New York Magazine

Scattered Brushstrokes of Beauty

War Paint feels like two different shows.
LuPone and Ebersole in War Paint.

WAR PAINT

NEDERLANDER THEATRE.

THE LAST HALF-HOUR or so of War Paint, the beguiling but frustrating new musical about beauty legends Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, is just about everything you could want from a Broadway show. The two leads—Patti LuPone as Rubinstein and Christine Ebersole as Arden—each get a gorgeous, perfectly conceived solo: “Forever Beautiful” for LuPone and “Pink” for Ebersole. Then comes a rueful duet finale (“Beauty in the World”) to complete the arc of their double biography with some twin-engine vocalizing. This sequence is preceded by an equally fine one in which the empires we’ve seen them build over the decades start to crumble in the face of new trends in beauty and marketing: Arriviste Charles Revson introduces his blockbuster 1955 product

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