The show, which opened in the spring and had experienced a slowdown at the box office over the summer, had originally been set to shutter Dec. 30, but that timeline was moved up because LuPone requires an immediate hip replacement. “For several months I have been performing in a great deal of pain,” LuPone said in a statement. “My producers David Stone and Marc Platt have provided an incredible team who, through physical therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture, have enabled me to continue on stage. But the pain has now become too intense and I have no other choice.”
Stone and Platt, who are also producers of “Wicked,” put out a statement of their own that said, “We had all hoped – no one more than Patti – that we would be able to continue until our scheduled final performance on December 30. We all know Patti is strong, and she has proven to have even more strength than we imagined. At this point, however, she needs to have hip replacement surgery sooner rather than later.”
The draw of seeing two of Broadway’s biggest leading ladies together onstage for the first time was the headline attraction of “War Paint,” and drove a significant portion of the show’s box office revenue. Producers, predicting that LuPone’s unexpected absence would weaken sales even further, opted to shutter rather than push through to the end of the year.
With music by the “Grey Gardens” team of Scott Frankel and Michael Korie and book by Doug Wright, “War Paint” follows the rivalry between two titans of the cosmetics industry (who were among the first female CEOs in the nation), Helena Rubinstein (LuPone) and Elizabeth Arden (Ebersole). Michel Greif (“Dear Evan Hansen”) directs, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli.
Along with Stone and Platt, “War Paint” has a producing team that includes James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Marcia Goldberg, Universal Stage Productions, Independent Presenters Network and Goodman Theatre.