Written by composer Scott Frankel, lyricist Michael Korie and book writer Doug Wright, “War Paint” follows the rivalry between cosmetics-industry titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Michael Greif directs the musical’s premiere at Chicago’s Goodman Theater, where the production begins performances in June.
Frankel, Korie, Wright, Greif (“Rent,” “If/Then”) and Ebersole all previously collaborated on “Grey Gardens,” the musical adaptation of the 1975 documentary that, after a well-received Off Broadway run in 2006, went on to play Broadway later that year, yielding Tony Awards for Ebersole and her co-star Mary Louise Wilson (as well as one for costume design).
“War Paint” is based on the 2003 book of the same name by Lindy Woodhead and on Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman’s 2007 documentary “The Powder and the Glory.” LuPone (pictured above), the Tony winner (“Gypsy,” “Evita”) last seen onstage in New York in Douglas Carter Beane play “Shows for Days,” will play Rubinstein while Ebersole portrays Arden.
The show will come in the wake of a 2015-16 season at the Goodman that also includes Jose Rivera’s new play “Another Word for Beauty” and an adaptation of Roberto Bolano’s epic “2666.” “War Paint” starts its summer run at the Goodman June 28, with further details still to be ironed out.
No future life for “War Paint” has yet been mapped out, but the glowing reviews and awards love earned by “Grey Gardens” seems certain to make “War Paint” of interest to New York producers.