Claire Hart-Palumbo and Gwen Flager

Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo’s director, Claire Hart-Palumbo (left) and Playwright, Gwen Flager (right) pose for photos following a Sunday matinee’ performance of Shakin’.

I’ve been watching rehearsals of Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo for several weeks. It’s been wild fun. These actors are amazing creatures. An expression, a gesture or a hesitation becomes spellbinding. And, then, there’s the director. Miss Claire does not sit rigidly in a chair and tap her pen on the script. She does not grumble, scowl or swear. I did, however, see her run her fingers through her hair a time or two. She is a professional. But more than that, she is a “creative.” That means she sees possibilities in everything. She visualizes the uncharted depths of the words by the playwright. Her emphasis on a single word colors the scene in a richer and, sometimes, unexpected way. Shakin’ has become a multi-dimensional story filled with an intensity and energy that has to be witnessed and not merely read off the page. I, however, am not a “disinterested third-party.” I am the playwright. While this is a work of fiction, Shakin’ is now a breathing, living experience.

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