Sunday, November 02, 2008

Knit While I'm Around

Last night, as a special Halloween season treat, Jeff and I went to see a touring production of Sweeney Todd: A Musical Thriller that came through Austin.

I'd been spending a lazy day working on the Garter Stitch Blanket and laughing at pictures of us at a Halloween party the night before. We went for a nice walk in the afternoon to clear our heads and stretch our legs, and after a delicious salmon-y dinner that Jeff made, we headed downtown for the show.

Imagine my delight at seeing the actress playing Mrs. Lovett actually knitting on the stage! Here's kind of what it looked like in a publicity photo I found from the recent Broadway revival upon which the touring production we saw was based. Of course, we didn't see Patti LuPone, but she illustrates the scene quite nicely.

Here she's knitting a bright red garter stitch muffler for Toby (with violin), who is slowly catching on that something is not quite right with the creepy Mr. Todd and his relationship to Mrs. Lovett's meat pie-filling supply chain. Did I mention the scarf was red?

I was sitting close enough to notice that much of the garter stitch was very neat and tidy, but the 5 or 6 inches nearest to the needle were much more uneven. I could tell that this was the section that had been knitted on stage during performances, while the actor was trying to act and sing at the same time. She was doing a decent job of throwing those stitches, but one could tell she was having to concentrate on all the knitting/acting/singing/tuba playing she had to do. I was so intrigued by watching her knitting that I didn't pay as much attention as I should have to "Not While I'm Around," perhaps the most famous song from the show.

Still, it was an excellent production -- very vertical. Everything was very towering and the cast, in addition to acting, singing and each playing (in some cases, multiple) instruments, had to balance on coffins and sawhorses and ladders and chairs on coffins. I don't think I would have gotten through it without snapping an ankle.

Back to my blanket. I'm going to block the smaller sections today. If it were red, I don't think I'd be able to continue. Did you catch that, Jene?


  1. Should I write it, the title of your biography will be, A Self Undone By Color.


  2. Wouldn't you know it... the only Broadway show I have ever seen on Broadway is Sweeney Todd, and I saw Patti LaPone! WOW. Now I've got that tune stuck in my head... (but I don't mind!)

    Patti knit on stage, too.

  3. Halloween -- niiiiiiiiice pic. Love the wig.

    Uncle C

  4. That sounds like a GREAT show. Somewhat acrobatic, huh?! You're speeding along on that blanket!