To say that April 24, 2013 at the Booth Theatre, Opening Night of Bette Midler's solo show, "I'll Eat You Last," (an imagined evening with legendary Hollywood agent, Sue Mengers; Barbra Streisand was one of her first clients), was an explosion of famous faces is an understatement :). When I found an available single ticket in the very last row of the mezzanine for the show's official opening, I grabbed it. I already had a ticket for the following Sunday's matinee, and was in NYC for other shows, so I scrambled to rearrange, and happily went people-watching for the evening :).
My fun was somewhat hindered by the [very!] dogged security personnel of course, but I tried to stay out of their way while gawking. It worked until a few minutes before the show when they aggressively herded everyone other than the Susan Sarandons of the world inside. And while I didn't get any photos in the theater, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor (while trying to appear completely blasé about it all) as I squeezed by Diane Von Furstenberg, Barry Diller, Mario Cantone, Barbara Walters, Harvey Weinstein, Marc Shaiman & Scott Whittman, Ron Meyer & his daughter, Carolina Herrera and most of the folks I saw arriving below.
Actor Martin Short greets Marlo Thomas, who arrived just behind him, and they posed together for the photographers
Ali McGraw, escorted by the show's playwright, John Logan (Tony-winner for "Red," and screenwriter for "Skyfall"). At the time, I didn't know that there's a fairly long, very intimate story about Ali and Steve McQueen in the show. It was a "breaking the fourth wall" moment listening to the story knowing she was sitting in the audience with us. (in the center photo, you can can glimpse Ron Meyer in the brown jacket and his daughter Jennifer with green bag)
Victor Garber greeting a friend at the first of two openings I saw him at that week ("Pippin" was the other; I wrote about that in my previous post).
Author Fran Lebowitz (left) and American composer Adam Guettel (right) facing the phalanx of paparazzi!
There was a reunion of sorts for several of those involved in the 2011 Broadway production of "The Normal Heart" (which starred Joe Mantello, the director of "I'll Eat You Last"):
Ellen Barkin and playwright/director George C. Wolfe
Actress Kelly Lynch and Mitch Glazer
Kinky Boots' writer Harvey Fierstein (also attended "Pippin" opening night the following evening)
I would have had a great photo of Susan Sarandon if she hadn't missed the entrance for the step and repeat, and headed directly into the theater just in front of me as I was also walking in. When they caught her, she turned right around into my face. Slightly too close to pull out the camera :). I will say that she is absolutely beautiful up close!
Bette Midler is such a huge personality on stage, that it was truly shocking to see how physically tiny she is in person! She took her time with everyone at the stage door and, when I mentioned that I could have listened to Sue's stories all night, she said that there were many more that didn't make it into the show...I can only imagine!
And no SUVs or limousines for the Divine Miss M :), her little hybrid awaited her outside the stage door.
By the way, the audience is greeted by this scrim before it rises to reveal an amazing recreation of Sue Mengers' Beverly Hills living room, and it was all deliciously true!
Stage Door Tales
Every stage door has a story.