Today In Madonna History: March 6, 1986

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On March 6 1986, Madonna and George Harrison held a press conference at Kensington Roof Gardens, London, England to discuss the filming of Shanghai Surprise.

When asked by a reporter to apologize for her and Sean’s behavior towards the British press, Madonna answered: “I have nothing to apologize for”.

You have to stick it out to the end of the video to hear George Harrison’s Shanghai Surprise. It’s one of those 80’s songs you can’t get out of your head!

Here are some of the lyrics:

But i’m ready.
You must be crazy… crazy…
And you got no money… money…
But you’re a tryer…

My straits are dire from the wok into the fire,
I’d like to meet you but i’ve broken my chopstick.
Sometimes there’s no hope in, in chasing promises,
I wanna love you though it could prove to be unwise,
Shanghai surprise.

Today in Madonna History: February 20, 1986

On February 20 1986, Madonna and Sean Penn attended the premiere of his film At Close Range at the Berlin Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.

Madonna contributed Live To Tell to the At Close Range soundtrack. Live To Tell was written by Patrick Leonard and Madonna, and was released as the first single from her True Blue album in March 1986.

Today in Madonna History: December 14, 1987

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On December 14 1987, Madonna and Sean Penn appeared on the cover of People magazine.

Everyone Said It Wouldn’t Last… …And It Didn’t. After Two Years of Marriage, Madonna and Sean Penn Go Their Separate Ways.  

Well, you can’t blame Judge John Merrick. It was Merrick, now a retired justice of the peace, who performed the August 1985 marriage of Madonna Louise Ciccone and Sean “KO” Penn. “I felt they were serious about their vows,” says Merrick. “I remember a line from the ceremony: ‘Although there will be times that your moods may falter, and you’ll question each other’s motives, the faith and love that you share will help to show that your inconsistency is only for the moment.’ ”   Trouble is, for Sean, 27, and Madonna, 29, that moment seemed to persist for a little over two years. Now, after 27 months of holy matrimony and unholy acrimony, the material girl and her rebel without a pause are positively, absolutely, this-time-they’re-not-kidding headed for that crowded community called Splitsville. “The marriage is definitely over,” says Madonna’s spokesperson, Liz Rosenberg. Seconds Penn’s publicist, Lois Smith, “The two of them have called off the marriage.”

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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: March 4, 1987

 

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On March 4 1987, Shanghai Surprise was released on home video.

The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film a 1 star rating:

“Shanghai Surprise is so dismally scripted and directed that no one could redeem it… an atmospheric, handsomely shot and, sadly, utterly empty piece of work.”

Today in Madonna History: January 5, 1989

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On January 5 1989, Madonna filed for divorce from Sean Penn citing “irreconcilable differences” at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Los Angeles, California.

Madonna’s publicist at the time, Liz Rosenberg, made this statement:

“I can only tell you that there will definitely be no further comment from either Mr. Penn or Madonna on this subject.”

Today in Madonna History: December 22, 1986

On December 22 1986, an exclusive interview with Madonna conducted by Simon Bates was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in the U.K.

Madonna discussed her upbringing, her formative years as an artist, her work ethic, her marriage with Sean Penn, the press, Shanghai Surprise and more.

Listen to the full broadcast interview here:

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