Category: Beauty

Theatre Review: “War Paint”

WAR PAINT [0174]_ Steffanie Leigh, Christine Ebersole, Mary Claire King, Photo by Joan Marcus, 2017

Some of Broadway’s most solid craftsmen worked on War Paint, and it shows. Most of the creative team previously worked on Grey Gardens, and while this isn’t up to the caliber of that show, it’s still pretty darn good. War Paint follows the decades-long rivalry of cosmetics pioneers Elizabeth Arden (Christine Ebersole) and Helena Rubinstein (Patti LuPone), who between them defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century.

The score by composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie evokes all kinds of music from the 1930s through the 1960s, with generous doses of big band-style swing. Doug Wright’s book, together with Korie’s lyrics, uses the fierce competition between these two female titans of industry to examine their differences, but more importantly to shed light on the similar challenges they both faced in the male-dominated business world.

Of course, the main draw is seeing not one but two living legends in the lead roles. The songs for Ebersole and LuPone go beyond intelligently painting the personalities of the two main characters – they are as exquisitely tailored for their talents as are their glamorous Catherine Zuber-designed outfits. This is nowhere more apparent than in their twin 11 O’Clock numbers. When Christine finishes her song “Pink” – as pure Ebersole as anything Frankel and Korie gave her in Grey Gardens – it’s hard to imagine they could top it. And they don’t, exactly – Patti’s “Forever Beautiful” is more of a lateral move, just as astonishing a number, and ideal for LuPone.

It’s very well-crafted, but not perfect: There are moments when the dramatic tension goes a bit slack, until our heroines have a new historical problem to face. It’s an inherent weakness of most historically-based theatre, and therefore one I am quick to forgive. For the most part, War Paint is smart and marvelously stylish entertainment. Recommended.

For tickets, click here.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.

Skin care tips for summer

skincaretipsforsummer

Well, summer is in full swing now and a lot of us including me forget about taking care of our skin on those hot summer days.  I had a little too much fun in the sun this weekend myself.  Of course the main thing is to protect your skin from the sun at all times.  Let me give you a quick little lesson in sunscreen.

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Theatre Review: “Pageant”

Pageant

Not knowing the history of the musical comedy Pageant, when I first heard about it I thought it was about drag pageants, like the 2008 documentary of the same name. But no, Pageant was a Off-Broadway hit in the early 1990s, essentially an ordinary, kinda low-rent beauty pageant in which the female contestants are all played by men. Judging by the current revival, the show is a charming, featherweight bit of fun, without much serious to say about gender: an irreverent but essentially innocent tribute to kitschy Americana. Which is just fine as far as I’m concerned.

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A ‘feel good’ gift idea for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we all love our moms. I have a few ideas to make her day special. Besides their children, what do mother’s love?… To feel good, smell good and look good.

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Tips to add some Spring to your life

Add some color and Spring forward

It’s spring, or so the calendar says. We’ve even moved the clocks forward to prove it, but apparently someone forgot to wake Mother Nature up and tell her.  Many of us, even me, and I live in the south, are still getting snow and cold weather in the forecast. Some people suffer from seasonal effective disorder and the weather effects their moods, but weather like we have had this year could make anyone pull their hair out.
I have a few ideas to lift our spirits until Mother Nature decides to cooperate.

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