Bette Midler is returning to Broadway in the new play “I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers.”
The play, by John Logan, is set to open on April 24 at a Shubert theater that will be named later. Midler will play the legendary Hollywood agent Mengers in the one-character play.
Here’s how press notes describe the production.
Sue Mengers was an American original. She was the first female ‘superagent’ at a time when women talent agents of any kind were almost unheard of. She came from near poverty, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, and worked her way up through pluck, charm, and a legendary wit. In that uniquely American way, she invented herself; and when the career she wanted didn’t exist, she invented that as well: ‘Superagent.’ It was a term Hollywood all but coined for her. By the 1970’s, she represented almost every major star in Hollywood and went on to become the town’s most renowned hostess.
Logan won a Tony Award for “Red,” and is known recently as the screenwriter of the latest James Bond movie Skyfall. In a statement, he described meeting Mengers.
“I met Sue Mengers only once, at a dinner party,” Logan said. “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.”
Midler has appeared on Broadway previously in “Bette! Divine Madness” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”