The Material Girl arrived at Nassau Coliseum this week to start rehearsals for her “MDNA Tour” using the elaborate stage set that will travel around the world with her and is expected to spend plenty of time in Uniondale before the tour launches in Tel Aviv on May 31.
Judging from photos of the closed rehearsals released on her website, the massive, triangle-shaped set includes two walkways for Madonna to wade into the crowd in the floor seats and an enclosed area where fans can get close to the stage. There will also be a huge three-part video screen that promoters have called the largest in the world.
Madonna has also assembled a large backing band of at least nine musicians this time out to introduce fans to her dance music opus “MDNA,” which debuted at No. 1, as well as reworked versions of her classics. According to numerous fan sites, Madonna plans to offer new versions of “Open Your Heart” and “Justify My Love” that she is still perfecting at the Coliseum.
Until this week, Madonna had been rehearsing in Manhattan with her dancers and band in a windowless room she calls “the dungeon,” where she has been learning routines, as well as learning to slackline, the acrobatic maneuvers on a tightrope-like cord that were part of her flashy Super Bowl Halftime Show. At recent appearances, Madonna has said she is bruised and cut from her slackline lessons.
While much of the Coliseum has been cleared out for Madonna, who has rented the building for six weeks, a little bit of Long Island flavor remains, as New York Islanders banners still hang over her practice area.
Though promoters announced last week that Madonna's tour start would be pushed back two days due to production issues, the North American leg of the tour is still set for Aug. 28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. She plays Yankee Stadium for the first time, with shows set for Sept. 6 and Sept. 8, and returns to Madison Square Garden Nov. 12. Currently, no Nassau Coliseum date has been set.