Circle Jerk: Homemade-looking yet elaborately staged. Photo: JJ Darling In this weird theater season — the "asterisk" season, when every achievement comes with a giant virus-shaped caveat — it's hard to categorize our responses to art. Is this gratitude I'm experiencing, or appreciation? Is this emotion due to my own isolation or the thing itself? But at least technical admiration is unambiguous. You know what you're feeling when someone sinks a basket from a whole court away. And on that level, Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley's berserker comedy Circle Jerk is a coup. Filmed and broadcast live with multiple sets, a trillion costume changes, and an aesthetic of relentless stimulation, it's the first digital production I've seen that's a true, non-sterile hybrid of theater and film. Circle Jerk was born for the online environment, suckled on the dankest basement memes, an overstimulated baby of the present moment. For once, here's a digital-theatrical performance that wouldn't be better in person. Part of its ease with hybridity comes from camp — Circle Jerk is queer as hell, exuberantly louche, a little dribbly. Breslin and Foley each play a number of characters on the show's mysterious Gayman Island, including a repulsive internet creature,… Read full this story
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