Bette Midler is coming to Broadway…by herself.
The Grammy and Tony-winning legend is returning to the Great White Way to play superagent Sue Mengers in a new one-character show, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers. Mengers, who passed away last year, was famous in Hollywood as the first “superagent” — she represented almost every star in Hollywood in the 1970s, including Barbra Streisand, Michael Caine, and Steve McQueen.
Playwright John Logan, who won a Tony Award for Red and wrote the screenplay for the new James Bond film Skyfall, said, “I met Sue Mengers only once, at a dinner party. The kaftan, constant cigarettes, tinted glasses, and perfect blond hair were much in evidence; so too the deliciously wicked wit and stevedore language. But something else fascinated me just as much: a sense of sadness, a deep resignation; a woman whose time had passed her by. At one point I asked her what had changed most about Hollywood since she had arrived. She didn’t hesitate for a second: ‘Honey, we used to have fun…’ Later in the evening she settled back and lit up a joint. There she was: a joint in one hand and a cigarette in the other. At that moment I knew I had to write the play.”
The show will premiere April 24 on Broadway. Midler was most recently seen in the family comedy Parental Guidance with Billy Crystal, which is quickly becoming a mid-sized hit on the big screen. It’s been 30 years since Midler was last seen on Broadway. More recently, she was a producer for the Broadway turn of the show Priscilla Queen of the Desert.