Today in Madonna History: August 28, 1986

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On August 28 1986, Madonna and Sean opened in David Rabe’s Goose & Tomtom at Lincoln Centre’s Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, in New York.

Here’s a snippet of an article that Dena Kleiman published about the play:

A Revival that may not revive (New York Times August 19, 1986):

Madonna and Sean Penn are quietly dashing in and out of Lincoln Center these days in connection with closely guarded rehearsals of David Rabe’s Goose and Tomtom that may never be opened to the public.

But maybe, said Mr. Rabe, who is also directing the play, he will invite a special audience to come next week to a free performance – or even two. And after that? ”I’ve reserved the right not to show it,” Mr. Rabe said.

The rehearsals, in which Harvey Keitel, Barry Miller and Lorraine Bracco are also taking part, have been described by Mr. Rabe as a ”work in progress” for a play that was previously – but in his view unsuccessfully – produced. He said he believes he has a better handle on the play now, but is still not absolutely sure.

In the play, Goose (Barry Miller) and Tomtom (Sean Penn) are a pair of jewel thieves, who, in collaboration with a sexy woman named Lorraine (Madonna), amass a collection of gems only to have them stolen by a rival gang.

”I’m in the process of trying to understand it,” said Mr. Rabe, who is currently working with the actors on the stage of the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. ”I wrote it without understanding it, and it has taken a long time to grasp.”

Today in Madonna History: July 12, 1986

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On July 12 1986, Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach reached #1 in the UK and stayed there for 3 weeks.

Madonna’s first-ever CD single was for Papa Don’t Preach. The single was produced in the UK for distribution in the USA. The rare gold disc CD single featured 3 audio tracks as well as the official video for Papa Don’t Preach in NTSC format.

The single included:

  • Papa Don’t Preach (7″ Version) (4:27)
  • Papa Don’t Preach (12″ Version) (5:43)
  • Pretender (LP Version) (4:28)
  • Papa Don’t Preach (Video) (5:05)

Today in Madonna History: June 28, 1986

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On June 28 1986, Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach single debuted at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. Eight weeks later it would reach #1 on the same chart.

Shortly after its release, the song caused heated discussions about its lyrical content. Women’s organizations and others in the family planning field criticized Madonna for encouraging teenage pregnancy, while groups opposed to abortion saw it as a positive pro-life message.

In July 1986, shortly after the release of the video for Papa Don’t Preach, Madonna commented on the controversy surrounding the song, to music critic Stephen Holden from The New York Times:

Papa Don’t Preach is a message song that everyone is going to take the wrong way. Immediately they’re going to say I am advising every young girl to go out and get pregnant. When I first heard the song, I thought it was silly. But then I thought, wait a minute, this song is really about a girl who is making a decision in her life. She has a very close relationship with her father and wants to maintain that closeness. To me it’s a celebration of life. It says, ‘I love you, father, and I love this man and this child that is growing inside me’. Of course, who knows how it will end? But at least it starts off positive.”

Today in Madonna History: April 17, 1986

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On April 17 1986, Madonna and Sean Penn attended the Los Angeles premiere of his film At Close Range at the Bruin Theater.

Sporting a new cropped, platinum blonde hairstyle, Madonna and her notoriously media-shy husband paused to speak with various media outlets as they made their way down the red carpet.

The film, which co-starred Christopher Walken and Mary Stuart Masterson, featured Madonna’s latest single, Live To Tell, along with an original musical score by Patrick Leonard comprising mostly of motifs inspired by Live To Tell‘s minor chord changes. Its director, James Foley, helmed several of Madonna’s music videos for the True Blue album and directed her next film, Who’s That Girl.