At the end of the day, the really important thing in Lady Gaga‘s performance at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park on Saturday night was its mere existence.After many months of uncertainty over whether it would actually take place, the audience which flocked to the park would say that the concert was the final stamp on the end of Operation Protective Edge, which gave us the most shocking summer we have had in years.
But Gaga did not settle for just coming here. She also showered us with every compliment possible. She told us that she loves Tel Aviv and Israel (in Hebrew, of course) and how amazing the audience is here, and how fun it is to be here. One could even have believed her when she said that she had simply missed us.
As for the show itself, at first the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Disappointingly, Gaga’s ArtRave stage in Israel did not include the catwalk which winds around the arena floor and enables to artist to interact with the audience.
Nonetheless, the show was impressive and developed with time. It was almost impossible the count the number of outfits and wigs Gaga changed on stage, along with 15 excellent dancers who didn’t rest for a minute.
Despite the absence of the catwalk, at times it seemed like an artistic show taken from New York’s Fashion Week in an atmosphere of underwater life (and a variety of octopuses and walruses appearing in different forms) rather than a pop concert. But actually, when it comes to Gaga, it all fits together.
As for the music, we could reiterate what we said about the lady five years ago, during her previous visit to Israel, only much stronger. It’s great and wonderful that she has an image and a look and costumes, but the girl also delivers the goods as a real artist.
An excellent group of rock musicians and her remarkable virtuous abilities on the piano proved once again (for those of us who have forgotten) that she is an excellent singer and composer who knows exactly what she’s doing even beneath her costume.
The show began with Gaga’s current hits, “G.U.Y.” and “Venus,” after which we delved into a variety of hits from the past few years, especially those which were released after her previous visit.
Two of these hits summarize everything that happened on stage Saturday evening: On the one hand, the excellent and well-produced performance of “Bad Romance,” her greatest hit, which received an a la Nicki Minaj version with a serious wink at the entire pop industry. And on the other hand, “Born This Way,” which she performed on the piano, giving it an almost new meaning.
And again, it was so beautiful to see Gaga sitting at the piano, playing so well and giving us all the feeling that she’s looking into our eyes. She accompanied the performance with a speech encouraging each and every one of us to be who they are without giving a damn about what the world says – a mantra Gaga has sanctified since the day she was born.
An impressive and important moment during the show was when Gaga hosted Tony Bennett on stage. Bennett, who will perform in Tel Aviv on Sunday, is releasing his joint album with Gaga, “Cheek to Cheek,” this very week. The song the two performed on the Tel Aviv stage was introduced by Arthur Fogel, CEO of the Global Touring division of Live Nation Entertainment.
The decision to end the show with “Gypsy” was a bit weird. The particularly long break Gaga took before the encore was even weirder, causing many in the audience to think the show had ended.
But at the end of the show, one can definitely say that Gaga completely devoted herself to the Israeli audience and left Yarkon Park hungry for more.
After Gaga’s previous performance in Israel, which took place five years ago several meters away from Yarkon Park, in front of several thousand people and before she was who she is today, I wrote that I would like to see what becomes of her and that I would be glad to see her come back to us when she grows up.
That happened Saturday night, and we indeed received a much more mature and successful Gaga, who manages to find the balance between provocations and music, between art and pop.
Krav maga was first practiced by the Israeli military as a defence mechanism against potential enemies. It is a combination of key techniques from other defence forms, like: boxing, wrestling, Judo and Jujutsu.
According to the Mirror, Brangelina aren’t the only ones’ mastering the act:
“The whole family are learning the moves, even the little ones are doing modified kids’ moves, but Brad has been doing it for 45 minutes a day and has dramatically lost weight and beefed up his muscles for the film,” a source told the Mirror.
As a first timer, Brad is said to have bulked up 10 pounds from the military exercise. Meanwhile, Angelina is no stranger to the defence form.
In a video, Howie D. apologizes for the cancellation of the band’s anticipated summer concert in Ranana. Like other bands who were suppose to visit Israel in the summer, Backstreet boys cancelled their concert due to security reasons.
“We’re so sorry we didn’t make it,” he said. “We were very excited about our first visit to Israel.”
Recently, the band has announced its rescheduled concert in Israel for next spring. Hopefully this time they can keep their promise!
While the new family is taking a break from the spotlight, Johansson‘s publicist said the family is doing well. He added that the couple is seeking family privacy in efforts of keeping their daughter out of the public eye.
Earlier this year, Johansson was criticized in the press for her controversial position as ambassador for Israel’s SodaStream. In a statement to British daily The Telegraph, she explained her confidence in the Israeli company and its potential to influence great change.
Is veteran American hard rock band Kiss on its way to Israel? That’s quite possible, at least according to an announcement made by frontman Gene Simmons on his Facebook page.
In a post published by the musician last week, he concluded the first part of his band’s joint tour with Def Leppard, which came to an end recently in Houston, Texas.
After thanking the road crew, he wrote: “But it ain’t over. We’re just beginning. Europe. South America. Japan. Australia. SE Asia. ISRAEL, and more. We have just begun to rock…”
Simmons, 61, was born Chaim Witz in the northern Israeli city of Haifa to a mother who survived the Auschwitz death camp, and immigrated with his family to the United States when he was eight years old. He still has family members in Haifa and visited the city in 2011.
He co-founded Kiss in the 1970s and turned it into one of the greatest rock bands of all times. In the past few years he has been involved in several television projects, including his own reality show.
Simmons is the band’s bass guitarist/co-lead vocalist and is known by his stage persona “The Demon,” which drools fake blood. He is also known for his marketing skills, and over the years he has managed to turn Kiss into an empire of merchandise, starting from clothes and credit cards to coffins with the band’s symbols.
Although the band has never performed in Israel before, it has expressed its support for the Jewish state and refused to take part in any cultural boycott against it.
As an American, there is no choice but to be supportive of Israel,” Simmons said in an interview. “This is the Holy Land, and it’s no secret that everybody in America perceives Israel as its only real friend in the Middle East – who else are you going to rely on?”
Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.
Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, surrounded by family and close friends.
“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa Rivers said. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”
Rivers – who made “Can we talk?” a trademark of her routines – never mellowed during her half-century-long career. She had insults ready for all races, genders and creeds. She moved from longtime targets such as the weight problems of Elizabeth Taylor, of whom she said “her favorite food is seconds,” to newer foes such as Miley Cyrus, and continued to appear on stage and on TV into her 80s.
Comedy was not only her calling, but her therapy, as she turned her life inside out for laughs, mocking everything from her proclaimed lack of sex appeal (“My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on”) to even her own mortality.
“I have never wanted to be a day less than I am,” she insisted in a 2013 interview with The Associated Press. “People say, ‘I wish I were 30 again.’ Nahhh! I’m very happy HERE. It’s great. It gets better and better. And then, of course, we die,” she quipped.
With her red-carpet query “Who are you wearing?”, the raspy-voiced blonde with the brash New York accent also helped patent pre-awards commentary – and the snarky criticism that often accompanies it, like cracking that Adele’s Grammy wardrobe made the singer look like she was sitting on a teapot. Rivers slammed actors at the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes for E! Entertainment. In 2007, Rivers and her partner-in-slime, daughter Melissa, were dropped by their new employer, the TV Guide Channel, and replaced by actress Lisa Rinna. But they found new success on E! with “Fashion Police,” which Rivers hosted and her daughter produced.
No performer worked harder, was more resilient or tenacious. She never stopped writing, testing and fine-tuning her jokes.
“The trouble with me is, I make jokes too often,” she told the AP in 2013, just days after the death of her older sister. “I was making jokes yesterday at the funeral home. That’s how I get through life. Life is SO difficult – everybody’s been through something! But you laugh at it, it becomes smaller.”
She had faced true crisis in the mid-1980s. Edgar Rosenberg, her husband of 23 years, committed suicide in 1987 after she was fired from her Fox talk show, which he produced. The show’s failure was a major factor, Rivers said. Rosenberg’s suicide also temporarily derailed her career.
“Nobody wants to see someone whose husband has killed himself do comedy four weeks later,” she told The New York Times in 1990.
Rivers had originally entered show business with the dream of being an actress, but comedy was a way to pay the bills while she auditioned for dramatic roles. “Somebody said, ‘You can make six dollars standing up in a club,'” she told the AP, “and I said, ‘Here I go!’ It was better than typing all day.”
In the early 1960s, comedy was a man’s game and the only women comics she could look to were Totie Fields and Phyllis Diller. But she worked her way up from local clubs in New York until, in 1965, she landed her big break on “The Tonight Show” after numerous rejections. “God, you’re funny. You’re going to be a star,” host Johnny Carson told her after she had rocked the audience with laughter.
Her nightclub career prospered and by late that year she had recorded her first comedy album, “Joan Rivers Presents Mr. Phyllis and Other Funny Stories.” Her personal life picked up as well: She met British producer Rosenberg and they married after a four-day courtship.
Rivers hosted a morning talk show on NBC in 1968 and, the next year, made her Las Vegas debut with female comedians still a relative rarity.
“To control an audience is a very masculine thing,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times in 1977. “The minute a lady is in any form of power, they (the public) totally strip away your femininity – which isn’t so. Catherine the Great had a great time”
In 1978, she wrote, directed and co-starred in the movie “Rabbit Test.” It had an intriguing premise – Billy Crystal as a man who gets pregnant – but was poorly received. In 1983, though, she scored a coup when she was named permanent guest host for Carson on “Tonight.”
Although she drew good ratings, NBC hesitated in renewing her contract three years later. Fledgling network Fox jumped in with an offer of her own late-night show.
She launched “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” on Fox in 1986, but the venture lasted just a season and came at a heavy price: Carson cut ties with her when she surprised him by becoming a competitor.
Carson kept publicly silent about her defection but referred obliquely to his new rival in his monologue on the day her show debuted.
“There are a lot of big confrontations this week,” Carson said as the audience giggled expectantly. “Reagan and Gorbachev, the Mets versus the Astros, and me versus ‘The Honeymooners’ lost episodes.”
Her show was gone in a year and she would declare that she had been “raped” by Fox; Three months later, her husband was found dead.
It took two years to get her career going again, and then she didn’t stop. Rivers appeared at clubs and on TV shows including “Hollywood Squares.” She appeared on Broadway and released more comedy albums and books, most recently “Diary of a Mad Diva.”
Rivers once joked that there was not “one female comic who was beautiful as a little girl.” She was born Joan Molinsky in Brooklyn to Russian immigrants Meyer Molinsky, a doctor, and Beatrice. Rivers had a privileged upbringing but struggled with weight – she was a self-proclaimed “fatty” as a child – and recalled using make-believe as an escape. After graduating from Barnard College in 1954, she went to work as a department store fashion coordinator before she turned to comedy clubs. She had a six-month marriage to Jimmy Sanger.
In recent years, Rivers was a familiar face on TV shopping channel QVC, hawking her line of jewelry, and won the reality show “Celebrity Apprentice” by beating out her bitter adversary, poker champ Annie Duke. In 2010, she was featured in the documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.”
She never let age, or anything, make her sentimental. Earlier in 2014, she got inked: a half-inch-tall tattoo, “6M,” on the inside of her arm representing 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust. In 2013, she brashly pledged to work “forever.”
“You never relax and say, ‘Well, here I am!'” she declared. “You always think, ‘Is this gonna be OK?’ I have never taken anything for granted.”
Survivors include daughter Melissa and a grandson, Edgar.