Friday, August 10, 2012

Quick Hit Theater Review: Bullet for Adolf

David Coomber and Nick Wyman. Photo: Carol Rosegg
Bullet for Adolf
By Woody Harrelson and Frankie Hyman
Directed by Woody Harrelson
Starring: Marsha Stephanie Blake, Brandon Coffey, David Coomber, Shamika Cotton, Shannon Garland, Lee Orsino, Tyler Jacob Rollinson and Nick Wyman
Presented by Children at Play
New Workd Stages

What's it all about?
It's a bleeping story about a bleeping bunch of bleeping people who bleeping yell at each other bleeping all the time. Somewhere in the middle of the profanity, they also come into the presence of the gun which was used in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, eat a disgusting meal together and tell a lot of shocking, off-color jokes. It feels like a trip down memory lane by a couple of friends (which Harrelson and Hyman are in real life) about their under-the-influence times in Houston, TX in 1983. Hyman, like Frankie (Rollinson), his counterpart in the play, went to Texas in early 1980 to find work. That's where he met Harrelson.

What are the highlights?
David Coomber is a hoot as Clint, the "Is-he-gay?" roommate of Harrelson alter-ego Zac (Coffey) and Frankie (who runs around in his underwear and has a contagious laugh). Coomber recreates the role which won him the 2011 BirdL.and Theater Young Actor Award in Toronto where this play had its world premiere.  Also fun is Cotton as plain-speaking Jackie.

Video projections (Imaginary Design) accompanied by popular music from the era (Brett Jarvis, sound design) set the otherwise sparsely trussed stage (Dane Laffrey, sets).

What are the lowlights?
Lack of a cohesive plot for starters. The main purpose seems to be to see whether the playwrights can challenge David Mamet for the most uses of the "F" word in a script (I think Mamet might still be the champ, but this work gives him a serious run for the title). In between individual couples yelling at each other or everyone yelling at each other en group (the volume is way up there), there are some jokes that seem to be thrown in for shock value, more than for having any tie to whatever is supposed to be happening on stage. It's one of those plays that gets an Off-Broadway run on the merit of a star name attached (and there did seem to be a lot of enthusiastic Harrelson fans in the audience) and the fact that the company producing it happens to be the star's.

Other information:
Bullet for Adolpf runs through Sept. 9 at New World Stages, 340 west 50th St., NYC. For information and tickets, visit www.bulletforadolf or call 212-239-6200

Christians might also like to know:
-- Strong Language
-- Derogatory Language (about women and the "N" word)
-- Drug Usage
-- Sexual Dialogue
-- God's name taken in vain

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (, an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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