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Armand Goldman (Williams) owns a popular drag nightclub called The Birdcage¹ in South Miami Beach. His long-time lover Albert (Lane) stars there as Starina. "Their" son Val (actually Armand's by his one heterosexual fling, twenty years before) comes home to announce his engagement to Barbara Keely, daughter of Kevin Keely (Hackman), US Senator, and vice president of the Committee for Moral Order. The Senator and family descend upon South Beach to meet Val¹s parents.
What ensues is comic chaos.