Madonna Has Reportedly Been Banned From 2 Places for a Bad Habit She Claims Drives Her ‘Up the Wall’
In 2015, Hamilton was an explosive Broadway success. When the show ran in a smaller theater space, celebrities flocked to the performance before it moved to a larger theater. Of all of the stars who came, one left a particularly negative impression on the show’s cast — and it’s not the first time something like this has happened to her. Here’s why Madonna angered them and why Lin-Manuel Miranda personally banned her from going backstage.
In the ’80s, Madonna performed in a Broadway show
In 1988, Madonna starred in the Broadway play Speed-the-Plow. The David Mamet-penned production dealt with Hollywood producers and their temporary secretary, played by Madonna. This was Madonna’s acting debut and, as a 1988 LA Times article said, several reviewers “dismissed her performance, some rather cruelly.”
In 1996, Madonna acted in Evita, a film version of the 1978 play. Reviews for this performance ran much warmer. She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress and later performed a song at the Academy Awards.
Lin-Manuel Miranda banned Madonna from coming backstage
Like many celebrities, Madonna attended a performance of Hamilton at New York’s Public Theater in 2015. Though the cast welcomed many celebrities backstage after a performance, Madonna was definitively denied entrance. According to Playbill, Madonna allegedly arrived at the show late and spent a good deal of time on her phone.
In a now-deleted tweet, Miranda called out Madonna. “Tonight was the first time I asked stage management NOT to allow a celebrity (who was texting all through Act 2) backstage. #noselfieforyou,” he wrote.
Though he didn’t name Madonna, many believed that the message was about her, especially once her rep, Liz Rosenberg, addressed the matter.
“It’s not true,” Rosenberg told Us Weekly. “She was invited backstage four different times. She texted post-show when they were doing their fundraising pitch. Madonna had already made a generous donation.”
Despite this, cast member Jonathan Groff confirmed that he saw Madonna on her phone.
“You couldn’t miss it from the stage,” he told Vulture. “It was a black void of the audience in front of us and her face there perfectly lit by the light of her iPhone through three-quarters of the show.”
In 2013, the musician was also banned from the Alama Drafthouse for reportedly texting during a New York Film Festival screening of 12 Years a Slave.
Notably, in the same year as the Hamilton performance, Madonna told Us Weekly, “I also can’t stand when I’m talking to someone and they’re texting. My kids will do it! It drives me up the wall.”
Many other celebrities saw the first run of the show
Madonna’s time in the Hamilton audience may be infamous, but she’s by no means the only celebrity who attended the first runs of the play. Robert De Niro, Lucy Liu, and Michael J. Fox were among some of the stars in the audience.
For Groff, Michelle Obama stands out as a particularly lovely audience member.
“[The First Lady] came backstage and hugged every crew member — the wig girl, all the costume people, every cast member,” he said.