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January 7, 2013

Bette Midler stars in I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers

Bette Midler will star in John Logan’s new play, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, directed by Joe Mantello, opening on Broadway on Wednesday, April 24 at a Shubert theatre to be announced. I’ll Eat You Last is produced by Graydon Carter, Arielle Tepper Madover, James L. Nederlander, and The Shubert Organization.

Ticketing information will be announced at a later date.

Appearing on Broadway for the first time in 30 years, Tony and Grammy Award-winning superstar Bette Midler will play the legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (1932-2011) in the new, one-character play.

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.

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.”

Producer Graydon Carter said, “I adored Sue, and no trip to Los Angeles was complete without a dinner at her place. To work with Bette, John, Joe, and my fellow producers Ari, Jimmy, Phil, and Bob to bring her to the Broadway stage is something that I believe would have pleased Sue greatly.”

Producer Arielle Tepper Madover said, “The last show I worked on with John was his Broadway debut, Red, which won six Tony Awards and is now being presented all over the world. It is a joy to be continuing our collaboration with this new play.”

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