There is one thing that can be said, without a doubt, about the play More power to your knitting, Nell! Melanie Gall has a beautiful voice. It rings in the small space of the Stash Needle Art Lounge and it’s quite lovely. The thing is, Gall is only singing about knitting. And there is only so much interest and energy that can be drawn for knitting.
The play tells of Sadie Goldstein and her big dreams of being a star. She achieves this dream by singing about how the women are knitting for their soldiers in the second world war, even though she confesses to the fact that she hates knitting. The first thought that came to mind was, at least we have something in common.
The story continues unfolding, Sadie receives letters from her fans, one in particular that becomes more special than the others. It’s from a soldier named Frank and Sadie begins knitting for him. They get engaged and he returns to fight in the war and Sadie continue to sit and knit and wait.
It’s a lot of that. Sitting and knitting and waiting. Which is what the audience does quite a bit. You can bring your own knitting to the play, or you can pretend to knit while at the play. Honestly, it would be the dullest musical theatre ever, if Gall wasn’t insanely charming. The engaging parts of the evening was her improvising with Al, an audience member in the front row and her ability to work with technical difficulties, (the music should start now, please). She clearly has an energetic personality and makes Sadie Goldstein interesting enough. I just wish she was singing and creating a narrative that was more interesting than knitting, especially given the fact that women did SO much more than knit during the second world war.
More power to your knitting, Nell! is part of the Calgary Fringe Festival. It plays 5 more times in the festival. More information is available online.