Austin's The Invincible Czars have performed masterful live scores at the Alamo Drafthouse for years. Now they're taking it to another level by launching a weekly performance series at the Ritz. That's right, every Sunday evening you can experience a silent film with a live score by some of the nation's greatest masters of the form!
Released in 1920, the movie stars Drew Barrymore's grandfather John Barrymore as both Jekyll and Hyde. Barrymore gives one of the most memorable performances of early film often portaying Mr. Hyde character simply with facial expressions and no makeup. The movie is considered by many to be the first important American horror film. Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, the movie tells the story of Dr. Henry Jekyll - scientist, philanthropist and all around upstanding English citizen. Jekyll's colleague, George Carew (Brandon Hurst) invites his uptight young friend to a see the sexy Italian showgirl Miss Gina (Nita Naldi) and Dr. Jekyll's arousal sends him on a quest to separate man's good and evil side. Using himself as the test subject, Jekyll unleashes his own evil alter-ego: Edward Hyde. But Jekyll's imperfect science sends the good doctor into uncontrollable alternations between his two selves that imperil his reputation, his finance and his own life.
The Invincible Czars' soundtrack is minimal, spooky and even includes audience participation! The line-up features Leila Henley (winds, vocals, loops, percussion), Josh Robins (guitar, sound effects, percussion), Phil Davidson (violin, organ) and John McCane (bass guitar). As usual, the band has incorporated music from the classical realm into the score. This time they've arranged Eric Satie's Gnossienne No. 1 and No. 5 and an eerily beautiful but obscure Debussy piece entitled Footsteps in the Snow. Just like their music, The Invincible Czars' wardrobe complements the film and they encourage audiences to do the same. Top hats recommended!