Bette Midler has made her triumphant return to the floorboards of New York's most famous theatre district, having been away from the stages of Broadway for some thirty years, staring in the John Logan-penned one-woman show I'll Eat You Last. Director Joe Mantello is the man behind Midler's return, which is garnering quite the buzz across New York's most artistic circles, as Midler looks to prove that she's still got it no matter how long its been since she last performed live.
Bette Midler At The Openning Night of I'll Eat You Last
"I AM NOT GETTING UP!" Thats the first thing that bellows from Midler's mouth as she lounges across a couch, swathed in an aqua silk caftan, from the beginning of the play right until the very end. But regardless of the fact that she spends the full hour and twenty minutes worth of the show just maxing out and smoking cigarettes or joints, Bette's interpretation of superagent Sue Mengers never sways as she give an extraordinary virtuoso performance. Perhaps it is down to the similarly bleak background they share, or just a testament to Midler's wonderful acting talent, but Bette really does pull off a show stopping rendition of the first real female power in the movie agency industry.
The entire play unfolds in Sue's pink-walled living room of her Beverley Hills home, where Sue awaits her guests for a dinner party one afternoon in 1981. At the beginning she tells the audience she has just been fired by Barbara Streisand, a treasured client and dear friend of hers, and she is awaiting a phone call from the star to hopefully rekindle their relationship. Sue is prone to the odd aside where she gossips incessantly, and it is only during one of this asides where we find out why Streisand threw Sue out to the curb, as well as finding out a few other things too. Bette recounts some of the most upsetting aspects of her life, one that began by fleeing Nazi Germany for New York, while she awaits that phone call but as the play goes on and Sue must prepare for her guests, it becomes quite obvious that the cal isn't coming.
Blending heartfelt gravitas with hilarious snippets of humour, Bette's return the the stage is a praiseworthy one at that and a testament both to the wonderful star mingler that was Sue Mengers, as well as Bette herself and the rest of the crew involved in bringing this story worth telling to the stage. I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers is playing at the Booth Theatre on Broadway until June 30, 2013.
Audiences are loving Bette's latest role.