Tony Winners Christine Ebersole, Patti LuPone to Put on 'War Paint'
The celebrated Broadway veterans will take on two titans of the cosmetics industry in this new musical about the rivalry between Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.
Two of the most beloved divas of Broadway will go mano a mano as arch-rivals of the beauty industry when Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone star in War Paint, a new musical about the rise of cosmetics entrepreneurs Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.
The show is the lipstick-smeared baby of the creative team behind cult musical Grey Gardens, which in 2007 won Ebersole the second of her two Tony Awards. (The first was for 42nd Street in 2001.) LuPone also has two Tonys — for Evita in 1980 and Gypsy in 2008.
Michael Greif will direct the world-premiere production at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, beginning performances on June 28, 2016. (Both leading ladies have deep roots in Chicago.) Doug Wright, a Pulitzer and Tony winner for I Am My Own Wife, wrote the book, with music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie.
Rubinstein and Arden defined the standard for female beauty in the first half of the 20th century. Both women reinvented themselves from their humble beginnings, becoming business leaders in a male-dominated world, and fierce competitors throughout a 50-year tug-of-war as they built their respective global empires.
The musical is inspired by the book of the same name, by Lindy Woodhead, and the documentary The Powder & the Glory, by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman.
While no plans have been outlined for the show's life following its Goodman run, it's a safe bet that Broadway producers will be converging on Chicago to check out a property that has all the ingredients of a bold original musical. With mascara.