She might not be the theater critics’ darling, but Madonna is certainly the most popular girl in London. About 600 guests, including fellow crooner Sting, Trudie Styler, Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Jimmy Choo turned up at the party last Thursday to celebrate the Material Girl’s West End premiere in “Up for Grabs.”

“I loved the play, and thought she was great,” said Sting, who was still clutching his program as he walked into the St. Martin’s Lane hotel, where the party was held.Sadly, Sting was in the minority. Critics from The Independent, The Guardian and The Times all panned the play and suggested that Madonna stick to her day job. At least her fellow cast members were sympathetic. “She was gracious and there was no talk of her dictating the pace. She wants everything to work,” said cast member Michael Lerner.

This story first appeared in the May 30, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, checked out of the celebration early with Piers Adam, Styler and Sting for an intimate dinner at San Lorenzo.

Earlier in the week, the Countess of Wessex, Lady Helen Taylor, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, and Shakira and Natasha Caine, were just some of the guests at a fund-raising reception to celebrate 25 years of the British couturier Catherine Walker at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Meanwhile, the opening of Zuma, a new Japanese restaurant in Knightsbridge, drew a crowd that included Ritchie, Camilla Rutherford, Tim Jefferies, Nat Rothschild and Petrina Khashoggi. Ritchie was particularly camera-shy. “Please don’t take my photograph,” he pleaded, “The wife doesn’t know I’m here.””

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