As previously speculated, Bette Midler is headed back to Broadway for the first time in 30 years. The actress will star as famed publicist Sue Mengers in the solo show I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers. Written by Tony winner John Logan (Red) and directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello, the show will open on April 24 at a yet to be determined Shubert theater.
Hailed as the first female "superagent," Mengers launched her career at a time when women talent agents were unheard of. Rising from poverty and a refugee of Hitler era Germany, Mengers worked her way up thanks to her signature pluck, charm and wit. By the '70s she represented a slew of Hollywood stars and went on to become the town's most renowned hostess.
“I met Sue Mengers only once, at a dinner party," Logan said in a statement. "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.”
During her career Midler has earned three Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys and a Tony Award. She made her Broadway debut in the original production of Fiddler on the Roof and later appeared on the Great White Way with three concert engagements. She recently served as a lead producer for Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Her many film credits include Ruthless People, The First Wives' Club, Beaches, For the Boys, Hocus Pocus, Gypsy, The Stepford Wives, The Rose and Scenes from a Mall.
The play will be produced by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, Arielle Tepper Madover, James L. Nederlander and the Shubert Organization.