The Girlie Show World Tour

The Girlie Show World Tour (also referred to as simply The Girlie Show) was the fourth concert tour by American singer and songwriter Madonna, in support of her fifth studio album, Erotica. Comprising 39 dates, the tour began in London on September 25, 1993, and ended in Tokyo on December 12 of the same year. The tour is estimated to have grossed over US$70 million.[2][3] Additionally, it marked Madonna's first shows in Turkey, Israel, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia.

The Girlie Show World Tour
Tour by Madonna
Madonna - The Girlie Show (poster).png
Promotional poster for the tour's Tokyo dates
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Oceania
Associated albumErotica
Start dateSeptember 25, 1993 (1993-09-25)
End dateDecember 19, 1993 (1993-12-19)
No. of shows39
Box officeUS$70 million ($123.89 million in 2019 dollars)[1]
Madonna concert chronology

Madonna's inspiration for the name of the tour was a painting called "Girlie Show" by Edward Hopper.[4] The show consisted into four sections: Dominatrix, Studio 54, Weimar Cabaret, and an encore.[5]

Two separate television specials were broadcast during the tour, one made during the Japanese leg of the tour and shown only on Japanese television; Madonna Live in Japan 1993 – The Girlie Show, and an HBO special Madonna Live Down Under – The Girlie Show which was later released in 1994 by Warner Music Vision on home video.[6]


Proclaiming after her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour that she would "never go on tour again", it only took her three years until she hit the road again. After that, she said that if "you ever hear me say again 'I'm never going on tour again', don't believe me."[7]

The Girlie Show was launched in support of Madonna's 1992 album, Erotica. The show had the central visual theme of a "sex circus". Described as "a mixture of a rock concert, a fashion show, a carnival performance, a cabaret act and a burlesque show", the show had a more complex stage than those from Madonna's previous tours: it had a runway that led from the center of the main stage to a minor stage, a revolving elevated platform in the middle of the main stage, balconies in the rear of the stage, and a giant illuminated "Girlie Show" sign above stage, among other features. The tour was directed by Madonna's brother, Christopher Ciccone; costumes for the tour were designed by Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana.

Madonna played an unusually few five dates in the United States. It was speculated that this was related to the Erotica album's particularly low sales in that country and the extreme negative backlash surrounding Madonna's book Sex and film Body of Evidence. The tour was chronicled by the photo book The Girlie Show, which included a CD with three live tracks: "Like a Virgin", "In This Life", and "Why's It So Hard."

Photography for promotional material, posters and publicity for the show was by Herb Ritts. The same imagery was used on the "Bye Bye Baby" single cover, which was released during the Australian leg of the tour and also on a Brazilian promotional EP, The Girlie Show which included the tracks "Erotica", "Deeper and Deeper", "Bad Girl", "Fever", "Rain" and "Bye Bye Baby".[8] Other images from the same shoot were also included in The Girlie Show book released in 1994 and also on the 1993 single release, "Rain".

Some venues forbade nudity, so dancer Carrie Ann Inaba wore a halter top at those shows. Uproar developed in Puerto Rico after Madonna rubbed the Puerto Rican flag between her legs on stage.[9] Trouble in Israel occurred when Orthodox Jews staged protests to force the cancellation of the singer's first-ever show in that country. The rallies were unsuccessful as the show was sold out and went on as scheduled.[9]

Concert synopsisEdit

For the performance of "Vogue", Madonna wore a bead incrusted outfit designed by Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana.

The first act, Dominatrix, began with calliope fanfare as a pierrot – who makes several cameos later – appears from the red curtain near a tall go-go pole on which dancer Carrie Ann Inaba performed. Madonna then makes her entrance to sing "Erotica". Next came "Fever" where she removes some of her attire and dances with two male dancers before disappearing among flames. Next, "Vogue" was performed with a Hindu flavor and Madonna wearing a beaded headdress. The act concludes with a Motown-influenced version of "Rain".

Madonna exits and "Singin' in the Rain" plays as an interlude. The next act, Studio 54, sees the singer descending from the ceiling on a giant glitter ball, wearing a blond afro wig to perform "Express Yourself" and "Deeper and Deeper". Following a simulated orgy, she sang "Why's It So Hard", and then the pierrot joins her during the performance of "In This Life".

A second interlude, "The Beast Within", features an apocalyptic dance with sexual overtones. The third act, Weimar Cabaret, opens with "Like a Virgin", where Madonna performed in a tuxedo with a Marlene Dietrich-inspired accent; while doing a comedic act with the pierrot. Next is "Bye Bye Baby" which features a chair dance routine, similar to her performance at the 1993 VMAs. After a Hispanic remix of "I'm Going Bananas", she sang a rendition of "La Isla Bonita" before donning on military attire and singing "Holiday", before leaving for a final costume change.

The encore saw Madonna, in Edwardian-themed clothes, perform "Justify My Love" in a style evocative of the Ascot Gavotte from My Fair Lady, followed by a performance of "Everybody". As the red curtain fell and carnival music played, the pierrot emerged yet again, only to reveal its identity as Madonna herself. The singer closed the show by singing the phrase "Everybody is a Star" as the curtain falls.

Commercial receptionEdit

The single concert at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio Janeiro attracted 120,000 people.[10][11] It remains the third largest paying audience ever for a female artist, behind Tina Turner's 1988 Break Every Rule World Tour on the same venue (180,000 people) and Madonna's 1987 Who's That Girl World Tour in Paris (130,000 people).[12][13] Madonna set the record for the biggest ticket sales in Australia with 360,000 tickets were sold, worth US$21,9 million. This feat was later broken by the Rolling Stone's Voodoo Lounge Tour in 1995.[2] Madonna's show at the Adelaide Oval stadium attracted 40,000 people, which remained the biggest attendance on the venue for 17 years until AC/DC's concert in 2010.[14]

Broadcasts and recordingsEdit

Madonna and her back up singers and dancers Donna De Lory and Niki Haris wore disco-inspired clothing for the performance of "Deeper and Deeper".

The broadcast was produced in association with HBO and was titled Madonna – Live Down Under: The Girlie Show. Initially, the November 20 show, the second of two dates at the Sydney Cricket Ground, was to be filmed and aired. However, a massive storm forced the cancellation of the show, so the November 19 show, which had been filmed as a "safety show", was aired instead in USA (HBO) and Germany (Premiere). A month later an edited version of this original broadcast was shown on Sky in the UK. A re-edited version of this concert was released worldwide on VHS and LaserDisc on April 26, 1994, as The Girlie Show: Live Down Under. It was nominated for the Grammy Award of Best Long Form Music Video in 1995.

On December 9, additional video recordings were made during the Japanese leg of the tour and shown only on Japanese television, Madonna Live in Japan 1993 – The Girlie Show and the October 7 show at the Inonu Stadium in Istanbul was aired on ATV in Turkey. UK radio station, BBC Radio 1, broadcast the entire second show at Wembley Stadium on September 26 and Brazilian radio broadcast the show at Maracanã stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with live commentary.

Set listEdit

Set list adapted from The Girlie Show: Live Down Under.[15][16]

  1. "The Girlie Show Theme" (Fanfare introduction)
  2. "Erotica"
  3. "Fever"
  4. "Vogue"
  5. "Rain" (contains excerpts from "Just My Imagination" along with elements of "Singin' in the Rain")
  6. "Express Yourself"
  7. "Deeper and Deeper" (contains excerpts from "It Takes Two" and "Love to Love You Baby")
  8. "Why's It So Hard"
  9. "In This Life"
  10. "The Beast Within" (dancers' interlude)
  11. "Like a Virgin" (contains excerpts from "Falling In Love Again")
  12. "Bye Bye Baby"
  13. "I'm Going Bananas"
  14. "La Isla Bonita"
  15. "Holiday" (contains excerpts from "Holiday for Calliope")
  16. "Justify My Love"
  17. "Everybody Is a Star" / "Everybody" (contains elements of "Dance to the Music" and "After the Dance")

Tour datesEdit

List of European and Middle Eastern concerts[16]
Date City Country Venue Opening act(s) Attendance Revenue
September 25, 1993 London England Wembley Stadium N/A 144,000 N/A
September 26, 1993
September 28, 1993 Paris France Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy N/A
September 29, 1993
October 1, 1993
October 4, 1993 Tel Aviv Israel Hayarkon Park 80,000
October 7, 1993 Istanbul Turkey İnönü Stadium Yonca Evcimik
Kenan Doğulu
List of North and Latin American concerts[16][17][18][19]
Date City Country Venue Opening act(s) Attendance Revenue
October 11, 1993 Toronto Canada SkyDome U.N.V. 50,880 $1,494,532
October 12, 1993
October 14, 1993 New York City United States Madison Square Garden 43,353 $2,020,475
October 15, 1993
October 17, 1993
October 19, 1993 Philadelphia The Spectrum 13,810 $500,280
October 21, 1993 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills 15,705 $600,355
October 23, 1993 Montreal Canada Olympic Stadium Mario Pelchat 51,900 $1,650,353
October 26, 1993 Bayamón Puerto Rico Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium N/A N/A N/A
October 30, 1993 Buenos Aires Argentina River Plate Stadium 120,000
October 31, 1993
November 3, 1993 São Paulo Brazil Estádio do Morumbi 86,000
November 6, 1993 Rio de Janeiro Estádio do Maracanã 120,000
November 10, 1993 Mexico City Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez 137,234 $8,927,703
November 12, 1993
November 13, 1993
List of Oceania and Asian concerts[16][20]
Date City Country Venue Opening act(s) Attendance Revenue
November 19, 1993 Sydney Australia Sydney Cricket Ground Peter Andre 45,000[21] N/A
November 24, 1993 Brisbane ANZ Stadium N/A
November 26, 1993 Melbourne Melbourne Cricket Ground 147,241[22]
November 27, 1993
November 29, 1993
December 1, 1993 Adelaide Adelaide Oval 40,000
December 3, 1993 Sydney Sydney Cricket Ground 90,000
December 4, 1993
December 7, 1993 Fukuoka Japan Fukuoka Dome N/A N/A
December 8, 1993
December 9, 1993
December 13, 1993 Tokyo Tokyo Dome
December 14, 1993
December 16, 1993
December 17, 1993
December 19, 1993
Total 1,240,223 $13,543,338
List of cancelled concerts
Date City Country Venue Reason Ref.
October 2, 1993 Frankfurt Germany Festhalle Frankfurt Technical difficulties [23]



  • Christopher Ciccone – production designer
  • Jai Winding – musical director
  • Jeffrey Hornaday – stage direction
  • Peter Morse – lighting designer
  • Dolce & Gabbana – costume designer
  • Rob Saduski – costume designer
  • Alex Magno – choreographer
  • Keith Young – choreographer
  • Michelle Johnston – choreographer
  • Niki Haris – choreographer
  • Ungela Brockman – dancer
  • Christopher Childers – dancer
  • Michael Gregory – dancer
  • Carrie Ann Inaba – dancer
  • Jill Nicklaus – dancer
  • Ruth Inchaustegui – dancer
  • Luca Tommassini – dancer
  • Carlton Wilborn – dancer


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Stones set to play Australia since '73". Billboard. New York City. 107 (1): 37. 1995-01-07. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  3. ^ Lenig 2010, p. 145
  4. ^ "Two decades on the road with Madonna - The National".
  5. ^
  6. ^ Pavlides, Dan (2006-03-23). "Madonna: The Girlie Show – Live Down Under > Overview". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
  7. ^ "The Girlie Show". Reocities. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
  8. ^ The Girlie Show (Media notes). Madonna. Warner Music Brazil. 1993. CDP0893.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ a b Smith, Neil (2004-05-24). "Show-stealer Madonna on tour". BBC Music. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  10. ^ Hatza Jr., George L. (November 7, 1993). "Madonna packs in 120,000 in Rio". Reading Eagle. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "Madonna Concert Draws 120,000". The Buffalo News. November 8, 1993. Archived from the original on November 29, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  12. ^ Bassets, Luis (August 31, 1987). "Madonna convocó en París a 130.000 personas". El País (in French). Madrid: Jesús de Polanco. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  13. ^ "A record 180,000 turn out for Tina". Chicago Sun-Times. January 18, 1988. Archived from the original on December 16, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Kelton, Sam (March 7, 2017). "UK singer Adele set to break the record for the largest Adelaide concert, with the crowd tipped to surpass 60,000". The Advertiser. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  15. ^ "Madonna: The Girlie Show – Live Down Under". (UK). 1998–2008. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  16. ^ a b c d "> Tours > The Girlie Show". Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  17. ^ "Assistir show da Madonna em São Paulo Morumbi AO VIVO Online Grátis – 05/12/2012". 5 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Reading Eagle – Nov 7, 1993".
  19. ^ Vandezande, Koenraad. "Maracanã Stadium".
  20. ^ McDonald, Patrick (November 10, 2006). "U2 to lead the charge". AdelaideNow... Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  21. ^ Cashmere, Paul (June 22, 2015). "Madonna Australian And New Zealand Tour Announced". Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  22. ^ "MCG Attendance Records" (PDF). Melbourne Cricket Ground official website. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  23. ^ "Madonna Cancels German Stop For Girlie Show". October 1, 1993. Retrieved January 22, 2016.