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WEBurlesque the Podcast

Jan 9, 2023

Viktor Devonne presents: PASSION PROJECT, a series devoted to artists and creators behind really neat stuff.  The latest episode is ENCYCLOPEDIA MADONNICA, with the author Matthew Rettenmund, who published his first edition in 1995, and then again in 2005, and the latest September of 2022.

A literal a-z on the subject of global superstar Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, born in Bay City Michigan and subsequent queen of the pop world (and one of our last remaining icons who began their domination in the 1980s), the book is a mammoth collection of trivia, fascinating factoids, speculation, and commentary on the star's body of work, love life, activism, narcissism, fragility, strengths, and missteps along the way.  One of the most "fun" icons to be a fan of, there are just as many heights (Blond Ambition! Evita! Hung Up!) as fails (Sean Penn! Body of Evidence! TikTok?) and projects that must be re-evaluated (Bloodhounds of Broadway! Sex! Bedtime Stories!) after loads of criticism was heaped upon them during their initial run.  Rettenmund is one of the great masters behind maintaining perspective on Madonna's legacy whilst keeping a clear head on the present day.

The result in the definitive encyclopedic compendium, in the latest and greatest form with exclusive interviews, culled quotes, forgotten lore, and necessary snark.

Matt talks about how the initial publication almost never happened, his favorites and less favorites (what beloved M track is he less than delighted by? You may gasp.), and how he managed to get a snapshot with the legend herself (and what she said to him!) during the tour and press events he experienced and compares notes with Viktor on whether or not she really should try another movie.

Video version of this conversation is available here:

You can buy your own copy here:
- Matt's blogs of all things queer and pop: and
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– For more on WEBurlesque Podcast Network, visit and @weburlesque @viktordevonne  everywhere

Passion Project is a production by WEBurlesque Podcast Network and Viktor Devonne; all original material property to Viktor Devonne; all non-original material property to those copyright holders. Copyright Disclaimer under section  107 of the Copyright Act 1976,  allowance is made for “fair use”  for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching,  scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.