Squawk! the Musical
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Synopsis with Song Placement
Squawk! opens to the cooing of pigeons, that sweet murmur of feral birds. Lights up on a large window ledge of a dirty, grimy, moldy, nasty little neighborhood bar on which the three Pigeon Sisters perch. Energetically and with a touch of swank, they break into the raucous
Song #1 – Coo Wak-a-do
(Note: Throughout the play the Pigeon Sisters comment, sing, dance, and cavort with and around the main characters)
MAN, a flamboyant poet, enters the dirty, grimy, moldy, nasty little neighborhood bar. He’s in deep despair as his love has walked out and left him a “Dear John” letter in which she explains she’s winged away with someone else. “I have wept since the sun rose, red and heartbreaking as fresh blood. And I will weep until the coming moon, cold and empty.” He cries out in
Song #2 What Am I To Do?
BIRD, a Peruvian Macaw with an IQ of 154, who inhabits a cage in the dirty, grimy, moldy, nasty little neighborhood bar, responds, “Keep it down pendejo.” Man, who has come to the bar looking for someone to kill his wife’s lover, can’t believe he’s talking to a…bird. “My savage intention causes this delusion,” he says. Insulted by Man’s put down, Bird confronts the man in
Song #3 Don’t Make No Mistake, I Ain’t Just a Bird
While trying to ascertain if Bird is capable of killing his wife’s lover, Man discovers Bird’s cage is open. Bird explains his fears of coming out, which reflect many of our own. He makes it clear he’s not a killer in
Song#4 Afraid to Leave the Cage
Man assures Bird if he comes out of the cage and kills the lover, he will find Bird a wife as well as give him a generous financial reward. Bird details what he would want in a wife, which includes big chabubas, then agrees to take on the gig in
Song #5 It’s a Easy Task
It’s a big moment when Bird finally steps out of his cage. Man presents him with a gun to do the deed. Bird instantly shies away from the weapon.
Once outside the cage Bird feels strange. Different. Man dismisses Bird’s feelings. Angry at the discount, Bird aims the gun at Man and forces him into the cage. Once in the cage, Man begins to transform. Wings appear and he begins to squawk until Bird can no longer stand the noise. Soon it is clear Bird is not comfortable out of the cage and Man is not happy in. Man gets out and expresses his sense of what it means to take on another’s persona in
Song #6 Walking in Another’s Shoes
Man continues his quest to convince Bird to kill the lover. Since Bird refuses to use the gun, Man suggests poison or a knife. Bird holds his ground, or his perch as the case may be, proceeding to display his incredible South American machismo in
Song #7 I Am a Lady Killer
Frustrated and desperate, Man accuses Bird of being “a Romeo with talons.” He’s had it with Bird and decides to do away with this creature who is thwarting his plan. Inexpertly managing to cock the weapon, Man aims the gun at Bird, but closes his eyes. He’s incapable of pulling the trigger. He falls hopelessly into a chair and weeps. Bird comes out of the cage to comfort the poet. Bird asks Man to describe the dame who causes him such pain. To give insight into his wife, Man reads Bird the “Dear John” letter. Bird strongly advises Man to find the lover and the two unlikely cohorts explore strategies for punishing the usurper in
Song #8 Revenge
Now juiced on adrenalin from making the plans for revenge, Man practices being tough by imitating Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but miserably fails. This throws Man back into his poet persona returning him to his search to find someone to kill the crow who stole his wife. Bird reacts to the word “crow,” and describes how, when he lived in the jungle, he brutally did his best to make crows an endangered species in
Song #9 I Eat Crows for Breakfast
Due to Bird’s description of his carnivorous diet, more than ever Man is convinced Bird has it in him to kill. Bird steadfastly denies this and assures Man if he sticks with him, Bird will make all his dreams come true. Man is insulted that a “birdbrain” could possibly understand his angst or identify with his dreams. Bird fires back. ”Do not never call me bird brain, you cobarde! Man shoots back, “You coward, you yellow-bellied sissy!” The Man and the Bird rage at one another until they exhaust the subject of betrayal in
Song #10 Coward’s Song
Man, mired in a deep gloom, presses the gun against his temple. Bird talks him down. The Latin lover and poet take a break.
Man pours a drink and asks Bird if he’s ever been in love. Bird goes into a detailed description of the beautiful chickadee who has been visiting him. “This chaquita, so lovely and drab, and she is so smart.” As Bird continues his romantic ramble about the chica, a light bulb goes on and Man realizes the sweet thing the Bird has been describing is his wife. Man roars, “My wife’s a duck!” Stunned, Man seethes, “How could she choose you over me?”
Ducky, the sexy widgeon, makes a big entrance. She reminds Man how she became his “egg-laying afterthought,” and how he ignored her when she tried to seduce him with her “raunchy bump, and bump, and bump and grind.” She makes a strong case it was Man who destroyed their marriage in
Song #11 You Never Noticed I’m a Duck
Man’s and Bird’s passion ignite into a high-octane duel over Ducky, attempting to one-up each other and win her heart in
Song #12 Dueling Lovers
(Attention: Spoiler Alert!)
Man pulls Ducky in one direction, Bird in the other. She finally wrenches free and comes up with a novel, if not risqué plan. She questions who is it that says we must have only one husband and one wife in
Song #13 Who Made the Rules
Initially, the men are resistant. They worry about landing in the clink as jailbirds, naked as jaybirds for cohabitating outside the norm. But using her widgeon wiles, Ducky connives to convince them both to give the threesome a try. Man acquiesces. Bird refuses. Man asks for the gun back. No way. Bird will keep it as insurance. “If Ducky returns and quacks that she’s not being treated like the beautiful duck she is,” says Bird, “I promise you, gringo, there will be parts of you blown into every birdhouse on the planet!” Ducky, very disappointed that Bird won’t be a part of the menage a trois, gives her Amazonian stud a huge, deep kiss, one that Man has to break up. Man, quite pleased Bird has opted out, gathers up Ducky, and they prepare to leave. A part of Ducky is sad. She can’t help herself and continues to look back. Bird encourages them to hit the road quickly as watching her leave is fiercely painful. Just as Ducky and Man take that final step toward their exit, Bird hops out of the cage squawking to himself. “No, no, no, no, I can’t do it…it wouldn’t be right…no, no, not a wise thing.” He freezes for a beat, then: “Oh, what the hell! Count me in!”
There’s much excitement among Ducky, Bird, and the pigeons. Man not so much until he softens and the three lovers rock into their new life that surely will continue to combine the tasty ingredients of their unusual relationship, a concoction of pursuit, seduction, and love in
Song #14 Knock! Knock!
End of Play
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