World Tour

The Who’s That Girl World Tour is the second concert tour by American singer-songwriter Madonna. The tour supported her third studio album, True Blue (1986), as well as the soundtrack Who’s That Girl (1987). It was Madonna’s first world tour, reaching Asia, North America and Europe. Madonna’s 1987 film Who’s That Girl was a box office failure, but its soundtrack proved to be a commercial success. Warner Bros. felt that they could encache on Madonna’s success further and they sent her on a world tour. Musically and technically superior to her previous Virgin Tour, the Who’s That Girl Tour incorporated multimedia components to make the show more appealing.

Madonna trained herself physically with aerobics, jogging and weight-lifting, to cope with the choreography and the dance routines. For the costumes, she collaborated with designer Marlene Stewart, expanding on the idea of bringing her popular video characters to life onstage, reworking scenes from videos such as “True Blue”, “Open Your Heart”, “Papa Don’t Preach” and “La Isla Bonita”. The stage was huge, with four video screens, multimedia projectors and a flight of stairs in the middle. Patrick Leonard, who was the music director, encouraged Madonna to go with the idea of rearranging her older songs and presenting them in a new format. The title Who’s That Girl came to Madonna’s mind when during rehearsals one-day when she looked at a gigantic image of herself, projected on a screen on the stage.

The show consisted of seven costume changes, with song-and-dance routines, theatrics, addressing social causes—during “Papa Don’t Preach”—as well as an encore, consisting of “La Isla Bonita,” the Who’s That Girl film title song and “Holiday”. The tour was critically appreciated, who commented on the extravagant nature of the concert and complimented Madonna for her dancing, costume changes and dynamic pacing. Who’s That Girl was a commercial success, grossing in total of US $25 million ($51.9 million in 2014 dollars[1]) by playing in front of 1.5 million audience. According to Pollstar, it was the second top female concert tour of 1987, behind Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule Tour.

Who’s That Girl was broadcast in a number of international television channels and was released in VHS titled Ciao Italia: Live from Italy. Biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli commented that “Many female artists behave like a diva for a period when they reach superstar status, and the ‘Who’s That Girl?’ tour marked the beginning of Madonna’s.”[2] It is also noted for giving rise to the term “new Madonna”, a stronger and more intelligent sexual image of her former self which had given rise to the term Madonna wannabe. A statue of Madonna, wearing conical bra was elected in her name, at the center of the town of Pacentro in Italy, where her ancestors used to live.