwyneth Paltrow, she is not accomplished enough to convince you that the idea--any idea--of artistic seriousness comes first."--The Daily Mail

"In the final analysis, Madonna strikes me as being about as good as the play--OK but hardly sensational."--The Daily Telegraph

Still, the play has proven resistant to the critics' pans. The show is sold out, and tickets are going for 10 times their face value on the black market.

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