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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Circle Jerk

Fake Friends / Online / Stage

The opening night of Circle Jerk, a live-streamed play produced by Brooklyn’s Fake Friends theater collective, concluded with a virtual standing ovation across Twitter. The playwright Jeremy O. Harris, of Slave Play, which was nominated for 12 Tonys (surpassing Angels in America), helped fund the show, and flooded the site with his praise as it was happening, tagging mainstream outlets like HBO, Pitchfork, and A24 to get their attention on the off-est of Broadway productions. Scores of viewers, including Sarah Paulson and Roxane Gay, posted their live, utterly gleeful reactions to the play, which is a satirical, campy, chaotic take on meme culture, stan culture, culture wars, queer theater, and supremacy of all kinds. As Fake Friends said on its site, “Queer theater flips scripts. But what can it offer us when it feels like the world has lost the plot?” Circle Jerk has finished its meteoric run, but a performance was filmed and is now available for on-demand streaming. —C.J.F.

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