In her 2016 speech as Billboard’s Woman of the Year, Madonna—singer-qua-iconoclast—declared “There are no rules.” She then added a surprising caveat: “If you’re a boy. There are rules if you’re a girl.” Once again, she flipped her own script. Madonna’s carousel of campy personas—sexy nun, countryless cowgirl, middle-aged dominatrix—are unified by transgression as principle. Madonna acknowledged her own powerlessness in the face of rules, and became the most rebellious—and most human—Madonna yet. BAM’s small venue hosts the singer, who showcases her latest album as she reveals herself, as in 2016, intimately. —C.J.F.
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