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Bette Midler on Taking I’ll Eat You Last to L.A., Being 'Too Old' for Mame and Her 'Hard' Broadway Run

Bette Midler on Taking I’ll Eat You Last to L.A.,  Being 'Too Old' for Mame and Her 'Hard' Broadway Run
Bette Midler
If the writing was irresistible in another play, I would do it again.'

Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Bette Midler finished up her critically acclaimed run in the one-woman-show I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers on June 30. Though I’ll Eat You Last became a standing-room only event, celeb magnet and box office record-breaker at the Booth Theatre, it did not receive any Tony nominations. So what did Midler think of her on time on Broadway?

The star spoke with The New York Times about her experience on the Great White Way and opened up about being snubbed for a 2013 Tony Award nomination, saying, “I think [Tony nominators] might have felt, ‘Oh, she’s not really in our world, she’s just dropping in for a cameo.’ It’s a different crowd now, and they’re four generations removed from when I was performing regularly in theater.”

Midler went on to talk about the love she received from New York audiences and her interest in continuing with the piece now that the Broadway run has concluded. “We’re in talks to bring it to L.A., which would be fun, because it’d be near my house and Sue’s house,” she said.

Finally, Mider and The Times got around to the million dollar question. Has the theater bug bitten her? Will she be back? "If the writing was irresistible in another play, I would do it again,” Midler said. “But I did seven shows a week and I nearly died.” And as for headlining a Broadway musical, Midler said, “I always have Mame in the back of my mind, and people do mention it, but I don’t think I have eight shows in me. I’m too old. I think people don’t understand how hard this is. Those kids who work so hard in eight shows a week, I bow to them.”

Written by Tony winner John Logan and directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello, I’ll Eat You Last centers on famed Hollywood power agent Sue Mengers and her starry Rolodex of friends, foes and clients. Midler received a special Tony Award in 1974 for her self-titled concert at the Palace Theatre.
 

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