Monday, December 12, 2005
from the washington post:
"We had a kid who was really into Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," James recalls, "so we had a purple suit made for him, and we hired these people to be Oompa Loompas and they came out and danced. We had these trees with candy all over them, with signs that said 'Do not eat.' It was fantastic."or
"We had this one kid who was really into the Yankees and we sent him to Tampa, where the Yankees were in spring training," he says. "And we filmed him in a Yankees uniform, around the park, pretending to play with the team. We even had a couple Yankees say, 'Happy bar mitzvah,' I think. Then you saw him waking up in his bed, realizing it was all a dream. And he looks at his clock and sees that he's late for his bar mitzvah party."and last, but certainly not least,
A couple Saturday nights ago, James orchestrates the bar mitzvah of Stephen Serota, an affair held in ornate Garden City Hotel on Long Island. He describes the event as one of the glitzier of his recent confections. Sure enough, at 8:30 p.m. the place is buzzing.
Stephen is a fan of spy flicks, so the theme here is espionage. An Austin Powers impersonator works the room. Two performers stand frozen atop a table in the cocktail room, covered in gold paint, like victims in the Bond movie Goldfinger. There are round magnifying glasses at each place setting -- vaguely spy-like -- and a few tables have Tiffany-style jewel cases in the middle, filled with fake diamonds.
Spies, jewel thieves, whatever. Stephen makes his entrance, which happens in the hotel's huge rococo-style grand dining room. An MC who looks a bit like Kid Rock, only much taller and far raspier, introduces the Serotas, while a 13-piece band vamps to the theme from The Pink Panther.
"This is the coolest family ever," the MC shouts into a microphone. Stephen's parents are introduced. A round dining table, covered by a white cloth, is then wheeled into the middle of the dance floor. "Did somebody order room service?" yells the MC. An actor playing a cat burglar suddenly runs into the room and pretends to snatch someone's purse. "That man is a thief!" howls the MC. "Don't let him get away! Somebody stop him!"
That somebody is "Special Agent Stephen," who emerges from under the table and, after pantomiming some act of derring-do, collars the villain. The MC promptly hoists him on top of his shoulders, as if he had just won some flyweight boxing title. Everyone claps, the band turns up the volume. Strobe lights flicker. Stephen is later seen walking around during the dinner course, pretend-puffing on the wrong end of a candy cigarette.