I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers - Press Release

16 September 2014

PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING | 801.363.7522 |

September 3, 2014
For Immediate Release

Salt Lake Acting Company Opens Season with
I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS
By John Logan
"I'm not just representing stars; I am a star..."

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), opens its 44th season in the glamorous living room of Hollywood super-agent Sue Mengers. From September 17 thru October 26, audiences are invited to relish in Sue's exclusive show biz gossip, as she dishes the dish about her clients – Barbra Streisand, Gene Hackman, and Faye Dunaway, just to name a few. Set in 1981 – the beginning of the end of Sue's glory days – this one-woman show plays like an exclusive tell-all. Sue lets the audience in on juicy stories about Hollywood's most famous and infamous stars, sharing some laughs, some advice, and some secrets, all in less than 90 minutes.

Penned by Tony Award-winning playwright and esteemed screenwriter John Logan, I'LL EAT YOU LAST premiered on Broadway last summer starring Bette Midler. SLAC's production will feature local favorite Camille Van Wagoner as Mengers, and will be directed by Robin Wilks Dunn. I'LL EAT YOU LAST will play in SLAC's intimate Chapel Theatre – a fitting space for Sue's luxurious living room.

The real-life Sue Mengers was born in Hamburg, Germany to Jewish parents who relocated their family to New York City when Sue was five years old. Her first job was as a receptionist for MCA after which she was hired as a secretary by the William Morris Agency. Thanks to her unrelenting grit and gumption, by 1963, Sue had become an agent herself – an anomaly for a woman at that time. Throughout the 60's and 70's she represented some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters including Candice Bergen, Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon, Cher, Joan Collins, Brian De Palma, Faye Dunaway, Bob Fosse, Gene Hackman, Sidney Lumet, Ali MacGraw, Steve McQueen, Mike Nichols, Nick Nolte, Tatum O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Barbra Streisand, and Gore Vidal, among others. As her career wound down in the 80's, Sue transitioned from representing stars to hosting them. Her dinner parties were legendary. Vanity Fair contributor Graydon Carter wrote, "At Sue's, everyone was funnier, and quicker, and smarter than they were anywhere else." (Remembering Sue Mengers: Everybody Came to Sue's). On October 15, 2011, in her Beverly Hills home, Sue succumbed to a battle with pneumonia following a series of small strokes, but her legacy lives on in Logan's I'LL EAT YOU LAST.

PLAYWRIGHT

John Logan received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle and Drama League awards for his play RED. This play premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London and at the Golden Theatre on Broadway. He is the author of more than a dozen other plays including NEVER THE SINNER and HAUPTMANN. His adaptation of Ibsen's THE MASTER BUILDER premiered on the West End in 2003. As a screenwriter, Logan had three movies released in 2011: HUGO, CORIOLANUS and RANGO. Previous film work includes SWEENEY TODD (Golden Globe award); THE AVIATOR (Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and WGA nominations); GLADIATOR (Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and WGA nominations); THE LAST SAMURAI; ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, and RKO 281 (WGA award, Emmy nomination).

DIRECTOR

Robin Wilks-Dunn is pleased to be back at Salt Lake Acting Company. Her most recent productions at SLAC were GOOD PEOPLE and A LOSS OF APPETITE in the 2013-14 season. Other productions she has directed at SLAC include DOTTIE: THE SISTER LIVES ON, BOOM, PEARL, ONE LAST DANCE and NAPOLEON'S CHINA. Robin has directed several staged readings at SLAC, most recently ROAD TO EDEN, PERMANENT COLLECTION and THE LAST WORD and will be directing Tony Kushner's One Acts TINY KUSHNER as part of the NPSS this season. She directed LAST LISTS OF MY MAD MOTHER and THE GOOD BODY for Pygmalion Theatre Company, where she serves on the board. Robin co-wrote and was the original director of the children's touring show for the Intermountain LIVE WELL campaign, now starting its 7th tour. She reads scripts for the Sundance Theatre Lab and works as Education and Outreach Coordinator for Kingsbury Hall. She is on the National Advisory Committee for Kennedy Center Partners in Education. Robin's work has been seen on stages across the Salt Lake Valley for years and hopefully for many years to come!

CAST

Camille G. Van Wagoner * (Sue Mengers) is grateful to be back at SLAC! She was last seen here as Cow 1 in CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE. Camille has worked for many local theatre companies, including: Caine Lyric Repertory Co, Salt Lake Shakespeare, Egyptian Theatre Co, Hale Centre Theatre, The Grand Theatre and Pioneer Theatre Company. Some of her favorite roles have been: Chaperone in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Mother Superior in NUNSENSE, Mrs. Lovitt in SWEEENEY TODD, Mama Morton in CHICAGO, Domina in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, Melpomene in XANADU, Dolly in HELLO, DOLLY!, Miss Hannigan in ANNIE, Louse in ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE, and Madame Thenardier in LES MISERABLES. Thanks to everyone for this phenomenal opportunity.

Olivia Custodio (Understudy, performing Tuesday, October 14 and Saturday, October 25 matinee) is absolutely thrilled to be able to enter the world of Sue Mengers for this incredible production. She most recently performed at SLAC in this year's SATURDAY'S VOYEUR as Sister Marriott. An opera singer, Olivia received her Bachelor's degree from Carnegie Mellon University and will earn her Master of Music at the University of Utah this fall. She has performed leading roles in operas including Elle in LA VOIX HUMAINE, the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL, Alice Ford in FALSTAFF, Flora in LA TRAVIATA, and Bradamante in ALCINA. Although she is an opera singer, she has never sung while wearing Viking horns, nor has she shattered a glass with her voice. A lover of all things comical, Olivia has studied improv comedy at The Second City in Chicago and created her own operatic comedy show called "Operation: Opera" during her time living in NYC. She would like to thank her parents for creating her and their endless support, as well as her dearest friends and teachers for their continual assistance in her growth as a performer and human being.

ARTISTIC TEAM

Director Robin Wilks-Dunn
Set & Props Design Keven Myhre
Costume Design K.L. Alberts
Lighting Design James M. Craig
Sound Design Shea Madson
Dialect Coach Adrianne Moore
Stage Manager Jennie Sant*
Assistant Stage Manager Martin C. Alcocer

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

WHO:
Salt Lake Acting Company

WHAT:
I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS
By: John Logan

WHEN:
September 17 – October 26, 2014
Wednesdays – Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
*New this season: additional Tuesday evening and Saturday matinee performances:
Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 25, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
168 West 500 North
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103

MORE INFO:
Salt Lake Acting Company
168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84103
Box Office: 801-363-7522
Open 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
www.saltlakeactingcompany.org
Single tickets range from $15 – $42, depending on the performance.
Student, Senior and 30 & Under discounts are available.
Discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more.
Subscribers always pay the lowest price.

*Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC)'s mission is to engage and enrich community through brave contemporary theatre. Founded in 1970, SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre dedicated to producing, commissioning, and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists. SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. SLAC operates under a STP Actors Equity Association contract and is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group (a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres), and the National New Play Network (a national alliance of non-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays).