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“If you’ve ever toyed with the idea that the CIA might have killed JFK, that NASA might have faked the moon landings, or that shape-shifting reptilian illuminati might rule the world—or if you’ve simply ever wondered how anyone else could entertain such ideas—Real Enemies…may stoke your conspiratorial embers.”
The Guardian, London

Theater

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
Real Enemies

Darcy James Argue, music
Isaac Butler, writer and director
Peter Nigrini, video designer
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects

Celebrated composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society is a Grammy-nominated, 18-piece big band of New York’s best and brightest improvisers. For Cal Performances at Home, Argue—in collaboration with co-creators Isaac Butler (writer/director) and Peter Nigrini (video designer)—has gone back into the recording studio with Secret Society to create a made-for-film adaptation of Real Enemies—a big band jazz-theater work mixing multi-channel video, text, and music to explore conspiracy theories in the American psyche and the nature of belief. 

Featuring a visual experience that draws on real FBI files, news broadcasts, and a century of popular culture, Argue, Butler, and Nigrini have created a multi-movement journey packed with plots and paranoia, “a work of furious ambition that feels deeply in tune with our present moment” (The New York Times). Taking the title from Kathryn Olmsted’s 2009 book, Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11, Argue’s eclectic music combines traditional jazz with postwar serialism, Latin rhythms, film noir orchestrations, and rock sonorities, deploying a clever mix of distinctly American musical styles to explore everything from the Red Scare to the surveillance state, mind control to fake moon landings, FBI schemes to alien sightings.

An Illuminations: Fact or Fiction event >

Stream Premiere

Wed, Oct 21, 2020
7pm PDT

Note: this video will premiere on the date above and will be available on demand until Jan 19, 2021,11:59pm PST.

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

Real Enemies

The Ticket Office phone lines are open during the following limited hours: Tuesday–Friday, noon–4pm.

Cal Performances at Home Pricing

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General Public
The pricing for individual Cal Performances at Home performances is on the honor system and is based on the number of people watching the performance.

All
Access

$0
  • Free for Subscribers and Donors $225+

Going
Solo

$15
  • One person viewing the performance

Date
Night

$30
  • Two people viewing the performance

Social
Bubble

$60
  • Four or more people viewing the performance

Rock
Star

$61
  • Average price you would have paid to see this live*

* “Rock Star” is, well, above and beyond! You’re a true believer, a superhero in our book.

Video

Program Notes

Program notes will be available approximately one week before the performance.

Stream Premiere

Wed, Oct 21, 2020
7pm PDT

Note: this video will premiere on the date above and will be available on demand until Jan 19, 2021,11:59pm PST.

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

Real Enemies

The Ticket Office phone lines are open during the following limited hours: Tuesday–Friday, noon–4pm.

At Home Events

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