Like a Stage Virgin

Artists in need of funding often talk about requiring "the right to fail" — the implication being that only if they are free from commercial pressures can they produce their most truthful and personal work. Madonna is one of the world's biggest and most bankable stars. When she announced her London stage debut in David Williamson's Up for Grabs, the entire 10-week run sold out within days. With a reported personal fortune of more than $275 million, she transcends performers' usual financial insecurities, and yet with her iconic status comes the intense glare of public attention. Madonna, immensely successful as...

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