Madonna’s Second Date in Israel

Madonna will resume her international Sweet & Sticky Tour in London on the 4th of July. The tour will end in Israel. After the September 1, 2009, concert in Tel Aviv quickly sold out, a second performance date was added for September 2, 2009. It has been 16 years since the pop diva last performed in Israel, although she has been a visitor to the country a couple of times since then.

While in Israel, Madonna plans to go to the Wailing Wall with her children, including her newly adopted Malawi daughter Mercy, age 3 or 4, and adopted Malawi son David Banda, 3.

The Israeli tabloid Yedioth Ahronoth reports that Madonna’s friend Justin Timberlake will be joining her in Israel. The two share an enthusiasm for Kabbalah. Mr. Timberlake has been studying the esoteric Jewish mysticism at the London Center with Madonna.

There have been no announced plans that Mr. Timberlake will perform on the Sweet & Sticky Tour, but it is rumored that there may be some onstage surprises.

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Hollywood Walk of Fame 2010

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce released the names of the 28 celebrities who will be honored with a pink terrazzo five-pointed star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010, the Walk’s 50th anniversary.

The 2010 Hollywood Walk of Fame recipients are:

  • Motion Pictures:
    James Cameron, Russell Crowe, John Cusack, Colin Firth, Gale Anne Hurd, Alan Menken, Randy Newman, Adam Sandler, Emma Thompson and Mark Wahlberg
  • Television:
    Chris Berman, Jon Cryer, Peter Graves, Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Maher, and Sam Waterston
  • Recording:
    Bryan Adams, The Funk Brothers, Alan Jackson, Chaka Khan, Van Morrison, Marco Antonio Solis, Ringo Starr, ZZ Top and posthumously Roy Orbison
  • Live Performance/Theatre:
    Andrea Bocelli and Cirque Du Soleil/Guy Laliberte

Andrea Bocelli & Gianluca Ginoble

He is being called “the new Andrea Bocelli,” and if you watch a couple of the performance videos on YouTube of 14-year old singing prodigy Gianluca Ginoble performing in Ti Lascio Una Canzone, you will know why.

The video below shows Andrea Bocelli addressing a very surprised and emotional Gianluca Ginoble. If, like mine, your understanding of Italian is very limited, you can still appreciate the moment.

See Also:
The New Italian Trio, Leaving Us a Song [Art2u: Art Right; June 19, 2009]

The New Italian Trio, Leaving Us a Song

A friend recently shared this video on Facebook. This trio of tenors, Ignazio Boschetto, 14, Gianluca Ginoble, 14, and Piero Barone, 15, perform O Sole Mio in Italy’s talent show, Ti Lascio Una Canzone. They will amaze you:

The young man in the middle, Gianluca Ginoble, was the winner of the 2009 talent show. Not surprisingly, he is being compared to il maestro Andrea Bocelli.

Israeli or Palestinian?

Do you know the difference between an Israeli and a Palestinian?

That’s not a joke and there is no punch line. It’s a question raised by Swiss photographer Olivier Suter in his project Enemies.

Last March while on a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Mr. Suter asked Palestinians for photographs that he could use to compare with photographs of Israelis. He then published the eight photos he received in an ad in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, with the words “Wanted: people who look alike.” There was no mention in the ad that the people in the pictures were Arabs.

enemies_275x170The photograph on the left shows five-year old Adam Shurati, who lives in Bet Hanina, a Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem. On the right is an Israeli, Hadas Maor, in a photograph taken many years ago when she was six years old.

Hadas’ father Yehuda said, “Ben-Gurion was right when he said ‘The Palestinians are not our cousins, they’re our brothers. Turns out, they could be twins.”

Adam’s mother Nancy was surprised but happy about the resemblance between the children. But, she says, Adam is not too pleased that he looks like a girl.

See Also:
Can you tell the difference between an Israeli and a Palestinian? [Haaretz; May 30, 2009]

Flatpack: An IKEA Opera

The opera “Flatpack” sets Swedish furniture names to song while it poses the musical question, “What is domestic harmony?” It “explores issues encountered in everyday modern life and how our consumer decisions and domestic interaction with others are indicators of more profound life choices and personalities.” Performed live by Mammoth Music Theater at IKEA Wembley for four nights (June 2, 3, 9 and 10, 2009), it features four singers accompanied by a cello, piano, accordion and percussion, with a cast of actors and dancers dressed in traditional IKEA yellow and blue.

“Flatback” was composed by Tom Lane. The IKEA Wembley production was directed by Rebecca Lea.

See Also:
Ikea’s In-store Opera Shows Drama of Home Assembly [Advertising Age; June 4, 2009]

Congressman Comments on Ronald Reagan Statue

Congressman Wally Herger, representing the people of California’s District 2, was on hand at the unveiling of the Ronald Reagan statue in the Capitol Rotunda on June 3, 2009. Below are his written comments about the event, and a video he recorded as he stood in front of the statue:

I wanted to let you know about a recent event commemorating one of California’s greatest historical figures. Yesterday, in the Capitol Rotunda, Congress dedicated a statue honoring former President Ronald Reagan. I was fortunate to have the honor of attending the ceremony.  It was a moving ceremony and I can think of no person more worthy of this tribute than President Reagan. President Reagan’s contributions to the United States include helping to end the Cold War by bringing the Soviet Union to its knees, and sparking an unprecedented era of economic growth and job creation through his support for across-the-board tax relief on the American people.

“Former First Lady Nancy Reagan delivered remarks in remembrance of her husband.  At the unveiling, Mrs. Reagan commented that it was a “wonderful likeness” of her late husband.  Leaders of both the House of Representatives and the Senate gave speeches honoring our 40th President along with his former Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary James Baker.  The 7-foot, bronze statue contains pieces of the Berlin Wall, in recognition of his unyielding commitment to freedom everywhere.”

See Also:
Reagan Statue in National Statuary Hall Collection [Art2u; June 3, 2009]