Spring Preview: The Theater

The New Yorker
March 18, 2013


Spring brings several plays centered on powerful women (albeit written by men). Bette Midler, who hasn’t performed on Broadway for more than thirty years (her last show was “Bette, Divine Madness!,” in 1980), returns to the Great White Way to portray the consummate Hollywood insider. In “I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers,” a one-woman show written by John Logan and directed by Joe Mantello, Midler plays the outspoken super-agent, who started as a receptionist and went on to represent top stars of the seventies such as Barbra Streisand and Steve McQueen (previews begin April 5, at the Booth).

Imelda Marcos, the profligate wife of the Philippine President whose fame derived from her extraordinary collections of art and shoes, is the subject of a new musical, “Here Lies Love,” which builds on a 2010 album-length collaboration between David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. Alex Timbers directs at the Public (April 2).

Deborah Warner directs her frequent collaborator Fiona Shaw in “The Testament of Mary.” Shaw portrays an impassioned Virgin Mary, who ruminates on her son’s death twenty years after the fact. The provocative one-woman play, by the Irish writer Colm Tóibín, premières at the Walter Kerr (March 26)


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