Will be at the Goodman Theatre, Starting June 28, 2016
War Paint is a World Premiere Production From the Creators of Grey Gardens: Music by Scott Frankel, Lyrics by Michael Korie, Book by Doug Wright, Directed by Micael Greif
CHICAGO, IL – They were the brand name on every woman’s lips. Goodman Theatre announces it will produce the world premiere of War Paint, a new musical that charts the ascent and arch-rivalry of cosmetics entrepreneurs Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Patti LuPone, who “generates more raw excitement than any other performer on Broadway” (The New York Times), and Christine Ebersole, a “first-class, revitalizing master of period style” (The New York Times), respectively star as Rubinstein and Arden, the brilliant innovators with humble roots who shrewdly navigated the 1930s male-dominated business world to forever change the business of beauty. Directed by Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal, If/Then, Grey Gardens), War Paint reunites Scott Frankel and Michael Korie—the acclaimed composer and lyricist 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). The musical is inspired by the book, War Paint, by Lindy Woodhead and the documentary film, The Powder & the Glory, by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman.
War Paint appears in the Goodman’s 856-seat Albert Theatre beginning June 28, 2016; tickets available now by subscription and to groups only. To subscribe, call 312.443.3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Subscribe. Group savings are available for 15+; call 312.443.3820 or email Groups@GoodmanTheatre.org. The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its sponsors: Allstate Insurance Company and JPMorgan Chase are Major Corporate Sponsors and ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor.
“We are proud to produce the world premiere of War Paint, a bold and exciting new musical about two fearless women who broke new ground in luxury beauty, starring the incomparable musical theater titans Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “It’s particularly thrilling to collaborate with this enormously talented creative team. I consider Grey Gardens to be one of the most beautiful musicals to emerge in the past years, and I’m delighted to welcome these artists to the Goodman and Chicago.”
Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century. Brilliant innovators with humble roots, both 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. From Fifth Avenue society to the halls of Congress, their remarkable rivalry was ruthless, relentless and legendary—pushing both women to build international empires in a world dominated by men.
Patti LuPone (Helena Rubinstein) most recently starred in Douglas Carter Beane’s Shows for Days, directed by Jerry Zaks, at Lincoln Center Theater. Her New York stage credits include Anna 1 in The Seven Deadly Sins (guest soloist with the NY City Ballet); Joanne in Company (NY Philharmonic); David Mamet’s The Anarchist; Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations); Gypsy (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards); John Doyle’s production of Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations); Passion; Candide; Can Can; Noises Off; Sweeney Todd (NY Philharmonic); The Old Neighborhood; Master Class; Patti LuPone on Broadway (Outer Critics Circle Award); Pal Joey; Anything Goes (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award); Oliver!; Accidental Death of An Anarchist; The Woods; Edmond; The Cradle Will Rock; Evita (Tony and Drama Desk Awards); Working; The Water Engine; and The Robber Bridegroom (Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations). London credits include Matters of the Heart, Master Class, Sunset Boulevard (Olivier Award nomination) and Les Misérables (Royal Shakespeare Company world premiere production) and The Cradle Will Rock (Olivier Award for both productions). Opera credits include Jake Heggie’s To Hell and Back (San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, for the Los Angeles Opera), John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Brecht-Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (LA Opera debut) and Marc Blitzstein’s Regina (Kennedy Center). Films include Parker, Union Square, City by the Sea, David Mamet’s Heist and State and Main, Just Looking, Summer of Sam, Driving Miss Daisy and Witness. TV credits include Penny Dreadful, Girls, American Horror Story: Coven, Ugly Betty, Will & Grace, Passion, and Sweeney Todd, Oz, Monday Night Mayhem, Evening At the Pops with John Williams and Yo Yo Ma, Frasier (Emmy Award nomination), Law & Order, The Water Engine, L.B.J. and Life Goes On. Recordings, in addition to original cast recordings include Patti LuPone Live, Matters of the Heart, The Lady With The Torch, Patti LuPone at Les Mouches and Far Away Places. LuPone is a founding member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School and of John Houseman’s The Acting Company. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller, Patti LuPone: A Memoir.
Christine Ebersole (Elizabeth Arden), a native of Winnetka, received virtually every off-Broadway award and her second Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her dual performance as Edith Beale and Little Edie Beale in Grey Gardens. Other Broadway credits include her Tony Award-winning performance as Dorothy Brock in the smash hit revival 42nd Street, Dinner at Eight (Tony and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), Steel Magnolias, On the Twentieth Century, I Love My Wife, Angel Street, Oklahoma, Camelot opposite Richard Burton, The Best Man and the recent revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, co-starring with Dame Angela Lansbury. She has starred in five City Center Encores! productions, and received an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads. Ebersole has appeared in over 20 feature films including The Wolf Of Wall Street, Amadeus, Tootsie, Richie Rich, Black Sheep, My Favorite Martian, Dead Again, Folks!, True Crime, My Girl 2 and The Big Wedding, which also features an original composition that she wrote and sang for the end credits of the film. Her television credits include being a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live‘s 1981-82 season, the First Lady on the CBS hit show Madame Secretary, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, American Horror Story: Coven, Royal Pains, three seasons of Sullivan and Son for TBS, Ugly Betty, Law and Order: SVU, Boston Legal, Will & Grace, and she starred as Tessie Tura in the TV movie Gypsy with Bette Midler. Ebersole has performed in the concert version of the opera The Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie Hall, and she appeared with the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall in a tribute to Leonard Bernstein. She performed at Boston’s Symphony Hall and Tanglewood starring as Desiree Armfeldt in a concert version of A Little Night Music with the Boston Pops. In televised concerts, she has often appeared on PBS, including her star turns in Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall and The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty. She has performed on the Kennedy Center Honors, for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jerry Herman. As a recording artist, she has released several albums including Live at the Cinegrill, Sunday in New York, In Your Dreams,Christine Ebersole Sings Noel Coward and Strings Attached. christineebersole.com
About the Creative Team
Director Michael Greif’s Broadway credits include Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Next to Normal and If/Then, as well as Never Gonna Dance, Grey Gardens and Rent. Recent work includes Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Steven Levenson’s musical Dear Evan Hansen at Arena Stage (also upcoming at off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre), Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho and Angels in America at New York’s Signature Theater, the premiere of Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide… at The Public Theater, and The Tempest, Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet at The Public’s Delacorte Theater. Regional work includes premieres and revivals at Williamstown Theatre Festival (10 seasons), La Jolla Playhouse (Artistic Director 1995-99), Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Dallas Theatre Center and Trinity Repertory Theatre. Work off-Broadway includes plays and musicals at The Public Theater, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout Theater Compay, Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC, Signature and the New York Theater Workshop, where he is an artistic associate. Education: B.S. Northwestern; M.F.A. UCSD.
Michael Korie (lyrics) was nominated for a Tony Award and received an Outer Critics Circle Award for his lyrics to Grey Gardens, created with composer Scott Frankel, book by Doug Wright, directed by Michael Greif, produced at Playwrights Horizons, and subsequently on Broadway, nationally and abroad. Grey Gardens premieres in January at London’s Southwark Playhouse. He wrote the lyrics to Far From Heaven with composer Frankel and playwright Richard Greenberg produced at Williamstown Festival, Playwrights Horizons and at Chicago’s Porchlight Theater later this season. Also with Frankel, lyrics to Happiness at Lincoln Center Theater, Meet Mister Future at Cardiff Festival, and Doll presented at Ravinia Festival. He co-wrote lyrics with Amy Powers to Doctor Zhivago produced internationally and on Broadway, and is currently collaborating on a new show with Tom Kitt and Donald Marguiles for Disney Theatricals. For opera, Korie adapted John Steinbeck’s novel for the libretto to The Grapes of Wrath, with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, and created original librettos to operas with composer Stewart Wallace including Harvey Milk, Hopper’s Wife, Where’s Dick? and Kabbalah. Their operas have been produced at San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall and Disney Los Angeles Symphony Hall. Korie’s lyrics have received the Edward Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award and the ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award. His songs with composer Frankel were featured at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage Broadway Today. He serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild and moderates the Dramatist Guild Musical Theater Fellows Program. MichaelKorie.com.
Scott Frankel (music) was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his work on Grey Gardens, which ran at Playwrights Horizons before moving to Broadway. Since then, the show has been performed regularly across the country as well as internationally. He has also written the music for Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theatre Festival), Finding Neverland (UK premiere, 2012), Happiness (Lincoln Center Theater), Doll (Ravinia Festival, Richard Rodgers Award) and Meet Mister Future (winner, Global Search for New Musicals), all with lyricist Michael Korie. Frankel is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and the Frederick Loewe Award. He was the 2011-2012 Frances & William Schuman Fellow at The MacDowell Colony and is a graduate of Yale University.
Doug Wright (book) earned the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his play I Am My Own Wife. Other stage works include Grey Gardens (Tony Award nomination), The Little Mermaid and Hands on a Hardbody. Film credits include Quills, based on his Obie Award-winning play, nominated for three Academy Awards. Television credits include Tony Bennett: An American Classic, directed by Rob Marshall. Honors include the Benjamin Dank Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Tolerance Prize, Kulturforum Europa and the Paul Selvin Award, Writers Guild of America. Professional affiliations include president of the Dramatists Guild; member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers; board of the New York Theatre Workshop. Wright is married to singer/songwriter David Clement.
Called America’s “Best Regional Theatre” by Time magazine, Goodman Theatre has won international recognition for its artists, productions and programs, and is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago. Founded in 1925 by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth (an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s), Goodman Theatre has garnered hundreds of awards for artistic achievement and community engagement, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards (including “Outstanding Regional Theatre” in 1992), nearly 160 Joseph Jefferson Awards and more. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the Goodman’s artistic priorities include new plays (more than 150 world or American premieres in the past 30 years), reimagined classics (including Falls’ nationally and internationally celebrated productions of Death of a Salesman, Long’s Day’s Journey into Night, King Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy), culturally specific work, musical theater (26 major productions in 20 years, including 10 world premieres) and international collaborations. Diversity and inclusion have been primary cornerstones of the Goodman’s mission for 30 years; over the past decade, 68% of the Goodman’s 35 world premieres were authored by women and/or playwrights of color, and the Goodman was the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Each year the Goodman’s education and community engagement programs serve thousands of students, teachers and life-long learners. In addition, for nearly four decades A Christmas Carol has led to the creation of a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s leadership includes the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Swati Mehta is Women’s Board President and Gordon C.C. Liao is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals. Visit the Goodman virtually at GoodmanTheatre.org—including OnStage+ for insider information—and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.