I am pleased to report about a new theater company called One Old Crow Productions, which is dedicated to producing works that explore the reality and truth in situations that "exist outside of daily life yet illuminate our existence." That's why Cowboy Mouth, an explosive play written by Sam Shepard with the godmother of Punk, Patti Smith during their love affair in 1971, is a very appropriate piece for this new company.
This site-specific show actually takes place in a NYC apartment on the lower east side above the popular drag queen restaurant Lucky Cheng's. It's a good choice for this production, since many of Sam Shepard's works, are unusual in nature and tone; especially since the play's setting is supposed to be an apartment in the Chelsea Hotel. The street noises and city lights coming through the windows lend themselves well to giving the audience the surreal and gritty feeling that they are actually, secretly involved in this wild play that mixes reality with unreality. They even ply you with a glass of wine! You almost feel like a guest rather than a member of the audience.
The play is about Cavale (Diana Beshara) and Slim (Geoffrey Pomeroy), two absolute low-lives, who are spending a sin filled evening together. The action is introduced with the revelation that Cavale has kidnapped and is holding Slim hostage with an old .45, and that she wants to make him into "a rock-and-roll star," but they fall in love. Beshara and Pomeroy do a competent job with a difficult script and story. The company's intense interactions kept the action coherent, thanks to the deft direction of this fired up meltdown by Leah Benavides, who deserves special recognition for the realism and tone of this 1970's period piece.
I don't think it's a coincidence that many productions of Sam Shepard's plays are popping up all over NYC these days. His work continues to resonate with audiences, especially in these troubled times, and demonstrates how his ideas about the broken American Dream are still relevant today.
Presented by One Old Crow Productions at the Salon Apartment Above Lucky Cheng's, 24 First Ave., NYC. June 7–22. Mon.–Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri., 8 and 10 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. (No performances Mon. and Tue., June 18 and 19.) Tickets $15 at www.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006