Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Play of Tight Places

Sam Shepard and Patti Smith in Cowboy Mouth, 1971 (Photo by Gerard Malagna)
Okay, I'm really bummed I can't use the photos I took directly before and after the 2012 East Village production of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith's Cowboy Mouth I returned from a couple of hours ago.   It was an apartment room, the walls painted glossy black.  In the center a bed, ringed with books, a typewriter, drums a guitar.  A slovenly boho paradise.  The audience members were part of the space.  The wine that was offered the audience members before the play was integrated into the show.  

The play is all about boredom, agitation, claustrophobia, guilt, yearning, and rock and roll.   (In this way, it reminded me of life in my own New York apartment.)  Heroes--the patron saints of the play--who were mentioned included Patti's usual faves:  Villon, Dylan and Jagger.  There was a time in America, I suppose, when rock stars the poets who act like them took on the aspects of saints and saviors--at least that's what the play would have me believe.

The best part of tonight's performance was the context.  That the action was happening in a real apartment with windows that opened onto a real street and let in breezes and noise.   The audience members were interlopers.  

I don't knowwhy, thinking about it on this night of the Tony Awards, this play couldn't be similarly staged in any city or small town.  

By the way, to increase the agitation in here, my kids have taken to jump roping in the only place available for any kind of egress.  I swear this play is my life.

Looking forward to:  Seeing an old friend from Utah this week.  Tomorrow's guest blog post!

Inspiration:  Morning pages, even though I don't have the book yet.  Anything I should know until I get it?

The 2012 production was not in the room pictured here

1 comment:

  1. this sounds amazing. sam shepard was my second biggest 80's crush, after mick j. & yes, i do like villon. i love performances in alternative spaces, too, as you know. was this produced by a company? how long is the run? is someone currently living in the apt.?