New York Times
May 30, 2013, 12:29 pm
Who Needs a Tony Nomination? Midlerâ€™s One-Woman Show Pays Off
By PATRICK HEALY
Bette Midler may have been passed over for a Tony Award nomination for her Broadway play, â€œIâ€™ll Eat You Last,â€ but there is no denying that she has become a box-office powerhouse this season. Her one-woman comedy, written by the Tony winner John Logan (â€œRedâ€) about the 1970s Hollywood super-agent Sue Mengers, has recouped its $2.4 million capitalization after eight weeks of performances, the showâ€™s producers announced on Thursday.
Ms. Midler joins the ranks of Broadway superstars like Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington who were also in shows that turned a profit in eight weeks â€“ Mr. Hanksâ€™s $3.6 million play â€œLucky Guy,â€ which runs through July 3, and Mr. Washingtonâ€™s $2.8 million revival of â€œFencesâ€ in 2010. Ms. Midler drew critical acclaim for her performance but was squeezed out of the best actress Tony category, which had many strong contenders for five slots. (The Tony ceremony is June 9.)
â€œIâ€™ll Eat You Last,â€ directed by Joe Mantello, is scheduled to close June 30. Only about 25 percent of Broadway shows ever turn a profit, one of several reasons why producers increasingly seek bankable names like Ms. Midler and offer them favorable terms, like a cut of box-office profits and limited runs (in her case, a 13-week engagement).