For the second summer in a row, the Remarkable Theater has entertained Westporters by showing classic films, on the Imperial Avenue parking lot’s giant screen.
And films don’t get more classic than “The Graduate.”
Mike Nichols’ comedy is set for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 30. It’s a great chance to revisit — or see for the first time — the triangle involving the older Mrs. Robinson, her daughter Elaine, and confused recent graduate Benjamin.
The movie famously stars Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman.
Although, except for a twist of fate — or a casting change — the movie that launched Hoffman’s career might have done the same for Miggs Burroughs.
In 1967 — 4 years after graduating from Staples High School — he was a senior at Carnegie Mellon University.* A drama major, he spotted an announcement for auditions on a bulletin board.
Miggs mailed a t-shirt, with his image. His roommate had fortuitously silk screened it, as a test of marketing “personality t-shirts” — a great idea, but one the roommate never capitalized on.
Soon, Miggs was asked to audition for the role of Benjamin:
Miggs showed up at the appointed time. He took the elevator, walked to the front studio, handed over his photos, and auditioned.
Miggs went back to school. He waited. A month later, this letter arrived:
Miggs went on with his life. He graduated. He left acting behind, and became an artist.
In the 50-plus years since, he’s earned fame as a Time cover illustrator, postage stamp designer, and — in Westport — everything from his lenticular images in the downtown and train station tunnels, to Westport’s 150th-anniversary flag, and just about every non-profit logo imaginable.
Miggs is a founding member of the Westport Artists’ Collective. He is one of our town’s true treasures. He’s a great artist, and an even better guy.
Take that, Mike Nichols!
And it’s funny how life turns out, isn’t it, Dustin Hoffman?
* In 1967, the school was called Carnegie Institute of Technology. At Miggs’ graduation, the Mellon family announced they had bought naming rights, for about $400 million.