When Madonna says she is going to appear onstage for her first true performance in two years, there is only one thing to do: Go!
The pop icon hosted the intimate, invite-only event in Harlem Friday night at Ginny’s Supper Club in the lower level of the restaurant Red Rooster in celebration of the premiere of her documentary concert film “Madame X” streaming on Paramount+.
The crowd — including Steven Klein, Jose Xtravaganza, Aquaria and Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon — sipped Belvedere Vodka cocktails and scoped out the best spot in the modest-sized, 100- to 200-person room, waiting to see the special cabaret-style show.
And wait they did.
Patience was required as the audience swayed to the DJ’s music before suddenly a spotlight illuminated the stage. Finally, at 1:42 a.m., Madonna writhed onto the stage in a vampy black Vivienne Westwood dress with thigh-high slit. Her waist-length platinum blonde haired glowed as cell phones flashed to capture the FOMO-inducing Queen of Pop.
A nine-piece band accompanied Madonna, who performed mostly newer “Madame X” songs like “Dark Ballet” along with classics such as “La Isla Bonita.” The energy in the room was palpable as Madonna danced on top of the piano and grinded against a column she seductively mounted.
Just as Madonna seemed to be closing the final song of the evening, “Like a Prayer,” she called out to the audience: “All right, people — we’re ready to take this outside, so follow us! We’re going to play a little game of follow the leader.”
The slightly perplexed but enthusiastic crowd immediately obliged, following Madonna from the lounge onto a closed-off 126th Street. There she, alongside musician Jon Batiste, continued to blare a jazzy rendition of “Like a Prayer” into megaphones with the band and backup singers in tow. Security was heavy as they shielded Madonna from fans who could not believe they were parading down the street with the megastar at nearly 2:30 a.m.
The Madge march ended a couple of blocks away at the big red doors of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Shortly after, Madonna was whisked away in a black car, but the night was not over quite yet. Guests were invited back to the venue for the after party. With drinks still flowing, the crowd let loose and took to the dance floor.
Madonna reappeared discreetly in a corner table flanked by friends celebrating with Champagne. After watching partygoers show off their best vogueing skills, Madonna and posse finally departed, leaving an upbeat room cutting a rug well into the night.