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The Conversationalists

From 5 member  reviews
Members say: Smartly written, Confusing, Great music, Absorbing, Delightful

About the show

In their most recent experiment with live storytelling and music, downtown musician-storyteller duo James & Jerome create an original movie that plays only inside the audience's minds.  More…

From the show:

The Bushwick Starr is thrilled to present the world premiere of The Conversationalists, created by the popular downtown musician-storyteller duo James & Jerome, and developed with and directed by Annie Tippe.

In their most recent experiment with live storytelling and music, as well as their first time working with an ensemble of musicians and performers, James & Jerome create an original movie that plays only inside the audience's minds. This live "movie" is an international melodrama about the triangular friendship (and sometimes enemyship) between a Colombian-born Mexican-raised pop-ranchera star, her teenage son, and a Palestinian-born Jordanian-raised owner of a chess shop in Greenwich Village. The Conversationalists is experienced at once as a theater piece, a concert, a radio play, a night of storytelling, and a movie dreamed together.

Member Reviews (5)


Smartly written, Confusing, Great music, Absorbing, Delightful
Avg Score

Indulgent, Creative, Confusing, Melodramatic, Great music

See it if Music 90; story 65. Original, beautiful, expertly performed music. Social justice themes. Narrated “imagined movie" largely works.

Don't see it if Jarring, illogical sequence of telenovela style scenes. Inconsistent characters. Slow, interminable lecture on prison population.

Smartly written, Well played, Musically tasty, Committed, Innovative

See it if you’d like to see smart, innovative theater that engages critical issues while pumping out some to the tastiest music you’ll hear this year.

Don't see it if you cannot tolerate forms of theater that deviate from traditional drama.

Also I see theater almost nightly; nothing I’ve seen this season has excite... Read more Read less


See it if Mostly a light, absorbing story of two people (Middle Eastern & Latinx) with lovely music. Breaks to talk about othering of people of color.

Don't see it if Very awkward break from fantastical story w/ music to a long, slow monologue about how anti-Blackness feeds prison industrial complex sys.

Also Diversity: story's main characters are Middle Eastern and Latinx — goe... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great singing

See it if A dark room, a man speaks in a sing-songy voice for 2 hours: almost immediately, my brain told me it was naptime.

Don't see it if Glad to see different concept for staging, tho this one didn't work for me. Most liked: the great music; the tonal breaks w/ diff actors.

Great staging, Entertaining, Enchanting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You love film and want a smart, brilliant take on live cinema/theater/storytelling.

Don't see it if You need something more formal and traditional

Also James & Jerome have been making great live storytelling with music for... Read more Read less

January 15th, 2020
"Staging a Movie Melodrama in ‘The Conversationalists’: Music (and eventually emotion) cuts through the alienating layers of abstraction in this new work by the musician-storytellers James & Jerome."
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January 18th, 2020
..."Just Talking, But Sometimes More: 'The Conversationalists' and 'The Truth Has Changed'"
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Cast & Creatives (4)