For the first time in over 30 years, Bette Midler will make her return to Broadway in a one person show about Hollywood super agent Sue Mengers.
I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers will portray a single night from Mengers’s life, a woman who had her start in the entertainment industry as a receptionist at a boutique talent firm and eventually became an agent for industry leaders like I.C.M. and William Morris. Mengers clients included Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway and Michael Caine.
The play, scheduled to premiere on April 24, was written by John Logan (The Aviator and Skyfall) and will be directed by Joe Mantello, who recently won a Tony for his role in Broadway’s The Normal Heart.
The editor of Vanity Fair and Menger’s close friend (along with producer of the show) Graydon Carter helped Logan get the project on track by arranging interviews with “friends, enemies, co-workers, clients” from her life.
“I thought she was an amazingly interesting woman,” Logan said of the superagent. “And complicated — complicated in a way that is catnip to a dramatist.”
Midler made her Broadway debut in the 1966 run of Fiddler on the Roof. This will be her first time back to the Great White Way since performing in Clams on the Half Shell over 30 years ago. That is unless you consider her time as the lead in Rochelle, Rochelle.
“She’s a proper stage animal,” Logan told The New York Times. “In a one-person show in particular, you need someone who can hold an audience, who connects with an audience in a really deeply visceral way, and that’s Bette through and through.”
Midler can currently be seen alongside Billy Crystal in the movie Parental Guidance.
– E.J. Judge, Fresh 102.7/ New York