Thursday, June 29, 2017

Saturday and Sunday Shows in New York City — Kinky Boots and War Paint

When you have lots to post it sometimes takes a while to get things up. And my cold set me back a few days. Also I was going to post yesterday but didn't get around to it.

So here are the shows from Saturday and Sunday.

After Groundhog Day I went back to TKTS and got a ticket to see Kinky Boots. I'd talk to several people about while standing in line earlier in the day. I've seen Kinky Boots before but it is a really good show. It's very fun and the music is great and it's very uplifting. I decided I would see that.

It was as delightful as I remembered it. I went out of the theater humming the songs. I wondered around some then headed off to bed.

I'll have more on Sunday morning but on to War Paint. I did get in line at the TKTS booth and got tickets for War Paint. Christian's bus arrived a little late but we had time for a quick bite and then headed to the theater.

Here's a little more about War Paint:
The pairing of Tony Award winners Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone as rival cosmetics pioneers Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein in War Paint is more than a chance for Broadway audiences to witness onstage diva dramatics. For the show’s writers and its stars, it’s an opportunity to examine the American Dream from a female perspective.

“They were immigrants that came to America to live the American Dream,” explains LuPone, who stars as the Polish-born Rubinstein. Both Arden and Rubinstein arrived in the U.S. and began their businesses before women were granted the right to vote.

It was Arden—who herself marched with suffragettes in New York City—who helped bring lipstick into common usage by giving free samples to suffragettes.

“The only women who were wearing makeup at the time were actresses and prostitutes, and so they actually brought it into common usage,” says the show’s book writer, Doug Wright. “These two women legitimized makeup.”

“These women defied statistics, they defied culture even before feminism and before women’s lib,” says Ebersole, who stars as Canadian-born Arden.

“They forged a culture,” LuPone interjects.

In an era where business was purely a man’s world, Arden and Rubinstein revolutionized the female marketplace and ran global brands—brands that survived the Depression and two World Wars. “They both had to make tremendous sacrifices being female CEOs of companies that bore their name in a time when it really was a man’s club,” says War Paint composer Scott Frankel. “Glass ceilings aside, with the recent election, there’s still a lot of frisson on that topic.”

In the current U.S. political climate, War Paint—title alone—takes on a deeper resonance. Frankel asks, “How much have women achieved? Is there true parity with men, and how much is the fight still very relevant today?”

“It has been cathartic to write strong, unapologetic, forward-thinking women,” says Wright. “And to hear them from the stage has been deeply galvanizing, and I think we need to hear them more than ever in this cultural moment. It’s been a wonderful way of celebrating two female pioneers at a moment when we are learning we have a great distance to travel as far as women’s issues go.”

Here's part of a review from Entertainment Weekly:
The claws are out in War Paint — and boy, are they perfectly lacquered. This new Michael Greif-directed musical stars Tony dynamos Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole as self-made beauty moguls Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, respectively. The two were ruthless rivals throughout their 50-plus-year career — Arden the blonde, silky, cotton candy–pink counterpoint to Rubenstein’s exotic, art-deco-clad Pole. Playing this pair, Ebersole and LuPone are nothing short of flawless.

One of the best scenes is the finale: an invention of the authors, in which Rubinstein and Arden finally meet for the first time ever while in a green room before a speaking engagement. Years have passed — both women walk a bit slower; Arden carries a cane — and after huffs and puffs, in their own way, the moguls come to an understanding. They compare lipstick application tips, admit to — gasp! — admiring each other’s products, and finally sing in unison, questioning whether they helped to free or enslave women.

War Paint isn’t perfect, but it’s a thing of beauty for sure. A-

I really enjoyed the show. Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole were just amazing. Each bringing depth to their characters. It was also amazing to think what these women did in the times that they lived. Both were way before their time. A woman running a company. It's practically unheard of today let alone in the 1920s. In all a very enjoyable show.

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