Sam Shepard had one of his most revealing on-screen moments in 1985's Fool for Love, when he deadpanned, "If you ain't a cowboy, you ain't shit." But in Shepard's plays, sometimes being a caballero isn't enough. Slim, the hero of his Cowboy Mouth, is a roughrider by nature, but he falls in with a deranged woman who wants him to be a rock 'n' roll star, too. The rest of the one-act relates Slim and Cavale's struggles with art, love, and stardom.
It seems a rather esoteric outing unless you know the back-story: Shepard wrote the autobiographical Cowboy Mouth over the course of several sleepless nights at the Chelsea Hotel with his then-lover Patti Smith, whom he'd met while playing drums in a rock band. The couple performed just once in the title roles before Shepard abandoned the production and Smith skipped town with no notice. Now the 1971 play lives again; Mostly Grounded Theater Company stages the show, which features live performances by local bands, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3:30 p.m. on Sundays (through June 22) at Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at South Van Ness), S.F. Tickets are $12-15; call 861-5079. -- Joyce Slaton
Oaklandish Behavior East Bay and proud of it
The members of Nonchalance, a group of energetic arty types, have devoted themselves to loving Oakland, and they're about to outdo City Hall with their grass-roots boosterism.
Notorious in the East Bay for projecting slide shows with the theme of civic pride onto public buildings, the crew also puts on the "Liberation Drive-In," a free outdoor screening of "contraband pop, social intrigue, local love, hidden history, and the international cinema of revolt," as the Web site tells it. It's a DIY BYO-everything event: chairs, blankets, and radios to hear the microtransmission of the evening's soundtrack. This event is also the release party for Oakslander, Volume 2, a zine of municipal appreciation. Volume 1 featured secret staircases, the Lake Merritt monster, and a lot of love for Colonial Donuts on Lakeshore Avenue. Experience original Oakland charm at 9 p.m. on Harrison between 15th and 17th streets. Admission is free; visit www.nonchalance.org. -- Hiya Swanhuyser
Puppy Love Meet your match
The singles scene is a dog-eat-dog world -- and even tougher if you can't get out because you're stuck walking Fido every night. At "Bark & Park," you can take your four-legged friend for a stroll -- on a leash, of course -- and find Mr. or Ms. Right without the pressure of bars and cheesy pickup lines.
The shindig is also a launch party for SimplyDog: Life Lessons That Bark, a new book by SimplyShe, the local line of cutesy apparel and greeting cards. Activities include a silent auction and live music, starting at noon at the SPCA's Avanzino Dog Park, 243 Alabama, S.F. Admission is $5-10; call 522-5155 or visit www.matchlive.com. -- Lisa Hom
Shop Till You Drop
Can't afford a Gucci handbag? Try a pair of guitar-pick earrings for $5 instead. Such bargains can be found at Fred Flare's "San Fred-cisco Sale." The event is a homecoming for Keith Carollo, who (with Chris Bick) designs the New York-based line of jewelry and accessories. Carollo founded the Build performance space, where the sale begins at 11 a.m., in the '90s. At 483 Guerrero; visit www.fredflare.com. -- Lisa Hom