The musical relates the rivalry between two important women of the cosmetics industry, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein from the 1930s to the 1960s. Elizabeth Arden was the daughter of a Canadian farmer, and presented her products as emblems of an upper-class life of comfort. Helena Rubinstein, from Poland, "emphasized science", promising an "exotic look." That was "code for Jewish" according to Scott Frankel.
War Paint tracks the meteoric rise of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, two women who rose to the top of the cosmetics industry, and developed a truly fearsome rivalry. By constantly striving to one-up the other, they broke down boundaries in male-dominated boardrooms and social strata, and paved the way for generations of female entrepreneurs to come.
> 2004 book War Paint by Lindy Woodhead
> 2007 film The Powder & the Glory by Ann Carol Grossman & Arnie Reisman
War Paint premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in the summer of 2016. Under the direction of Michael Greif, the Chicago production began performances on June 28, 2016, officially opened on July 18, and ran through August 21, 2016. The production starred Patti LuPone as Rubinstein and Christine Ebersole as Arden, with John Dossett as Tommy Lewis, Arden's husband and Douglas Sills, as Harry Fleming, Rubinstein's confidante. The musical featured scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Brian Ronan, orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin, and choreography by Christopher Gattelli.
The musical will premiere on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre on March 7, 2017 (previews), officially on April 6.
"A Woman's Face" – Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden, Society Doyenne, Grand Dame, Heiress & Countess
"Behind the Red Door" – Arden Girls, Society Doyenne, Grand Dame, Heiress, Countess & Elizabeth
"Back on Top" – Helena & Beauty Technicians
"Hope in a Jar" – Harry Fleming, Helena, Society Doyenne, Grand Dame, Heiress, Countess, Elizabeth, Tommy Lewis, Arden Girls & Bergdorf Goodman Customers
"A Working Marriage" – Elizabeth & Tommy
"My American Moment" – Helena & Elizabeth
"Step on Out" – Arden Girls, Miss Beam, Tommy & Harry
"If I'd Been a Man" – Elizabeth & Helena
"Better Yourself" – Elizabeth
"Oh, That's Rich" – Tommy, Helena, Harry & Elizabeth
"Face to Face" – Helena & Elizabeth
"War Paint" – Helena, Elizabeth, Women Factory Workers, Eleanor Roosevelt, WACs & Flagbearers
"A Woman's Face (Reprise)" – Countess, Society Doyenne, Heiress, Grand Dame, Young Mother & Other Branch Salon Clients
"Now You Know" – Helena
"No Thank You" – Harry, Elizabeth, Tommy, Helena & William S. Paley
"Fire and Ice" - Charles Revson, Dorian Leigh, Mirror Girls, Helena, Elizabeth, Harry & Tommy
"Face to Face (Reprise)" – Helena & Elizabeth
"Dinosaurs" – Tommy & Harry
"Pink" – Elizabeth
"Forever Beautiful" – Helena
"Beauty in the World" – Helena & Elizabeth
"A Woman's Face (Reprise)" – Company
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