On July 19, “Bullet for Adolf” had its U.S. premiere at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages and will run previews until its opening night on August 8. The play made its world premiere in Toronto at the Hart House Theatre in the spring of 2011.
Woody Harrelson and his friend Frankie Hyman co-wrote the play, which made its world premiere in Toronto at the Hart House Theatre in spring 2011. “Bullet for Adolf” marks Harrelson’s Off-Broadway directorial debut.
Harrelson is no stranger to the stage. In 1985, he debuted on Broadway in Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues.” He also wrote and directed “Furthest From the Sun” in Minneapolis, MN at the Theatre de la Juene Lune in 1999. His most recent directorial work was in 2003 when he directed “This is Our Youth” by Kenneth Lonergan.
Harrelson is best known for his Emmy award-winning work in the television series Cheers. He also starred in such films as White Men Can’t Jump, The Thin Red Line, and Natural Born Killers. Harrelson received two Oscar nominations for the films The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger.
“Bullet for Adolf” is a comedy loosely based on the summer Harrelson and Hyman became friends. For extra dramatic conflict, the writers added a subplot about a missing World War II artifact that is based on historical events. When asked why he wrote the play, Harrelson states in an interview for thestar.com, “Because of Frankie. His philosophy of life stayed with me over the years and I found myself thinking about him and that summer over and over again…Finally I realized I had to put down on paper what it all meant to me so that I could rediscover it for myself. I needed to reconnect with the man I was back in 1983.”
The cast members of “Bullet for Adolf” include Brandon Coffey, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Raul Casso, David Coomber, Shamika Cotton, Shannon Garland, Chris Meyers, and Nick Wyman. Both Coffey and Coomber were also in the Toronto production.
Harrelson and Hyman are currently collaborating on two more projects. One is a sequel to “Bullet for Adolf.” Harrelson is also working on three screenplays and says he hopes to continue directing in the future. On Broadway.com, Harrelson discussed these pending projects he said, “They are all comedies. I love making people laugh. If I get the opportunity to continue to make people laugh, that suits me just fine.”
Brandon Coffey, the actor who plays Harrelson’s character, praises Woody’s directing. In City News Toronto Coffey states, “The great thing about working with Woody is he really lets each individual shine with their own talents and he’s really given us an open door to improv and flesh out our characters in a way which I’ve never seen before in any theatre production I’ve been a part of.”
Carly Maga of the Torontoist said of “Bullet for Adolf”, “…this farce is a full-on comedic crusade.” She also states, “…the intention behind Bullet for Adolf is to make people laugh, and that it does, with impeccable timing and some truly awe-inspiring one-liners.”
“Bullet for Adolf” runs until September 9 at New World Stages: Stage 4. For a full schedule of performances visit the play’s official website.