Audience: Suhashini Krishnan
Riveting from the opening scene until its final, haunting moments, Cowboy Mouth is a sixty minute high-wire act entirely reliant on its actors to bring Sam Shepard and Patti Smith's words to life. Manis and Navas are electric as Cavale and Slim, simultaneously compelling and sinister protagonists trapped together either by fate, circumstance, or something in between. Manis in particular captures Cavale's multitudes, layering the character's psychosis with moments of startling, poignant clarity regarding the play's inherent theme—the notion that the American Dream inevitably fails us all. The show is simply and efficiently paced, and it's apparent that the production's director, Harrison James, has an understanding of Smith and Shepard's relationship that informs every beat onstage.