Madonna never does anything halfway.
Monday night was her third of seven shows at the Chicago Theatre and she did not disappoint.
The show opened with a silhouetted typist loudly pounding out a James Baldwin passage on an old typewriter. A dancer jerked as each word appeared above the stage until he was shot dead. The quote was about art and artists and truth.
Then, the curtains drew, and Madonna appeared, dressed as a pirate, surrounded by dancers and a large American flag and a set consisting of multiple moving staircases.
The evening's show featured multiple costume and set changes and switched between tightly choreographed numbers and Madonna chatting casually with the audience. It lasted over two hours.
While Madonna did sing a few songs from the 1980s, when she regularly topped the charts ("Express Yourself", "Vogue", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like A Prayer"), most of the evening was devoted to her newer works. Madonna now makes her home in Lisbon and she brought guests to the stage, including a group of Portuguese singers performing energetic harmonies; and a guitar player performing an excellent solo, which launched into the lead singer's medley.
Dressed as the enigmatic one-eyed Madame X, she preached her political philosophy of independence, freedom, and tolerance throughout the show, mixing this with a bit of potty talk.
She closed with all the singers backing her up for "I Rise" as they marched into the audience and out the back of the theatre.
The show reminded me of a Broadway production more than a concert.