Downton Abbey fans waiting not-so-patiently for the September 20 movie premiere can get their 1920s fix at Discovery Green this week.
This Friday, Two Star Symphony will perform an original score to the 1924 silent movie Girl Shy, and dancers from Dance Houston will happily teach you the dances that were the bee’s knees in that bygone era. Dressing in costume is especially encouraged.
The screening is actually a re-schedule for when Discovery Green showed Girl Shy back in May. The second evening of the showing got rained out, and this was the first opportunity to bring everyone back together.
“This is such an opportunity to participate and learn and watch,” says Susanne Theis, the park’s programming director. “Girl Shy really is one of the great screen comedies of the era.”
The 1924 film stars Harold Lloyd as a tailor’s apprentice who is so shy around the ladies he can’t speak to them without stuttering. That doesn’t stop him from writing a book for other men about how to woo women. On the train to Los Angeles to meet a publisher, he meets Mary and—well, it’s a romantic comedy from the '20s. You do the math.
Houston-based Two Star Symphony created a whole new score for the flick.
“They’re so committed to this art,” Theis says. “By composing new scores to these old films, they’re creating a work of art that bridges the decades. The storytelling in their music is just beautiful.”
About an hour before the movie starts, the park will play house music; members of Dance Houston will perform dances from the '20s and both invite and cajole audiences members into coming up on stage to learn from and perform with them. “There gets to be this critical mass of everyone dancing and having fun,” Theis explains.
Over at The Grove, the bar is offering The Sidecar, a classic '20s cocktail of cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice served in a coupe with a sugared rim. It’s available for $12, but guests who whisper the password “Shhhh” to their servers can score one for $6.
“There’s just a magic to seeing these movies that are nearly 100 years old,” Theis says. “It’s really kind of breathtaking to watch the film and hear the live music.”
Friday, September 6. Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St. More info at discoverygreen.com.