In “I’ll Eat You Last,” the dishy Broadway play that opened April 24, it’s not just Bette Midler who holds the stage for the 90-minute solo show. Backing her up is one heckuva glam set — and it looks a lot like the real-life Hollywood home of the late superagent Sue Mengers, whom Midler portrays.
“It’s pretty much exactly like Sue’s house, right down to the pattern of the rug,” said producer Arielle Tepper Madover after the show’s opening night perf.
Midler spends the whole show seated on a sofa, smoking. And smoking and smoking.
It’s a lot for a singer — which, of course, Midler is. “I have to smoke and smoke, and oh, poor Mommy,” she lamented.
Midler tried to get playwright John Logan and director Joe Mantello to ease up on the cigarettes and the fake joints, or maybe at least to let her move from the sofa once in a while. But no go: Logan wanted her seated for the entirety of the show.
“I thought that was very Sue,” the scribe said. “To just sit there like Jabba the Hutt, lording over her domain.”
At the star-studded party at the Russian Tea Room — an appropriately old-school outpost of Gotham glamour — wags could laugh over the many lines in the show in which Sue lambasts the rise of CAA.
Nearly every creative involved in “I’ll Eat You Last,” of course, is a CAA client. No one at the party was terribly worried about the tenpercentary’s feelings.
As one partygoer remarked, “I’ll bet they’re laughing all the way to the bank!”