Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole to Star in New Musical by ‘Grey Gardens’ Team

13 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Coming to Goodman: New musical about cosmetics titans starring Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole.

Two major musical-theater names, Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, have signed on to star in the world premiere of “War Paint,” the new musical by the creative team of “Grey Gardens.” 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.This morning came news that the Goodman Theatre was moving its production of the Leonard Bernstein musical “Wonderful Town” from this spring to the fall.

Call it the battle of the brands: A pair of Broadway stars will play two titans of the cosmetics industry in War Paint, a new musical that’s just been slated for its world premiere early next summer at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. 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. Michael Greif will direct the world-premiere production at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, beginning performances on June 28, 2016. (Both leading ladies have deep roots in Chicago.) Doug Wright, a Pulitzer and Tony winner for I Am My Own Wife, wrote the book, with music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie. 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.

Both women reinvented themselves from their humble roots, becoming business leaders in a male-dominated world, and fierce competitors throughout a 50-year tug-of-war as they built their respective global empires. Her numerous Broadway credits include Tony-winning turns in Evita and Gypsy, as well as Sweeney Todd, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Master Class and Anything Goes.

While no plans have been outlined for the show’s life following its Goodman run, it’s a safe bet that Broadway producers will be converging on Chicago to check out a property that has all the ingredients of a bold original musical. 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.” As America’s first major female entrepreneurs, their determination sparked a relentless rivalry that pushed both to persevere in a world dominated by men.

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