Austin News


Sick and Tired of the Temperance Movement and the Teetotalers?

Do you yearn for the days when imbibing spirits was a secret gesture, underground and illegal? When you went to the "pet shop" to get a highball with gin, arsenic, and sugar water? Lack of police raids in bars getting you down?

Fret no more! On November 15th and 17th, the Ritz will be transformed into a speakeasy out of 1932, with our Cinema Cocktails Presentation of the great Marx Brothers farce HORSE FEATHERS. That's right, our favorite brothers of anarchy Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo will be running around the screen in their famous comedy of academic disaster, football folly, and anti-prohibition glee.

In HORSE FEATHERS, Groucho plays Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the newly appointed dean of Huxley College. His first order of business? He establishes his complete stubbornness and unwillingness to consider the opinions of others in song:

I don't care what they have to say It makes no difference anyway Whatever it is: I'm against it No matter what it is or who commenced it, I'm against it.

While Groucho is busy destroying the foundations of higher learning, Harpo and Chico are delivery boys for the local speakeasy. They are as good at their jobs as the police are at stopping them.

It is very rare for a film from the 1930s to depict a speakeasy, and these scenes present a historic look at a dark time in American history. Thankfully, the Marx Brothers were able to make this space of seediness and crime into a big gag, playing on the conventions of the time like gambling, poor quality liquor and, of course, the password:

Bartender extraordinaire Amy Patton will be mixing up a special, prohibition-era cocktail for this event: The Bee's Knees: Honey Syrup Bathtub Gin Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

The Bee's Knees is one of the few drinks created during prohibition that has maintained its popularity through the modern era. Because of the poor quality of the liquor during prohibition, many drinks were overly sweet in order to mask the terrible smell and taste of the spirits. Thus the Bee's Knees, with its strong flavor of honey, rises to popularity. The combination of sweet and sour in this drink perseveres, however, albeit with a slightly lower honey-to-gin ratio than the original drink. If you haven't tried this historic drink, this is your chance for your taste buds to go on a honeymoon.

Do not miss one of the two screenings of the Marx Brothers masterpiece HORSE FEATHERS. Monday 11/15 and Wednesday 11/17 at 7pm at the Ritz.



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