Thursday, August 9, 2012

Off-Broadway: Bullet for Adolf

This moment, an impromptu drum circle,
is the only good moment in Bullet for Adolf
(photo: Carol Rosegg)

Bullet for Adolf
New World Stages
written by Woody Harrelson & Frankie Hyman
directed by Woody Harrelson
Saturday, August 4

The title's by far the best aspect of Bullet for Adolf. Harrelson and Hyman have based their farce on a halcyon summer in 1983 Texas, when, between drags off a joint, they worked construction while a boombox blared Thriller. Now lost in their creative reminiscence, they've abandoned any attempt to depict actual human behavior. Instead, they've written roles that are automatons for wisecracks and punchlines, misunderstandings and sexual anxieties. If they were people, these dolts would be odious. But Harrelson and Hyman, sentimentally fond of their characters, don't have the courage of satire. By the curtain, when their gang assembles to laugh over the lessons they've learned, the 2½ hour Adolf resembles a bad 25-minute sitcom. If you go, just enjoy the YouTube montages that function as a tour of '80s pop culture―look, there's the Pepsi commercial that torched Michael Jackson's hair!―and ignore the scenes in between.


Bullet for Adolf plays at New World Stages, closing on Sept 9. Tickets?


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