Patti LuPone – Helena Rubinstein
Christine Ebersole – Elizabeth Arden
John Dossett – Tommy Lewis
Douglas Sills – Harry Fleming
Venue: Nederlander Theatre
Date: Thursday 13th July 2017
A brand new musical is always a very interesting time at the theatre, especially when you haven’t listened to any of the soundtrack prior to seeing the show. Actually that was released the day after I saw the show on Broadway, but more about that later. I have been a huge Patti LuPone fan for many years now, and when the opportunity to see her in a musical on Broadway came about I could not resist at all, ensuring I had incredible seats by booking the front row as well.
War Paint is a musical based on two powerful women when make up and cosmetics really started to take off for women. Those being Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, how it really was a battle for them to be running their own companies and how this often hindered the quality of life they had when for certain things they weren’t taken seriously at all.
For the characters we are given two Broadway legends, royalty of the stage and the best thing about it the roles were written for them along with the many show stopping songs that we are given from start to finish. LuPone and Ebersole complimented each other in the best possible way, especially considering they don’t actually communicate with one another until the final scene. Despite spending the majority of the time on stage together and even singing together. A very clever aspect of not only the story but the show as well.
The vocals were truly impressive as well as the acting from the two leading ladies, giving good support from the men John Dossett and Douglas Sills who were very good and extremely engaging on the stage from start to finish. It’s shows like this empowering women that really make me love the theatre even more. Even if the story does take a rather sad turn when everything they built up and tried to make was brought crashing down around them, it makes you wonder what is the point. But they were the point and the differences they have made for women all over the world to this very day is something that should really give this show an extra edge.
I feel truly honoured to have seen these two legends in a very impressive new musical. Both were Tony nominated for this show which just shows how good they both were, how you could have actually picked between the pair though I really do not know. I wish I could see this show again that is how highly I was impressed with it all.
The set was pretty simple, but effective at the same time which was something that I really enjoyed about it. The costumes were pretty perfect and then as we quickly went forward in time we saw plenty of different changes to women’s fashion through that and it was a very poignant moment in the show.
If you just happen to be going to New York or you are planning a trip I really would recommend catching this show as it’s not everyday you get to see such an incredible performance, but it is double your money with this one as you get two truly incredible performances from two absolute legends. You will be blown away.