33 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 69.
The New York Times
“Ms. Ebersole and Ms. LuPone go a great distance in disguising the show’s essential sameness. Ms. LuPone is as imposing as Rubinstein must have been, and presumably a whole lot funnier. Ms. Ebersole is equally formidable in a lighter vein. And Frankel and Korie have written numbers for their stars that cannily play to their separate but equal strengths…So, though my eyes occasionally glazed seeing ‘War Paint,’ I wouldn’t have missed it, if only to hear its leading ladies’ climactic ballads."
"LuPone and Ebersole, giving performances of such resplendent force, wit and vivacity that the evening gleams like a freshly applied coat of nail polish...Enhanced by a sumptuous production directed by Greif...A nagging flaw in the show’s conception: the central narrative is largely undramatic, at times even superficial...When you have the opportunity to watch actors of this caliber, it’s easy to overlook many a superficial flaw, sit back and simply bask."
"A less-than-engaging musical book report...Unfortunately, Wright has not refined these raw ingredients into the finished product of a compelling drama. The fact that Arden and Rubinstein never actually met face-to-face is a problem he never really solves, sapping the story of much-needed drama...That's too bad because we get the sense that our two lead actresses are combat-ready...Michael Greif directs a visually stunning but dramatically lumbering production."
“War Paint” was also reviewed by Caitlin Brody of Entertainment Weekly, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Christopher Kelly of NJ.com, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Mark Shenton of The Stage (UK), Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Linda Winer of Newsday, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Windman of AM New York, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, Marilyn Stasio of Variety, and Adam Feldman of Time Out New York.
The show was also reviewed by 322 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 78.
Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great singing, Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing, Great staging
See it if…"Patti LuPone doesn't disappoint though her Polish accent reduces dialogue to key words only. Christine Ebersole matches her note for note in English."
Don't see it if…"You were born after 1999. Even older folks will be googling for references to the '$64,000 Question,' and Rubinstein and Arden lawsuits.
See it if…"You love the stars—and who doesn't?—and the production is first class. But the material isn't as good as it should be or needs to be."
Don't see it if…"You don't want to pay top dollar for a mediocre show. It's one of those vehicles to be seen for the stars and the camp potential."
See it if…"You have any interest is cosmetics or female empire builders. This is a glam piece about glam women who created yet more glam—lush!"
Don't see it if…"You don't want a show heavily weighted to the female perspective."
See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.
Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.