Florence Nightingale Graham
was born in 1878 in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.
She dropped out of nursing school, studied in France, changed her name
to Elizabeth Arden, and founded The Red Door Salon
on Manhattan's 5th Ave., all by 1910.
EA stressed that makeup was imperative to a lady-like appearance
(before that, it was a sign of the prostitute or the actress!
Behind "The Red Door"...
why am I reminded of the first scene of The Women?
At her peak, Arden owned 150 salons
in 22 countries,
and was one of the wealthiest women in the world.
Chaja Rubenstein was born 6 years earlier in
She joined her uncle in Australia,
working first as a waitress, and selling jars of
"beauty cream" out of her luggage.
Thanks to plentiful "lanolin" down under (sheep grease?),
she opened shops in Sydney, Melbourne, and eventually
London, Paris...and New York,
just doors down from Elizabeth.
Elizabeth and Helene died within 6 months of each other
(in 1965 and 66),
both self-made millionaires.
They supposedly never met.
But if they had...
...we can only imagine it would have gone something like
with music by Scott Frankel and Michael Kourie.
It opened in March of 2017,
starring Christine Ebersole and Patti Lupone.
As Doug Wright (author of show's book) put it,
“Together, they not only forged an industry, but a way of life...They absolutely shattered glass ceilings as women in industry."
Composer Frankel attempted to flavor
the music with the feel of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
The Washington Post wrote,
"LuPone and Ebersole wrap their prodigious voices
around a score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie
that rings with the kind of exhilaratingly brassy notes that match the chutzpah of their characters’ ambitions."
Above, "Fire And Ice"
with Erik Lieberman and Steffanie Leigh.
The Charles Revson "take over".
According to Mr. Brantley of The NYTimes,
“War Paint can sometimes sound like a singing Wikipedia entry",
with all its research-laden beauty formulas,
Senate investigations, and "data heavy" exposition.
But in that same review,
"I wouldn’t have missed it, if only to hear
its leading ladies’ climactic ballads."