Pop superstar Madonna arrived Monday in Israel in advance of the single performance she was to give in Tel Aviv the following night.
But she failed to stay overnight in Jerusalem, as she had arranged.
The sultry American singer-performer arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport by private jet from Paris. She was followed by two jumbo jets carrying the star’s 112 managers, backup singers, dancers, security men and stagehands.
Also arriving were nearly 200 tons of equipment, including sections of a giant stage as well as sound and lighting equipment.
A limousine with curtains drawn over the windows met her at the plane and she was whisked away to the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. There she was driven to a back kitchen entrance, where she could be kept away from reporters and screaming fans.
Madonna was then ushered by the hotel manager up a service elevator to the fifth floor and shown to her room, where she was served a light supper.
But she soon called the manager back to inquire why she had not been given the entire floor, as she had expected.
She was told that her local manager had ordered 15 rooms and had not mentioned that the star wanted an entire floor to herself. The floor had 48 rooms, but the hotel was fully booked for the holiday season.
According to the hotel manager, Madonna had appeared nervous when she arrived at the hotel and had told him she was afraid to be surrounded by other guests occupying nearby rooms.
As a result, the international superstar ordered her limousine to return and drive her to the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, where her crew was staying. The two hotels are under the same management.
Madonna is the latest of a string of highly popular, and often controversial, stars to have visited Israel this year and performed at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park.
Recent performers — who played to hundreds of thousands of fans willing to pay $50 and more for tickets — have included Elton John, Guns ‘N’ Roses and Michael Jackson.
Their appearances in Israel have been denounced by members of the Orthodox community for “indecency” and “un-Jewish” performances.
Madonna’s “Girlie Show” world tour features topless dancers as well as the far-from-puritanical gyrations of the star herself.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.