A little more than 40 years after Sam Shepard and Patti Smith premiered their play Cowboy Mouth at The American Place Theatre in midtown, the work is being revived by One Old Crow Productions in a small space above Lucky Cheng’s Cabaret on the Lower East Side and after all these years, it’s hard not to see the work in a new context. In 1971 Shepard and Smith created and performed the piece which was pulled from their own relationship among other things in a world where they were almost unknown and now that they’ve both taken on a somewhat legendary status it’s insightful to see their words, fears, and torment knowing what they’ve become.
The play, directed by Leah Benavides and featuring Diana Beshara who does a good job channeling Patti Smith’s spirit as Cavale, Geoffrey Pomeroy who seems a natural as Slim, and Matthew Mark Stannah as the mysterious Lobster Man is astonishingly intimate with only 15 audience members, each with their complimentary glass of wine, per performance who are seated on couches and chairs in the back of a very authentic, grungy apartment. Even with the abstract elements to the play it seems to incline quite a bit of autobiography from its authors and even though rock n roll isn’t the mighty church it was in the early seventies, the work lends itself in many ways to modern day thanks to their down and out thoughts of consumerism and fame.
Beyond being an interesting work, the play is a rewarding, worthwhile, and immersive theatrical experience and its three-week engagement runs through June 22.
For more information check OneOldCrowProductions.com.