Appearing on Broadway for the first time in 30 years, Tony and Grammy Award-winner Bette Midler will play the legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (who died in 2011) in a new, one-character play titled, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers.
The play, written by John Logan (who wrote James Bond’s most recent outing, Skyfall), will be directed by the freaking super-talented Joe Mantello and is set to open on Wednesday, April 24 at a Shubert theatre to be announced.
Here’s a brief history of Sue Mengers: 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.
Playwright John Logan, who won a Tony Award for Red and wrote the screenplay for the last James Bond movie, 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.”