ROBIN’S SHOW REVIEW: I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers

If you love Bette Midler….and many do…..including myself….then this show is a must see.

If you relish in celebrity gossip….then this show is a must see.

If you want to witness a bravura solo performance that will likely receive a Tony nod…then this show is a must see.

Appearing on Broadway for the first time in 30 years, Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning superstar Bette Midler plays the legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (1932-2011) in this new, one-character play written by Tony Award® winner and three-time Academy Award® nominee John Logan and directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Joe Mantello.    

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

 For more than 20 years, Sue Mengers’s clients (Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Burt Reynolds, Ali McGraw, Gene Hackman, Cher, Candice Bergen, Ryan O’Neal, Nick Nolte, Mike Nichols, Gore Vidal, Bob Fosse) made headlines and scored big projects….much to the gutsy persistence of Mengers….who made huge inroads as an impressive female agent in her heyday.

In this show, Mengers intimately tells all (or at least a lot) about her clients (you wonder how they feel about it), and we get to spend a decadent 90 minutes (no intermission) baring witness to her amusing rants, curses, two-fisted smoking binges (she amusingly plucks a participant from the audience to get her a smoke), etc.

It’s like a delicious chat fest with a friend who dishes like no other. There is both humor and heartbreak in her words, and we want to hear all.  Her chic Beverly Hills home is pure eye candy (stunning set by Scott Pask), and Midler brilliantly plays eager hostess, as Mengers did all the years she hosted some of the most talked about celebrity dinner parties in Hollywood….where deals and people were “done.”

While Logan’s script is witty and and at times revealing, with a lesser star, the show would lack pizzaz.  But, in the hands of Midler, under the deft direction of Mantello, we feel privileged to be privvy to Menger’s inside world of old world glamour.

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Watch a scene from the show.