By Tara Mae
Time to fly the coop and settle in at Theatre Three’s Second Stage for St. George Living History Productions’ next interactive talk, “The Making of The Birdcage.”
On Tuesday, May 30, at 12:30 p.m., award-winning playwright and lecturer Sal St. George will guide the audience on a behind-the-scenes tour of the 1996 modern classic, with anecdotes, trivia, insights, and movie clips making cameo appearances.
Featuring complimentary refreshments, cookies, and other treats as well as a Q&A session, “The Making of The Birdcage” invites its patrons to enjoy the presentation as an immersive experience.
“It is LecturTainment at its best. It’s a combination lecture and entertainment package. My goal is to help you learn while you laugh, that is the magic I try to create,” said St. George.
Starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, The Birdcage is an acclaimed American remake of La Cages aux Folles (1978). Directed by Mike Nichols, the film chronicles the comedic calamities that befall a gay cabaret owner and his drag queen partner as they try to impress the ultra conservative parents of their son’s fiancée.
It launched the film career of Lane, renowned for his theater work, and solidified Williams’ chameleon-like ability to embody a variety of characters. Further spotlighted by its stacked roster of supporting actors, this film was a box office smash hit and remains a crowd-pleaser today.
“This was Nathan Lane’s first film. He and Robin Williams bonded immediately…This [cast] is a winning combination of talent,” said Sal St. George. “The Birdcage is a modern day classic that will be enjoyed 20 years, 50 years, and 100 years from now simply because it boasts a brilliant script, superb direction, and memorable performances.”
Highlighting, exploring, and understanding such talent is a founding tenet of St. George Living History Productions, which provides a sort of showbiz curriculum about Hollywood of yore and yesterday, including lectures, events, and virtual tours of entertainment museums.
“During our programs we never talk down to audiences; we are informative, educational and entertaining. I think that is what is appealing to them,” added St. George, who runs St. George Living History Productions with his wife Mary, son Darren and daughter-in-law Cassandra.
Such care and consideration is in part what inspired the collaboration between the production company and Theatre Three, which was conceptualized when Darren reached out to Executive Artistic Director Jeffrey Sanzel.
“Sal’s events are so incredibly well-curated. His translation of detailed research into engaging entertainment is unique. He has a way of finding new takes on any topic he selects,” Sanzel said. “We hope this is the first of many events like this with St. George Productions.”
Although this latest installment of St. George’s lecture series is the first partnership with Theatre Three, St. George and Sanzel have previously collaborated on other projects, including earlier incarnations of Port Jefferson’s annual Charles Dickens Festival.
“I have lectured from Long Island to San Diego; it was time to bring my programs to the patrons of Theatre Three and the Port Jefferson community,” said St. George.
Theatre Three is located at 412 Main St., Port Jefferson. Tickets for “The Making of Birdcage” are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and veterans, and $20 for groups of eight or more people. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com. Group sales may be made by emailing [email protected].