HFF18 Sam Shepard & Patti Smith’s ‘Cowboy Mouth’, reviewed

Hollywood Fringe Festival, Gia On The Move

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Extemporaneous and absolutely beautiful in all its savage bizarreness.

This new staging of the one-act play, Cowboy Mouth, originally conceived, written and performed by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith as a theory on the American Dream, while the two lived together in the Chelsea Hotel, NYC, in 1971, is a cautionary tale about using art as deliverance from our own flaws, and relating to someone’s potential instead of who they are.

Julia Manis and Adam Navas star in the 2018 Hollywood Fringe production of Sam Shepard & Patti Smith's COWBOY MOUTH.
Photo credit: Grayson Photography
Julia Manis and Adam Navas
Photo credit: Grayson Photography (Instagram: @graysonphotography_)

Set in 1979 Los Angeles against punk, rock and new wave influences, it is the story of Cavale (Julia Manis) who kidnaps a young man, Slim (Adam Navas), with a wife and kid off the street at gunpoint, with the hopes of inspiring him to be a rock and roll star. The two have fallen in love despite the circumstances. And yet, the relationship is at a state of unrest which results in moment to moment emotional and physical extremes from playfulness to violent anger.

Cowboy Mouth is an exquisite often darkly comical wrapper for many mutually excessive conflicts and polarities contrasting love/hate, beauty/ugliness, power/powerlessness, poetry and prose and on and on.

Shepard and Smith wrote pure genius into this piece which is ultimately a journey of our own making despite our dreams for happiness or our downfalls in search of it.

Directed, art directed and performed to a rare, extraordinary, odd perfection.

Highly Recommended

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