War Paint

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  • Regular price $36.95


Who could forget Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole’s glamorous turn on the Goodman stage in our 2016 production of War Paint? Doug Wright’s musical retelling of the intense rivalry between beauty titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden was based on Lindy Woodhead’s biography of the same name.

They were both born in the nineteenth century in humble circumstances--Helena Rubinstein in an orthodox Jewish household in Kraków, Poland, Elizabeth Arden on a farm outside Toronto. But by the 1930s, they were bitter rivals in New York, the rulers of dueling international beauty empires that would forever change the way women thought about cosmetics, salons, and wrinkles. This riveting biography brings these two celebrated women to life, revealing the ruthless drive and innovative business strategies that took each to the top. Along the way, it offers an intriguing look at their personal idiosyncrasies (Rubinstein collected art, Arden racehorses), their checkered marriages, and the rarefied social milieu in which they both traveled.