Bette Midler is diva perfect in I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers. Screenwriter and playwright John Logan (Skyfall, Red) wastes no words, and Midler as Mengers minces none. In a one-way conversation, Midler takes us on a delicious romp through Mengers’ life. The setting is Mengers’ living room, circa Hollywood 1981, where Midler dressed in a sparkling, ice blue muumuu, seats as a queen on her sofa and keeps her audience in thrall with every nuanced star gesture. Waving fingers and shifting her body, Midler is Mengers with every flick of the hair, raise of the eyebrow, and pout of her lips.
The audience has a grand time as they might have during one of Mengers A-list parties back in the day when she was the aggressive, witty, and biting superstar agent. Best play I’ve seen in ages, and best use of profanity-laced writing without being gratuitous. Directed by Joe Mantello, it’s ninety minutes of sheer entertainment with a just a twinge of bittersweet nostalgia and regret for time passing. See it on Broadway at the Booth Theater just till June 30th. Or as Charles Isherwood says in his NYTimes review, “race” over there to see Midler, “who gives the most lusciously entertaining performance of the Broadway season.”