"I kept wondering how that story factored into this play. I kept thinking, 'There's got to be a way.' Sure enough, it gave us our plot. Because prior to that we kind of lacked a plot. We just had an amalgam of scenes," says Harrelson.
They've written a racy, edgy script. The N-word is tossed around a lot, gross stuff is eaten, pedophilia is joked about and there's even a reference to the ovens used in the Holocaust.
"We didn't want to pull any punches writing this thing," says Harrelson. "I think it's good to be able to talk about some of these topics and hopefully laugh. That is the first avenue in toward a real discussion."
Some lines are purely provocative — "Poverty and justification goes together like cream and coffee," someone says — while other exchanges are just silly, as when one character says, "I like a woman who can beat me up" and another replies: "Then why don't you like my mother?"
"That's the way we talk to each other all the time. We try to ride the edge wouldn't you say, Frankie?" Harrelson asks his friend.
"We do. We do," Hyman responds, smiling.
Whatever theater critics think — and the play was roasted in Canada before changes were made — "Bullet for Adolf" is about the origin of something real: a deep friendship.
The writers even make a gentle nod to it when they made the character named Frankie say to the character based on Harrelson: "I don't think either of us knows the give and take of friendship."
In the apartment, Hyman looks over at his friend of almost 30 years, a man who helped him transition from drugs to art. "Today, we've done the give and take until we've built this strong friendship," he says.
They're even tinkering with another play. This one is set in 1993 and is about two estranged friends who find each other again.
Mark Kennedy is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
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