CIRCLE JERK

REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA
August 7-9, 2015
Adapted and directed by Robert Cucuzza

Live score by Juli Crockett and Michael Feldman

 

With

Tessa de Baudeniére as Nadja

James Cowan as Unik
Chris Farah as Aragon

Lola Kelly as Queneau
Kristina Pilskaia as Genbach
Brian Tichnell as Breton
Susan Tierney as Man Ray

 

Musicians
Juli Crockett, Michael Feldman, and Danny Graziani

 

Costume Designer: Stephanie Petagno

Lighting Designer: Adam Frank

Sound Designer: Harlow Price

Video Designer: Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh

Stage Manager: Amanda Eno

Associate Producer: Nathaniel Singer

Dramaturg: Kymberly Harris

Assistant to Mr. Callahan: Herman Eberhardt

 

Produced by Studio Cucuzza

 

Source Material
Between 1928 and 1932, the Surrealists, a revolutionary group of artists in Paris, met twelve times to investigate the topic of sex. André Breton, the founder and self-proclaimed Pope of Surrealism, led the discussions. It is alleged that Breton, having been simultaneously married, obsessed by a mysterious muse, Nadja, and consumed by his romantic infatuation for another woman entirely, initiated these discussions to come to terms with this perfect storm of guilt, obsession, and carnal desire. The text of this performance is taken entirely from transcripts of the meetings, collected in the book “Investigating Sex: Surrealist Discussions” and from Breton’s novel, “Nadja.”

“One of the most intriguing aspects of Circle Jerk is the contrast between its direct and intentionally absurdist humor and the sheer beauty of the subtle jazz trio that accompanies it. (The outstanding original score is by Juli Crockett Feldman and Michael Feldman, with Crockett on cello and vocals, Feldman on piano, and Danny Graziani on violin). Fragments of lyrics – “she’s just a girl” and “the melody haunts my reverie” — float in the background while an eye-opening question and answer session delivers the harsh truths about men and women’s roles from the male perspective.”

Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld.com

"The performances are riotous and often hilarious as all our own social and personal hypocrisies are exposed."

"Still it makes for relevant political theater in our spectacle-driven present when everyone’s private life is on public display. I can picture Donald Trump in the Breton role as leader of the pack interrogating the sixteen other Republican contenders with the same questions. One can imagine the responses being ever so similar! Perhaps Cucuzza might have his excellent cast just change costumes for the next round."

Jacki Apple, Fabrik

Press Clips

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