Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bullet for Hitler *

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Memo to Woody Harrelson: Don't give up your day job. While I admire this fine actor for trying his hand at playwriting and directing, I could find little to admire at New World Stages where his play is now in previews. The story, such as it is, was inspired by events in Houston in 1983, when Harrelson and writing partner Frankie Hyman worked on an interracial construction crew. Their boss is a crusty German emigrant whose prize possession, a luger that allegedly jammed when it was aimed at Hitler, is stolen. The characters are as broadly drawn as cartoons. The slapstick physical comedy scenes are fitfully amusing, but the long stretches in between are not even up to sitcom standards. Projections of 1983 events and cultural icons between scenes are far more interesting than anything happening onstage. This vanity production would never have made it this far without Harrelson's name attached. At 2 hours 20 minutes, it is about 2 hours too long.

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