Directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Assassins, Take Me Out), the play cast Midler as legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (1932-2011). Celebrated artist Midler told The New York Times, "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." Playbill.com reached out to producers of the hit play, who had no comment about a Los Angeles engagement.
Midler had also been mentioned as a possibility for a New York revival of Jerry Herman's Mame; however, the singing actress believes the demands of an eight-show-a-week schedule for a Broadway musical would be too demanding. "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," Midler explained in the Times interview. "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."
Previews for I'll Eat You Last began April 5 prior to an official opening April 24. In just over eight weeks at the Booth, the production recouped its initial investment of $2.4 million. Upon closing, the limited engagement played 18 previews and 71 regular performances.
The intermissionless work is set in 1981 in the living room of Mengers' Beverly Hills home.
Read Playbill's interview with Midler here. The creative team included three-time Tony Award winner Scott Pask (scenic design), Academy Award winner Ann Roth (costume design), three-time Tony nominee Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Kathy Fabian (props) and Drama Desk Award winner Fitz Patton (sound design).
Bette Midler has earned three Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys, a Tony Award, and sold 30 million records worldwide in a career that spans more than four decades. She has played film roles in "The Rose," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Ruthless People," "Beaches" and "The First Wives Club," among many others. Midler made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof. Other stage performances include Tony Award-winning Clams on the Half Shell; Experience the Divine, for which she holds the all-time record for a six-week engagement at Radio City Music Hall, The Divine Miss Millennium Tour; Kiss My Brass; and The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace. Outside the spotlight, she is the founder of the New York Restoration Project (nyrp.org), a non-profit organization that revitalizes abandoned and neglected public spaces across New York City.
I'll Eat You Last was produced by Graydon Carter, Arielle Tepper Madover, James L. Nederlander, The Shubert Organization, Terry Allen Kramer, Stephanie P. McClelland, Jeffrey Finn, Ruth Hendel, Larry Magid, Jon B. Platt, and Scott & Brian Zeilinger.