Alicia Keys in Israel … “Set the World on Fire” Tour not so much.
The 14-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys arrives in Israel this week for her sold-out Thursday night performance at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, following Tuesday night’s performance in Istanbul, part of her global “Set the World on Fire” tour.
According to producer Shuki Weiss, Ms. Keys, as her staffers refer to the singer and pianist is a strict vegetarian who eats fish, and asks that her staff follow the same diet. Although, as reported by entertainment host Guy Pines, Keys is no Barbra Streisand, who reportedly required M&Ms in her dressing room, sorted according to color. But longtime producer Weiss did have to import several food items, including whole-wheat, cinnamon raisin bread and Smart Water bottles, stored only at room temperature.
As for local eats, Keys is happy to dine on local fish, as well as to scoop some hummus accompanied by Diet “Black Beer” — a non-alcoholic, malt-flavored Israeli drink — among several other Diet sodas and drinks. She also needs a few cans of tuna in her dressing room, but one imagines she’ll be bringing her own albacore white, rather than the darker canned tuna sold in local grocery stores.
Keys is traveling with her husband producer Swizz Beatz — originally known as Kasseem David Dean — and their 2½-year-old son Egypt.
The singer travels on to Finland and Sweden in August, but appears to be taking a break after the July concert in Tel Aviv. According to a recent Bloomberg review following several of the performer’s shows in early June, Keys has so far failed “to set the world on fire” during the European part of the tour.
One has to ponder someone/anyone requesting M&M’s sorted according to color or some of the other silly and sometimes outrageous requests made by celebrities. Many of the most bizarre of them concern the bathroom (I understand that Barbra prefers peach colored toilet tissue and Elizabeth Taylor never traveled without her personal toilet seat) and certainly food and beverage is always popular. I understand drugs and liquor were very important in entertainer’s dressing rooms during the 60’s and 70’s. At least Ms. Keys and Streisand have moved beyond that. I understand from friends that when the Rolling Stones are in Philadelphia HP steak sauce produced in the UK must be ordered in. I suppose if you want to “move like Jagger” you need the proper sauce!
I would like to think that were I to become one of these privileged people entertaining in another country, Israel, France, South Africa, I would be more interested in trying local sauces and the color of my toilet paper would be one of the last things on my mind. Are these desires real or made just because they can? Perhaps it’s one of those “everyone does this” deals. Didn’t know sheep could sing? Now you do.
To me the fun and adventure of travel anywhere is the difference in food, drink and culture (which includes paper products). Should I ever become able to roam the planet like these anointed people I would not want to create a personal “mini-culture” bubble for myself. I would also prefer not to be thought of as rather silly in requiring someone to sort my M&M’s by color. I understand a couple of years ago in Germany, Streisand requested that a pet store be closed for an hour so she and her dog could shop uninterrupted. Choosing milk bones is a very serious task after all.
One wonders what Ms. Keys would be like if her “Set the World on Fire” tour really “was”?
I have to tell you that I have loved La Diva Streisand for many years and Ms. Keys is immensely talented. Good or not so good I would love to catch her show at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. Talent aside, what are they thinking? Would Streisand not find sorting M&M’s a tad on the demeaning side? “Do Unto Others”, Babs!