Elizabeth was going through a difficult time dealing with a particularly unpleasant rejection. Part of the game a writer must play when trying to get work noticed by the world. She stumbled into a small café known as “The Cage,” where she was to meet an author friend. She needed to vent. She sat at a table which happened to be near a cage in which was a blue and yellow macaw. Her friend was late, which added to her angst, so in her solitude she drank from a glass of merlot and leaned back to look into the eyes of the big bird. It was as though he was aware of her gloom and they were able to communicate. Her friend still didn’t show. Elizabeth and the bird sat side by side, she at the table, he in his cage. She sipped wine and watched him. He murmured bird sounds and watched her. Finally her friend arrived and they dove into their laments until it was time to part. She felt a little lighter. As she reached the door, she turned back to the bird. “Good bye,” she whispered.

When she recollects the moment the bird bobbed and she swears he said, “Keep your beak up!” Stunned, she couldn’t move. Now she wonders if it was in her mind or maybe she spoke the words: “Thank you.” Days later Elizabeth found herself deep into the writing of Squawk! and a year later she was deeper into a production of the play as dinner theatre in Marin County. The early version was short and saucy, only two characters, with a little ditty at the end. The show ran for three weekends, reviews brought raves, and every seat was sold. And then somebody said, “I can see it. Squawk! the Musical!” Elizabeth could see it too. Robin Bradford, an amazing writer, introduced Elizabeth to Misha Segal, the Emmy Award composer, and a chord was struck. Now there are six characters and fourteen songs. Early this year Elizabeth went back to the café. Little had changed, with the exception that the cage was empty. She asked the same barista who had served her in the past what had happened to the bird. “What bird?” the barista asked.

“The macaw. The handsome blue and yellow macaw.” “No bird here. Never. Just the cage.”

Cast & Creative