- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Who’s that girl?

That’s what many were asking as a nearly unrecognizable Madonna, looking fatigued and frazzled, left the Kabbalah Centre in New York on Friday.

In a stark photo published by the New York Daily News, the star has gone from glamorous to cadaverous — appearing unkempt, without makeup and frighteningly skinny.

The tumultuous past few months apparently have taken a toll on the Material Girl, dragged through the rumor mill over the state of two marriages: her own and the union of Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and his wife, Cynthia.

Cynthia Rodriguez filed for divorce from the likely future Hall of Famer after published reports linked A-Rod to Madonna.

Madonna’s husband, Guy Ritchie, insisted Friday that there was no strife in their seven-year marriage.

Madonna also is under the gun about her upcoming Sticky & Sweet tour, with the Sun reporting she was firing dancers during rehearsals for the shows, which begin Aug. 23 — one week after her 50th birthday.

She also was blindsided by a tell-all book, “Life With My Sister Madonna,” written by her once-beloved brother, Christopher Ciccone.

Berry skips European gigs

Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry pulled out of two sold-out weekend concerts in Spain at the last minute without any explanation, organizers said Monday, sparking concerns over his health, Agence France-Presse reports.

Mr. Berry, who has been touring Europe, had been paid for the two concerts, and organzers said they are considering taking legal action. The guitarist and singer, who turns 82 in October, was scheduled to perform in Estepona on Spain’s Mediterranean coast on Saturday and in the northern city of Leon a day later. However, an hour before he was to take the stage in Estepona, his agent called concert promoters to inform them that the singer had left the country, leaving behind more than 4,000 disappointed fans, organizers said.

Mr. Berry, whose hits include “Johnny B Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” is viewed as the inspiration to numerous bands, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He has not released an album of new material since 1979’s “Rock It,” but he still tours regularly.

S.F. mayor marries actress

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took a break from his gubernatorial ambitions to marry actress Jennifer Siebel on Saturday at her parents’ Montana ranch, Associated Press reports.

It’s the first marriage for Miss Siebel, 34, and the second for Mr. Newsom, 40, who divorced legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle in 2006.

Miss Siebel, a graduate of Stanford University, appeared in the NBC television series “Life.”

Performing in Iran

Singer Chris de Burgh will stage a concert in Tehran with an Iranian band in late November, the first such concert in the country in nearly 30 years, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. De Burgh, who has a loyal following in Iran, visited for the first time in May and said he hoped authorities would give him permission to perform. The Irish-born singer will perform with the Iranian band Arian.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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