Running since March 2017 Two-time Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole star in a new musical that tells the remarkable story of cosmetics titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.
From the producers: Two-time Tony Award-winning legends Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole join forces to portray the trailblazing cosmetic icons who built empires in a business world ruled by men. "War Paint" tells the remarkable story of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden—fierce rivals who defined 20th Century beauty. In creating an industry, they reinvented themselves and revolutionized how the world saw women.
"War Paint" arrives on Broadway following a sold-out run at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in summer of 2016, where it became the most successful show in Goodman history. The musical is inspired by Lindy Woodhead's book "War Paint" and the documentary film, "The Powder & the Glory," by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman.
Patti LuPone is a two-time Grammy Award winner and a two-time Tony Award winner for her roles in 'Evita" and "Gypsy." She is also a 2006 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee. Christine Ebersole appeared on Broadway in the musical "42nd Street," winning a Tony Award, and appeared both Off-Broadway and on Broadway in the musical "Grey Gardens," winning her second Tony Award. She co-starred on the TBS sitcom "Sullivan & Son." The Broadway company will also feature Tony nominees John Dossett ("Gypsy," "Newsies") and Douglas Sills ("The Scarlet Pimpernel," "On the Twentieth Century"), who will reprise their roles from Chicago.
Playing this pair, Ebersole and LuPone are nothing short of flawless. The musical tells the gripping story of Rubinstein and Arden's careers, warts and all...a juicy - albeit highly elegant - drama. The music is strong but not particularly memorable..but the lyrics are impactful. While Act 2 slows a tad, the show is overall well-paced. "War Paint" isn't perfect, but it's a thing of beauty for sure.
Despite its relatively low-key dramatic engine, this is a smart, sophisticated exploration of two uncompromising personalities. Director Greif keeps the multitasking ensemble moving through an evenly paced 2 1/2 hours. Some no doubt will find the show lacking in dramatic momentum or explosive conflicts. I found it thoroughly compelling and masterfully entertaining throughout. And it's been given a suitably deluxe production co-piloted by two star turns for the ages.