Barbra Streisand on Bette Midler’s performance as Sue Mengers

Sue Mengers, left, with Barbra Streisand and hairdresser Fred Glaser at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 1969.
(Max B. Miller / Getty Images)

The recent Los Angeles run of “I’ll Eat You Last,” starring Bette Midler as the late talent agent Sue Mengers, drew a fair number of Hollywood stars to the Geffen Playhouse -- some of whom actually knew Mengers during her heyday in the ‘70s as a Tinseltown power broker.

Among the most notable faces in the Geffen audience was Barbra Streisand, who was one of Mengers’ most important clients and is a key point of reference in the play. Streisand attended a recent performance of “I’ll Eat You Last” with her husband, James Brolin, according to the actress-singer’s publicist.

Streisand was a client of Mengers for more than a decade, developing a close relationship with the agent. When asked for a reaction to the play, Streisand sent the following comment via her publicist:


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“It was a wonderful performance. Bette made me laugh in the same way that Sue did and she touched my heart as Sue did. It isn’t the whole story of course. Some of the facts are not true, but it was a very enjoyable evening.”

In the play Mengers is depicted as waiting for a call from Streisand, who has just dropped her as her agent. In real life, Streisand left Mengers in 1981 as the agent’s popularity in Hollywood was dwindling.

On Twitter, Midler wrote: “Barbra Streisand came to the show! And she liked it!! I was so thrilled. AND relieved!!”

“I’ll Eat You Last,” written by John Logan, was first performed on Broadway earlier this year at the Booth Theater. Its run at the Geffen ended Sunday.


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