SAM SHEPARD & PATTI SMITH'S COWBOY MOUTH

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 11

Wed Jun 19, 12:00am

Girl Trip Productions is excited to announce the fresh staging of the one act play, Cowboy Mouth on June 9th, June 14th and June 23rd at The Broadwater in Los Angeles.

Set in 1979 Los Angeles when punk, rock and new wave collide, the play is the story of a woman who kidnaps a young man with a wife and kid off the street at gunpoint, with the hopes of inspiring him to be a rock and roll star. But the play has an underlying theme far more universal. Cowboy Mouth is about the importance of taking responsibility for our own creativity, falling in love with the person, not the potential.

Girl Trip co-founder and director Harrison James and her team (including producer Charlene Westbrook and Girl Trip co-founder Kenton Parker) seek a current, relevant Cowboy Mouth— honoring the creative and intimate connection between Shepard and Smith, while thirsting for new ground theatrically.

Originally penned by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith, Cowboy Mouth was conceived while the two lived together at the Chelsea Hotel in 1971. Passing a typewriter back and forth, they crafted a cautionary tale about using art as deliverance from our own flaws, and relating to someone's potential instead of who they are.

“We wanted to revisit this play," explains James, who adds: “This work is especially relevant today as women globally unite, celebrate and seek equal pay and recognition in the arts.”

Founded in 2012, Girl Trip provides female artists under 35 with opportunities to exhibit works, engage and collaborate with fellow creatives, and gain expertise from women of distinction in the arts. Opening doors to increase visibility, emerging artists become relevant, represented contributors who helm projects, reach their audience, and achieve financial equality.

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Reviews

"I had the pleasure of experiencing the dramas of two Sam Shepard plays directed by Harrison James of Girl Trip productions. Each featured actor Adam Navas in the male lead. In Cowboy Mouth the female actor was Julia Manis, while Savage Love was a solo performance by Adam. Accompanying the actors were the audacious dancers Sarah Polednak and Kandace Hurdle. Sarah was stunning and sexy in Cowboy Mouth, while subdued and almost mournful in Savage Love. This range of ability from yoga to ballet was vital to the two extremes of both one-acts. Adam revealed vigor and great tension in Cowboy Mouth as well as an angry solo expression extraordinaire on the drums. In contrast he played a soulful, despairing character in Savage Love. These performances were truly a credit to the genius of Sam Shepard"

sweet - STEPHEN HARRISON


"I really liked the show! The dance chorus was a very cool idea and the acting was especially good. Bravo!"

sweet - Caroline Desrosiers


"Um, WOW! The actors grip you from the very beginning, taking us on an emotionally charged ride through pain, love and a litany of other experiences. It was truly phenomenal. Julia was incredible, a powerhouse. Adam was just as incredible, and these two actors are what made the play. Brilliant!"

sweet - S. V.


"I was very fortunate to be invited to this amazing play! Having never read it before I was unsure of what the experience would be like. The journey I was taken on was so unexpected and evoked very strong emotions within me as I realized that I related to this play much more than I thought I would. The acting was superb and believable and the set was simple but was well thought out and executed to perfection. I will forever be inspired and grateful that I attended!"

sweet - Roianne Buystedt


"Extemporaneous and absolutely beautiful in all its savage bizarreness... Directed, art directed and performed to a rare, extraordinary, odd perfection. - Highly Recommended"

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"Incredible play and performances. Julia Manis blew me away with her depth and emotional variance. Bravo to the entire cast and crew. Very very good!"

sweet - Deborah Smith


"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."

sweet - Suhashini Krishnan


"The script is beautiful, tragic and poetic. This production gripped me from the very beginning and wouldn't let go. It was by turns shocking, poignant, delightful and heart-wrenching. The lead actress, Julia Manis, inhabited the heart and soul of her tragic character and gave a touching and authentic performance. The lead actor, Adam Navus, was fierce as well as vulnerable. The chemistry between the two leads was fiery and convincing. Though wordless, the lobster man, Marland Burke, was dignified and yet pathetic, and in the end, empathic. This production had a lot of action and the Greek chorus of two beautiful dancers complemented the emotions and words of the scarred souls on the stage perfectly. Lighting and staging was perfect. After the curtain, the director read a beautiful letter from Patti Smith about Sam Shepherd's final days. It was a perfect epilogue to the play. I loved this entire production."

sweet - Frank McKee


"An Acting Tour de Force Thursday's opening night of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith's Cowboy Mouth at The Broadwater was a masterful collaboration of acting, choreography, set design, and directing. Edgy superior acting by leads Julia Manis and Adam Navas drew the audience from the start into their complicated, emotional relationship. The intimacy of the play and the stage brings the audience into the ever-evolving relationship almost as if we were on the stage with them. The dancers, Sarah Polednak and Kandace Hurdle, were lyrical, physical accents transitioning and augmenting the scenes with great artistry and movement. The reading of Patti Smith's tribute to Sam Shepard after the play was a fitting, emotional connection and ending to the play. Kudos to the cast and to Harrison James, Charlene Westbrook, Steve Harrison and Kenton Parker for an exceptional production."

sweet - Janice Stockl


"Like a vibrating high-hat cymbal, the tension and emotion of Cowboy Mouth rides through the actors and resonates long after the play is over. We get a unique glimpse of the relationship of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith through their own eyes, and the ensemble embraces all the predators and tumbleweeds and fire of the playwrights in an intimate, punk setting. Manis and Navas balance well as the unbalanced leads Cavale and Slim, and the modern Greek chorus of Polednak and Hurdle amp the room's energy. And Burke, as the Lobster Man? His claws speak for themselves."

sweet - Lindsay Britts


"This irreverent and sensual play takes you inside the physical body of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith's grotesque and recklessly poetic relationship. The actors are raw and courageous as they navigate this delirious journey through the hell of a spiraling dream. With graffiti and plastic all over the stage, the featured dancers are a beautiful contrast. Their choreography highlights important guttural threads in the text, when the actor's emotions might distract us from them. They also serve as protectors who, during a sex scene, dance down stage of the actors, giving them the privacy they can't give themselves. This short play also packs a punch with explosive drumming, rough raggedy singing and electric guitar strumming from its lead actor. The lead actress is both tender and fierce with a wild precision and tears that stream easily from her eyes like blood from a wound. Then there's The Lobster Man, who is as fun a surprise as he is a delicate shining heart in the dark dream of this play. Overall, a brilliant collaboration of artists brought together by a seasoned and fearless director. This is definitely a play worth experiencing, especially in celebration of the recently departed Sam Shepard."

sweet - Kate Norwood


"Cowboy Mouth is like vigorously washing a huge strawberry under lukewarm water as it's about to mold; when it's in its most dangerous state, it's absolutely the sweetest. The acting was fabulous. The set was meta punk. I immediately thought, “how minimal, sloppy, messy,” and it wasn't until I was completely absorbed in the show that I realized it was perfectly punk and it made so much sense. The play, co-written by Patti Smith and Sam Shepard was obviously written by them. It's so poetic, frustrated, and bizarre; you'll drown if you overthink the symbolism. Sit up, lean in, howl at the FUCKING moon, and get ready for the rawest emotional ride you'll have this year. The actors were experts at their crafts, screaming, crying, conflicted, punks in love with each other's potential, a sure way to kill a person. The stone faced dancers in your peripherals make for a manic experience of always having something to watch, and their feature dance was super sexy. I was overall impressed with the male lead, and his stunts were borderline scary; I thought, “My god! That was a fall! Is he ok?” I was sucked in by his anger turned lust turned anger turned need for approval turned fuck approval, who needs it?! The female lead was an expert actor; the whole time I wanted to comfort her and tell her it's ok to break down. I wanted to validate her desperation. The Lobster Man was the ultimate symbol that I'm still pondering. Is it god? Is it comfort in humor? Is it the next obsession over potential? The dead crow gave the play a Poe-like darkness and the poetic monologues matched. I'm also still pondering that dang dead crow. Is it clinging to memories of the dead? This play reminded me that there's true misery in perfectionism and obsessive idolizing. There was this part that I can't get out of my head when the female and male leads were being horrible to each other in an argument and the male childishly and randomly proposed that they “listen to the traffic.” Oh how mindfulness can bring one back and ease psychological pain and conflict when one's mind is spinning. After this play, my mind was spinning, in a good way. The director at the end, no spoilers, will show you just how real this play is. Go see it!"

sweet - Sidney Ramone


"Extemporaneous and absolutely beautiful in all its savage bizarreness... Directed, art directed and performed to a rare, extraordinary, odd perfection. - Highly Recommended"

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"I had the pleasure of experiencing the dramas of two Sam Shepard plays directed by Harrison James of Girl Trip productions. Each featured actor Adam Navas in the male lead. In Cowboy Mouth the female actor was Julia Manis, while Savage Love was a solo performance by Adam. Accompanying the actors were the audacious dancers Sarah Polednak and Kandace Hurdle. Sarah was stunning and sexy in Cowboy Mouth, while subdued and almost mournful in Savage Love. This range of ability from yoga to ballet was vital to the two extremes of both one-acts. Adam revealed vigor and great tension in Cowboy Mouth as well as an angry solo expression extraordinaire on the drums. In contrast he played a soulful, despairing character in Savage Love. These performances were truly a credit to the genius of Sam Shepard"

sweet - STEPHEN HARRISON


"I really liked the show! The dance chorus was a very cool idea and the acting was especially good. Bravo!"

sweet - Caroline Desrosiers


"Um, WOW! The actors grip you from the very beginning, taking us on an emotionally charged ride through pain, love and a litany of other experiences. It was truly phenomenal. Julia was incredible, a powerhouse. Adam was just as incredible, and these two actors are what made the play. Brilliant!"

sweet - S. V.


"I was very fortunate to be invited to this amazing play! Having never read it before I was unsure of what the experience would be like. The journey I was taken on was so unexpected and evoked very strong emotions within me as I realized that I related to this play much more than I thought I would. The acting was superb and believable and the set was simple but was well thought out and executed to perfection. I will forever be inspired and grateful that I attended!"

sweet - Roianne Buystedt


"Incredible play and performances. Julia Manis blew me away with her depth and emotional variance. Bravo to the entire cast and crew. Very very good!"

sweet - Deborah Smith


"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."

sweet - Suhashini Krishnan


"The script is beautiful, tragic and poetic. This production gripped me from the very beginning and wouldn't let go. It was by turns shocking, poignant, delightful and heart-wrenching. The lead actress, Julia Manis, inhabited the heart and soul of her tragic character and gave a touching and authentic performance. The lead actor, Adam Navus, was fierce as well as vulnerable. The chemistry between the two leads was fiery and convincing. Though wordless, the lobster man, Marland Burke, was dignified and yet pathetic, and in the end, empathic. This production had a lot of action and the Greek chorus of two beautiful dancers complemented the emotions and words of the scarred souls on the stage perfectly. Lighting and staging was perfect. After the curtain, the director read a beautiful letter from Patti Smith about Sam Shepherd's final days. It was a perfect epilogue to the play. I loved this entire production."

sweet - Frank McKee


"An Acting Tour de Force Thursday's opening night of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith's Cowboy Mouth at The Broadwater was a masterful collaboration of acting, choreography, set design, and directing. Edgy superior acting by leads Julia Manis and Adam Navas drew the audience from the start into their complicated, emotional relationship. The intimacy of the play and the stage brings the audience into the ever-evolving relationship almost as if we were on the stage with them. The dancers, Sarah Polednak and Kandace Hurdle, were lyrical, physical accents transitioning and augmenting the scenes with great artistry and movement. The reading of Patti Smith's tribute to Sam Shepard after the play was a fitting, emotional connection and ending to the play. Kudos to the cast and to Harrison James, Charlene Westbrook, Steve Harrison and Kenton Parker for an exceptional production."

sweet - Janice Stockl


"Like a vibrating high-hat cymbal, the tension and emotion of Cowboy Mouth rides through the actors and resonates long after the play is over. We get a unique glimpse of the relationship of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith through their own eyes, and the ensemble embraces all the predators and tumbleweeds and fire of the playwrights in an intimate, punk setting. Manis and Navas balance well as the unbalanced leads Cavale and Slim, and the modern Greek chorus of Polednak and Hurdle amp the room's energy. And Burke, as the Lobster Man? His claws speak for themselves."

sweet - Lindsay Britts


"This irreverent and sensual play takes you inside the physical body of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith's grotesque and recklessly poetic relationship. The actors are raw and courageous as they navigate this delirious journey through the hell of a spiraling dream. With graffiti and plastic all over the stage, the featured dancers are a beautiful contrast. Their choreography highlights important guttural threads in the text, when the actor's emotions might distract us from them. They also serve as protectors who, during a sex scene, dance down stage of the actors, giving them the privacy they can't give themselves. This short play also packs a punch with explosive drumming, rough raggedy singing and electric guitar strumming from its lead actor. The lead actress is both tender and fierce with a wild precision and tears that stream easily from her eyes like blood from a wound. Then there's The Lobster Man, who is as fun a surprise as he is a delicate shining heart in the dark dream of this play. Overall, a brilliant collaboration of artists brought together by a seasoned and fearless director. This is definitely a play worth experiencing, especially in celebration of the recently departed Sam Shepard."

sweet - Kate Norwood


"Cowboy Mouth is like vigorously washing a huge strawberry under lukewarm water as it's about to mold; when it's in its most dangerous state, it's absolutely the sweetest. The acting was fabulous. The set was meta punk. I immediately thought, “how minimal, sloppy, messy,” and it wasn't until I was completely absorbed in the show that I realized it was perfectly punk and it made so much sense. The play, co-written by Patti Smith and Sam Shepard was obviously written by them. It's so poetic, frustrated, and bizarre; you'll drown if you overthink the symbolism. Sit up, lean in, howl at the FUCKING moon, and get ready for the rawest emotional ride you'll have this year. The actors were experts at their crafts, screaming, crying, conflicted, punks in love with each other's potential, a sure way to kill a person. The stone faced dancers in your peripherals make for a manic experience of always having something to watch, and their feature dance was super sexy. I was overall impressed with the male lead, and his stunts were borderline scary; I thought, “My god! That was a fall! Is he ok?” I was sucked in by his anger turned lust turned anger turned need for approval turned fuck approval, who needs it?! The female lead was an expert actor; the whole time I wanted to comfort her and tell her it's ok to break down. I wanted to validate her desperation. The Lobster Man was the ultimate symbol that I'm still pondering. Is it god? Is it comfort in humor? Is it the next obsession over potential? The dead crow gave the play a Poe-like darkness and the poetic monologues matched. I'm also still pondering that dang dead crow. Is it clinging to memories of the dead? This play reminded me that there's true misery in perfectionism and obsessive idolizing. There was this part that I can't get out of my head when the female and male leads were being horrible to each other in an argument and the male childishly and randomly proposed that they “listen to the traffic.” Oh how mindfulness can bring one back and ease psychological pain and conflict when one's mind is spinning. After this play, my mind was spinning, in a good way. The director at the end, no spoilers, will show you just how real this play is. Go see it!"

sweet - Sidney Ramone