War Paint opened on Broadway April 6 after previews that began March 7 at the Nederlander Theatre. When it closes, War Paint will have played 333 performances. Prior to Broadway, War Paint had a sold-out run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in summer 2016.
Both LuPone and Ebersole received Tony nominations for their performances. War Paint was also Tony-nominated for Best Costumes and Best Scenic Design.
The new musical reunited Scott Frankel and Michael Korie—the songwriting team of Grey Gardens and Far From Heaven—with Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright (Grey Gardens, I Am My Own Wife, The Little Mermaid) and director Michael Greif (Grey Gardens, Next to Normal). Choreography is by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli. War Paint is inspired by Lindy Woodhead’s book War Paint and the documentary film The Powder & the Glory by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman.
The musical will go on a pre-scheduled one-week hiatus from September 26–October 1 and will resume performances on Tuesday, October 3.
The Broadway company also features Tony nominees John Dossett and Douglas Sills: Dossett portrays Tommy Lewis, Arden’s husband and chief marketing officer, with Sills as the ambitious Harry Fleming, Rubinstein’s clubby confidante and faithful ally.
War Paint, according to production notes, “tells the remarkable story of cosmetics titans Helena Rubinstein (LuPone) and Elizabeth Arden (Ebersole), who defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century. Brilliant innovators with humble roots, both women were masters of self-invention who sacrificed everything to become the country’s first major female entrepreneurs. They were also fierce competitors, whose 50-year tug-of-war would give birth to an industry that would forever change the face of America. From Fifth Avenue society to the halls of Congress, their intense rivalry was ruthless, relentless and legendary—pushing both women to build international empires in a world dominated by men.”
The ensemble comprises Barbara Jo Bednarczuk, Patti Cohenour, Mary Ernster, Tom Galantich, David Girolmo, Joanna Glushak, Chris Hoch, Mary Claire King, Steffanie Leigh, Erik Liberman, Barbara Marineau, Donna Migliaccio, Stephanie Jae Park, Jennifer Rias, Angel Reda, and Tally Sessions.
The musical is produced on Broadway by David Stone, Marc Platt, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Marcia Goldberg, Universal Stage Productions, Independent Presenters Network, and the Goodman Theatre.
The Broadway production includes scenic designer David Korins, costume designer Catherine Zuber, lighting designer Kenneth Posner, sound designer Brian Ronan, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, and music director Lawrence Yurman. Casting is by Telsey + Co.