So for "Last Laugh" we took our violins and piano, an old Wurlitzer and sometimes a bit of guitar, thundering percussion and not a little ambient noise thrown in on top, and turned them all to the service of screenwriter Carl Mayer's bitter vision against blind devotion, not to genuine authority, but to the appearance of authority embodied in that grandiose uniform.

"Last Laugh" is a film made up of objects. The uniform, the trunks and suitcases, a revolving door -- and the second door in the film, the glass door of the hotel restroom that swings shut on our hero's descent into insignificance, old age, death, the last door to close when you've been in and out of the revolving door of a lifetime and become in turn the last man in a series of replacements -- all of these are arranged meaningfully in the eye of cinematographer Karl Freund's "unchained camera." So we tried to arrange musical phrases, which are also objects, in the same way and speak as we think the film does of vanity and of a warning against defining ourselves too exactly by station or vocation -- because there's always someone next in line to take up the uniform. And then the self-referential assault of the epilogue.

" The recent break-up of local favorites Rats and People was a major blow to the soul of the St. Louis music scene. Known for its strong storytelling and spirited instrumentation, the Rats filled a niche we didn't even know existed. But this dissolution has a big, fat silver lining: It leaves more time for the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra -- which has the same players, but is a different project altogether. Ever the multitalented multiinstrumentalists, the Orchestra has both scored movies and played live accompaniment to silent films. The latter performances are where the tiny orchestra shines, because the custom music so perfectly captures the mood and matches the film that you forget it's even playing. (And that's the highest compliment.)"

-The Riverfront Times' Jaime Lees

Most recently:

Off Broadway flyer

Past Performances:

Webster flyer.Ragtag series