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Friday, November 13, 2015

In Context: Real Enemies

Real Enemies, from Darcy James Argue, Isaac Butler, and Peter Nigrini, comes to BAM on November 18. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles and videos related to the show. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought below and by posting on social media using #RealEnemies.

Program Notes

Real Enemies (PDF)


"Belief in conspiracies is one of the defining aspects of modern culture. It transcends political, economic, and other divides."

BAM Illustrated: 5 Conspiracy Theories (BAM Blog)
Illustrator Nate Gelgud collaborates with Isaac Butler to illuminate a few of the shadow histories underpinning Real Enemies.

Stage manager Lindsey Turteltaub syncs hundreds of pieces of found video footage to an original jazz score. The remarkable part? Each cue is called live, and there's no click track.

Isaac Butler’s Blog
The Real Enemies writer-director opines on everything from his BAM show to David Foster Wallace and Magic Mike.

Darcy James Argue (
Says Argue: “We’re really trying to make a kind of sensory experience for the audience, replicating the idea that everything is connected to the healing of conspiratorial thinking.”

History’s Greatest Conspiracy Theories (
A disappearing battleship, chemical-laced jet contrails, Roswell aliens…a survey of the most persistent of alternative explanations.

Watch & Listen

Secret Society Trailer (YouTube)
An outside-the-box big band, duly celebrated.

Interview with Darcy James Argue (YouTube)
Secret Society’s first gig was at CBGB’s.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Did we actually land on the moon? Was the show great, or are Darcy James Argue, Peter Nigrini, and Isaac Butler actually just a mind control agents from the Illuminati? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #RealEnemies.


  1. I find it a bit suspicious that this came in just as I arrived home from the theater. . . Did you follow me? Actually, we left after 20'. The orchestra was awesome, the synchronization with the films quite impressive, but I was left cold by the whole idea. A kind of fractured history lesson without any real depth or soul.

  2. Darcy james Argue does complex, challenging music. Real Enemies would have been 100% better without the distracting projections, and without the amplification. Just feature the music and those great musicians. As to the score, a little more modulation would have added a needed balance- some softer volume in sections, slower tempo in others, and a few harmonic breaks and it would have been a lot more than polite applause at the end.

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  4. I dug it from start to finish. From the program description, I was expecting a more sarcastic take on its subject, but the visuals and score largely played it straight, if such can be said about a theme of such crooked timber, and to great effect. My one regret is that in needing to keep an eye on the projection screens, I didn't get to enjoy the visual aspect of the band's performance as much as I'd have liked to.

  5. A fantastic performance all around. Keep great programming like this coming!

  6. A brilliant and enthralling show! Totally original, even compared to most BAM work. Argue and Butler are unique talents and I want to see more from them.