Theater archives

Living For Bette Midler


The chance to see Bette Midler in a legit play has excited me. Any legit play.

Yes, I’d see her in anything–except maybe Scenes From a Mall (though wait a minute, I did see that, so never mind, I even saw Parental Guidance, above!).

She’s one of those commanding, radioactive performers whose personal twinkle, applied to both esoteric and sweet material, makes living extra worthwhile. In concert, she’s been one of the most eclectic and visceral performers for years, making you scream yourself hoarse with laughter one second, then yanking your heart out and throwing it to the glittery pavement the next.

And I will surely be there to see her play bespectacled agent Sue Mengers on Broadway in I’ll East You Last.

Dyan Cannon did a great job playing a Mengers-like character in the cult 1973 film The Last of Sheila. It’s a colorful, nervy part for the right actress to sink her fangs into, even if the overwhelming majority of the human populace hasn’t heard of Sue Mengers any more than they’re intimate with the oeuvre of Sue Lyon.

Who cares? Bette could play Kate Moss and folks would line up. And now she will eat Mengers last. And I will be there first. Anyone share my enthusiasm?