The Group Travel Leader

JUN 2017

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GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E ' WA R P A I N T ' It is rare to see two historic figures portrayed by equally reputable art- ists. In the new musical "War Paint," Tony Award-winning actresses Patty LuPone and Christine Ebersole take on the roles of cosmetic titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, who revolutionized the way the world viewed women in business during the early 20th century. "To see these two actresses playing these characters is a treat — they are Broadway legends in themselves," said Lee. Inspired by the 2007 documentary "The Powder and the Glory," the show explores the intense rivalry between these two powerful women, who both spent a lifetime transforming themselves from poor immigrants to household names. What makes this story arc such a feat is that Arden and Rubinstein never met in real life, despite their salons having stood mere blocks from each other in Manhattan. To bridge this narrative gap, the story highlights the parallels between their lives — their masked loneliness, relationship strife and most of all, unwavering resolve — hinting that, perhaps, in another life, these competitors might have been great friends. Rubinstein once said about her rival, "With her packaging and my product, we could have ruled the world." W W W . W A R P A I N T M U S I C A L . C O M ' G R O U N DH O G D A Y ' Based on the classic 1993 film starring Bill Murray, "Groundhog Day" centers on a disgruntled weatherman, Phil Conners, as he begrudgingly travels to the sleepy town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day celebration. Due to the sudden arrival of a snowstorm, Phil and his crew are forced to stay the night. To his horror, he wakes the next morning to find himself reliving the same day all over again. As the time loop continues, his comical responses to the situation range from criminal escapades to suicidal attempts and Good Samaritan acts, accompanied by repeated efforts to win the affections of his producer, Rita. The musical opened in London last year to rave critical reception, but the show experienced a rocky transition to Broadway when it arrived in early spring, which the cast and crew weathered with admirable resolve. In Act I of its first preview performance, a turntable malfunction forced the show to a halt, though cast members chose to sing the remaining musical numbers concert style, without staging or choreography. During a subsequent preview show, just three days before its official premiere, lead actor Andy Karl suffered a severe knee injury onstage. In a true display of showmanship, he returned to the stage using a cane for support and completed the performance, and then received an emotional standing ovation at the end. Despite these initial setbacks, the musical proceeded to earn seven Tony Award nominations and continues to captivate audiences. W W W . G R O U N D H O G D A Y M U S I C A L . C O M Courtesy Broadway.com PATTI LUPONE AND CHRISTINE EBERSOLE PORTRAY RIVAL COSMETIC TITANS IN "WAR PAINT."

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