FINALLY last night we were off to the city to see Sweeny Todd! We had originally had tickets for earlier in the Fall, but a miscommunication between Gerry and me had him going to see the show on a night when I would have been in Maryland. So we changed the tickets and last night was the night!
The show was visually and stylistically spare, sparse and quite stunning. The voices were excellent, the actors very good – but I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the premise. Perhaps it’s because I loved the original so much – perhaps it’s because I’m a more literal person than I’d like to believe – but I found that the conceit that this was all occuring in a mental hospital wore very thin exactly at the point where the plot needed to thicken. As the bodies (literally) pile up in the original, it sets off a flood of madness and killing that end with the arrest of the only truly innocent person in the story. I found that in this version the ‘walking corpses’, wearing bloodied lab coats to denote that they’d been killed, disconcerting and detached.
I also couldn’t figure out WHO Mrs. Lovett was supposed to be. A slut? A whore? A lonely woman? A piemaker? This incarnation of Mrs. L make me think that she had never held a rolling pin or ground a pound of flesh. I feel like I’m missing something huge. Either the emperor is wearing the most exquisite costume ever made, or he’s naked.
Some of the stagecraft was astonishingly well put together – and I’m not someone who has a strong need to see every production exactly the same as the first she every saw – but the production in total left me oddly cold and unmoved. Well, it was a cold night. And during intermission the babysitter called to say that Hannah felt sick and thought she might be ill. When I spoke with Hannah I could tell that she wasn’t entirely sick, just feeling sad, needing a hug, and probably had a little bit of an upset stomach but nothing too terrible. We decided to stay to the end of the play (after all, it’s only our 2nd night out this entire year…) and later when we called home we were told that Hannah was “feeling better” and was asleep in bed.
My husband enjoyed the show – it was his first introduction to Sweeny Todd – but he mentioned that he did feel a little lost and wished the interpretation were a bit more literal. I suppose I’m now officially a suburban, middle age and middle class hausfrau. I’m so non-cutting edge that I break my yarn instead of using scissors.
… and speaking of yarn …
Finally back to work – I have almost two months of uninterrupted home time to work on the calendar, wire book (finishing some loose ends), men who knit and my next book – Romantic Knits. Yes, a new book – and I’m so excited to be putting together a collection of pretty, romantic, sometimes silly but always flattering pieces. YEE-Haw!
My immediate deadlines are:
1. Rework some charts for the knitting with wire book
2. Work up some samples of techniques for same for the technical illustrator
3. Put all of the crochet submissions into my database for 2007 and get back to EVERY designer who’s written to me!
4. Finish the sweaters for Men Who Knit
5. Send my worksheet notes for same to the technical editor
6. Send photos of the completed pieces to the same
7. Put together my class & create handouts for the Butter & Jam Cardigan for TNNA (late Jan)
You know, life is good when you’re busy. I’m someone for whom being bored is a fate worse than anything else, so busy is – with all of the stresses – a wonderful blessing. I had a chat with a good friend who lives a block away yesterday. His son and my kids went to school together until this year, so we’d stand at the bus stop every day and his wife is the most excellent poetess, Holly Scalera (the poet for those of us who hate poetry…)
Anway, Tomm kindly rode by on his plow and cleared off our driveway after the 6″ of snow Thursday night and as we were chatting he mentioned that he’s so busy he hardly has time to do anything but work (yet he found time to come and plow for us, which is so great!)
I told him I know just how he feels. And we’re both grateful, because just two years ago we were both worried about how we’d keep busy enough to pay the mortgage. I’d much rather be worried about making deadlines, that’s for sure!