×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bette Midler Pushes B’way’s ‘I’ll Eat You Last’ Into the Black

Play recoups its $2.4 million capitalization costs in about eight weeks

“I’ll Eat You Last,” the Broadway play toplined by Bette Midler, has become one of the first of the spring’s shows to make it into the black, according to producers, with the show recouping its $2.4 million capitalization well ahead of its June 30 finish.

Although weekly grosses for the show haven’t been in the million-plus range of Tom Hanks starrer “Lucky Guy,” the show, which began perfs April 5, still reps one the season’s major successes. Playing at the Booth Theater, which at 777 seats is one of Broadway’s smallest houses, the show has played to sold-out houses and seen sales rise past $850,000 for a single frame. Last week the average price paid per ticket, a reliable barometer of audience demand for a show, was a robust $149.

Because most musicals are much more expensive to mount than plays, tuners rarely recoup before the end of the season in which they open. However, successful plays, often powered by star thesps, sometimes manage it, with “I’ll Eat You Last” this season joining a short list of profitable plays including Al Pacino topliner “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Jessica Chastain starrer “The Heiress” and “Lucky Guy.”

Success of “I’ll Eat You Last” comes despite the lack of love from the Tonys, which shut the entire production out of the nominations list. Sales over the rest of the production’s run will be pure profit, minus the solo show’s weekly running costs.

Popular on Variety

Helmed by Joe Mantello (“Wicked”), the play by John Logan (“Red”) centers on Hollywood tenpercenter Sue Mengers, one of the first female superagents to rise to prominence in the 1970s.

“I’ll Eat You Last” is produced by a team that includes Graydon Carter, Arielle Tepper Madover and James L. Nederlander, among others.

More Legit

  • The Ocean at the End of

    'The Ocean at the End of the Lane': Theater Review

    Is Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” a story of childhood for adults or an adult view of the world for children? As director Katy Rudd’s astonishingly theatrical production of Joel Horward’s adaptation resoundingly proves, the answer is: Both. Although wisely recommended for audiences above the age of twelve – the [...]

  • Warner Bros. Pictures trailer launch event

    Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jon M. Chu Tease 'In the Heights' Movie

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Jon M. Chu and star Anthony Ramos took the train to the top of the world to offer a sneak peek of “In the Heights,” Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of Miranda’s (other) hit musical. “I’m thrilled we’re here, and I’m thrilled we’re uptown,” Miranda rhapsodized to a packed crowd at a cozy [...]

  • Lucas Hnath

    Listen: Lucas Hnath's Own Play Gives Him Nightmares

    Tony-nominated playwright Lucas Hnath (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”) has two shows in New York this season: a monologue based on the real-life experiences of his mother, and a ghost story. One of them gave him nightmares — but it wasn’t the ghost story. Listen to this week’s podcast below: He explained why on the [...]

  • Greater Clements review

    'Greater Clements': Theater Review

    The American Dream and all of its values have taken quite a beating lately. Director and screenwriter Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” Bruce Springsteen’s recent “Western Stars” album, even Ralph Lauren in the documentary “Very Ralph” show us how this country and all of its totems and merits have gone asunder. No dreams are more crushed, [...]

  • Harry Connick Jr Walk of Fame

    Harry Connick Jr. on Returning to Broadway

    Harry Connick Jr. is headed back to Broadway with a three-week limited engagement celebration of legendary songwriter Cole Porter. The actor and musician came up with the concept for the show and is also directing. “I love Broadway and if I had two careers one of them would be only Broadway just because I love [...]

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Broadway Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    Nearly 25 years after “Jagged Little Pill” hit the shelves of record stores, Alanis Morissette’s innovative 1995 album has arrived on Broadway under the muscular direction of Diane Paulus, who launched this galvanic production at the American Repertory Theater. The show’s supportive book by screenwriter Diablo Cody interprets Morissette’s musical idiom as a universal domestic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content