Patti Smith and Sam Shepard’s Romance Resurrected at Lucky Cheng’s

3. Cowboy Mouth featuring Diana Beshara & Geoffrey Pomeroy Photo credit Julia PasternakJulia Pasternak Diana Beshara as Cavale and Geoffrey Pomeroy as Slim in “Cowboy Mouth.” The roles were originally filled Patti Smith and Sam Shepard.

The building housing Lucky Cheng’s will get a “Sleep No More”-style makeover. “Cowboy Mouth,” a play written by Patti Smith and Sam Shepard during their whirlwind romance in a ransacked room in the Chelsea Hotel, will be revived in a room in which the audience sits on sofas next to needles, trash, liquor bottles and a drum kit. The roughly 25 audience members will even have to “find” the room by inquiring at the bar of Lucky Cheng’s and then being directed to an out-of-the-way set of stairs.

“It’s going to have an apartment-feel,” said Leah Benavides, the director. “There’s not going to be a definitive line between the audience and the stage. The audience is going to be really in it.”

2. Cowboy Mouth featuring Geoffrey Pomeroy & Diana Beshara Photo credit Julia PasternakJulia Pasternak Geoffrey Pomeroy (Slim) and Diana Beshara (Cavale) meditate on the perils of the rock and roll lifestyle.

When the short play was first performed in 1971, Ms. Smith and Mr. Shepard filled the roles of Cavale and Slim, respectively. The co-writers engaged in a “duel with dialogue, shooting words and music back and forth as if engaged in a fun fight at the R & R Corral,” according to The Times in 1981.

In the play Slim, a musician, is holed up with Cavale in her dingy apartment. Cavale dreams of her lover becoming the next rock and roll legend, which leads to ruminations on art, romance and the ambitions of “two big dreamers who came together but were destined to come to a sad end” as Ms. Smith once put it. The scenario mirrored reality for the artists; when the play premiered Mr. Shepard had recently abandoned his wife and child for Ms. Smith.

“We’ve all been in a relationship that we don’t think we should be in, but we can’t leave,” Ms. Benavides said. “You don’t know if you’re supposed to be in it but you’re in love. There’s so much poetry in [the characters’] relationship. They’re nasty to each other and the next moment they’re on top of each other. It’s this weird tango they have.”

Incidentally, the gritty play will also likely serve as an early farewell to any remnants of the bohemian scene at Lucky Cheng’s. The owner of the bachelorette party destination, Hayne Suthon, said that it will be moving to Times Square around the end of August, and that it’s likely that the yet-to-be-determined new tenant of the large space will fit in with the more upscale establishments opening along the Bowery.

“Cowboy Mouth” at Lucky Cheng’s, 24 First Avenue near East Second Street, starts on June 7. Tickets are $15, and available here and at 1-800-838-3006.