Madonna_-_Rebel_Heart_tour_2015_-_Berlin_2_(22618366384)

Borderline: Super pop icon Madonna came through town last weekend with her Rebel Heart tour stopping by the KFC Yum! Center. Reviews from Cincinnati CityBeat and Louisville’s own Courier-Journal say the concert was a great showcase for her career, spanning almost three decades.

“There may be more contenders for her crown than ever before, but the Queen of Pop still has a strong left hook,” says the C-J.

“Madonna showed everyone that she is still on top,” says CityBeat.

“Not so fast,” says everyone else.

Or at least a healthy amount of everyone else.

Goofball gossip site TMZ says the concert started close to three hours late and that Madonna was erratic enough that some thought she might have hit the sauce before the show.

One fan says, “Madonna was very drunk” … another says only “a lil drunk but funny.”

I’m loathe to run a TMZ piece, mind you. But social media seemed to back up the claim again and again. And led to Madonna hopping on Instagram to shoot down any accusations of drunkenness, says Billboard.

In case that’s tough to read:

Working on my stand up laying down. Good practice!!! Thanks Louisville! the tears of a clown soon to follow the ❤ #rebelheartour and for those people who like to believe all they read i never drink and perform!!! My show is 2 hours and 15 minutes of non stop singing and dancing. In Louisville I made a joke about doing a stand comedy act dressed as a clown and being able to drink alcohol. Its so very interesting how society continues to not only treat me in a totally sexist way (if i a were a man no one would have said a thing) and also continue to take everything i say literally!Thats what happens when people don’t read books and get all information from TMZ.

So I see a few friends were at the show on Facebook. One of them wrote:

“Weirdest concert ever! She chose not to sing a song, put her skirt on backwards, had to have her male dancers lead her through the moves by the end of the night, talked more than sang live….and a fake country accent?”

I saw this friend Wednesday night and asked her to elaborate.

“Well, I guess I was just disappointed. Her dancers were amazing. So good. But she kept messing up. And they were laughing a lot. And the looks on their faces were like, ‘that wasn’t supposed to happen…,’ you know? Like It was weird.”

And how late was she? I heard reports say three hours.

“It wasn’t three hours. She was late. Maybe 10:20, so if you count her DJ opening act, she was probably just over an hour, hour and a half late. Which was still no fun. And the DJ wasn’t very good.”

“And she wanted us to call her queen. ‘Will you call me queen, Louisville?’ She just didn’t seem confident.”

Well. Nobody likes a needy pop icon.

Here’s a clip, if you’re curious. Language is colorful, so don’t click if that offends.

I don’t know. She meanders. And it’s not terribly interesting, but that doesn’t automatically mean drunk. It might just mean “off.”

In Nashville on Tuesday, she assured fans she was not drunk, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, . “This is me sober,” she said. “I know there’s been reports that I’ve been falling down drunk on the stage. Y’all wish I could dance in six-inch heels and be drunk.”

Still late, though.

She didn’t take the stage until 10:31, according to country legend Reba McEntire, who had been Instagramming photos of the empty stage for the better part of the night.

She came on at 10:31.

A post shared by Reba (@reba) on

Also in the crowd that night — Jack White, whom Madonna called out for his perceived lack of enthusiasm, says NME.

“Don’t be laid back, just cause you’re famous. I’m famous too, you know.”

“And I get excited when I see people I like. But maybe you don’t like me?”

White responded by blowing her a kiss.

“Thank you. Some kind of acknowledgement.”

Repost @josephllanes #Madonna calling out #JackWhite tonight in Nashville.

A post shared by kirsten (@xkir5tenx) on

Some sites attribute any strange behavior to a custody battle over her son, Rocco. Others attribute any strange behavior to her being Madonna. And others say this is what you pay to see, regardless, that Madonna was one of the original reality shows, with works like “Truth or Dare” putting it all out there, figuratively and literally.

I just hope she’s OK and can get her show started before bedtime.

Gov. Matt Bevin
Gov. Matt Bevin

DisKynect: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin still has people talking about the dismantling of Kentucky’s Affordable Care Act health exchange, Kynect.

This week, The New York Times takes a look at “Kentucky’s Bizarre Attack on Health Reform.”

If Mr. Bevin, a Republican, wanted to take a stand against cooperation with the federal government, he picked an odd way to do it. He is shutting down an independent state program and turning instead to the federal government to run the exchange.

Well.

The Times goes on to question what will happen with the Medicaid expansion and Mr. Bevin’s pledges to scale back said expansion. Also noteworthy — Kentucky received $290 million in federal grants to build Kynect; $57 million has yet to be spent. What happens to those funds?

Kentucky received $290 million in federal grants to build Kynect, of which $57 million has not yet been spent. Federal officials have suggested that the state should repay the $57 million. But surely a state that is willfully destroying an exchange that was working well should be forced to return the whole $290 million.

Gollum-Trump
Trump of the Rings

Precious: I will tell you one thing I appreciate about presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul is he likes and knows his movies. You may recall back in 2013, he loved the movie “Gattaca” so much he included swaths of its Wikipedia entry in one of his speeches. Pieces of “Stand and Deliver” also seemed to pop up in an earlier speech on immigration.

And now, he’s compared GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump to Gollum, from the Lord of the Rings series of books and movies, says CNN.

In a long Facebook post, Sen. Paul suggests Mr. Trump’s motivations may be less than pure and focused on his own personal desire to sweep up more power.

This race should not be about who can grasp the ring. Electing Gollum should not be our objective. This race should be about which candidate will best protect you from an overbearing government.

I am the only one on this national stage who really doesn’t want power or dominion over you. I want to set you free, I want to leave you alone, and I want a government so small you can barely see it.

Earlier this week, former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin officially endorsed Donald Trump, says The Washington Post.

At least I think that’s what happened; her speech takes some twists and turns. But this could be a tremendous opportunity for science to study two distinct, rare breeds of narcissists in the wild.

But BuzzFeed says the endorsement has confused Sen. Paul, who was endorsed by Ms. Palin himself in 2008. Says Paul:

“It still boggles my mind that anybody in the Tea Party, the movement that I came out of, could really be supporting Donald Trump.”

Science!: Tripping.com put together a list of the “best children’s museums in the U.S.” and right there at No. 5: your Kentucky Science Center right here in Louisville.

From the site:

Science Center offers exhibits and programming to promote school-readiness in children and lifelong learning. Hosting a variety of educational series, workshops, and lectures, there are countless opportunities for children and adults to learn something new at the Kentucky Science Center. Its 4-story theater attracts visitors of all stripes, while the new ‘Science in Play’ exhibit leverages existing child development research to create a space where children can explore and learn simultaneously. For the adults, the Kentucky Science Center offers several speaker-series and special 21+ events (including date-night specials!).

Good on you, Science Center. And after you’ve paid your neighborhood museum a visit, you can take a short hop to No. 2 on the list, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Not too shabby to have two of the top 5 within a couple hours of one another.

I Love Him So I Stab Him: The Hollywood Reporter says your girl Jennifer Lawrence just signed on for her next film, the story of Marita Lorenz, Fidel Castro’s lover and would-be assassin.

“Marita,” written by “American Hustle” co-writer Eric Warren Singer, tells of the then 19-year-old’s meeting and affair with Castro in 1959. She moves back to the States for a year, gets recruited by the CIA, then goes back to Cuba in 1960 to take the dictator out. Only love wins out and she can’t pull the trigger.

Vanity Fair says it’s hard to figure out how much of the story is true, with some falling in the “implausible” or at the very least the “cannot verify” column. No director attached just yet, but the Reporter suggests the film may shoot in Cuba since the embargoes have eased.

I don’t know if you know, but there’s a monster snowstorm rolling through the state and as of the latest forecast this morning, we could see as much as 8 inches here in Louisville before we’re done, with maybe better than a foot in some parts of the state.

All that is to say: stay warm and safe out there, and if it gets bad, maybe hang out where you are. The guy in the other car is crazy and doesn’t know how to drive in this stuff so well.

See you next week.

Kyle Ware
Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.