Stitch in Time: A Knitting Cabaret

There’s niche and then there’s the niche of the niche. That’s what you get in Melanie Gall’s Stitch in Time: A Knitting Cabaret. The niche part is that she’s singing songs that mention knitting. The niche-niche is that they’re all from World Wars I and II.

Stitch in Time has the potential to become a 'purl' of an evening of cabaret.

It’s a nice niche, if you’re into both the craft of knitting and warbly century-old tunes such as I Wonder Who’s Knitting For Me and Sittin’ With Your Knittin’. Haven’t heard of those? No surprise, as Gall, a Canadian now living in New York City, bills her show as a collection of ‘lost wartime knitting songs.’ She sings 18 of them in her well-trained, clear-trilling operatic soprano.

After about the sixth one that rhymes ‘knittin’’ with ‘mitten’ and ‘kitten,’ the tunes do start to blend. Glenn Miller’s Knit One, Purl Two is a standout; the others are mostly pleasant but forgettable musical frippery. There are reasons songs like Since Kitten’s Knittin’ Mittens go ‘lost.’ They weren’t worth saving.

Gall also drops a stitch or two in pacing as she tries to find cute things to say about these silly ditties. Sometimes she sounds almost bitter about performing in a pub basement (hey, let’s pretend it’s an air-raid shelter!) instead of at the Metropolitan Opera. But she’s a capable and friendly presenter, playing to an audience invited to bring their needles and wool along. She also provides some starter knitting for anyone who feels the need to garter or stockinette.

With a broader range of better songs (there are some modern tunes that weave knitting into their lyrics, if she wants to stick with the theme) and brighter transition material, Stitch in Time has the potential to become a 'purl' of an evening of cabaret.

Reviews by Elaine Liner

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Excitement! Drama! Romance! And... knitting? A scintillating evening of the lost knitting songs of WWI and WWII from Canada, Britain, America and France. Feel free to bring your knitting (or crochet) and stitch along to these funny, poignant, toe-tapping, needle-clicking tunes. Come out and have a ball! Stitch in Time presents over a dozen historic songs, including: More Power to Your Knitting, Nell!, The Knitting Itch and Knocking at the Knitting Club. ***** (Ignite FM).**** (Edmonton Sun). 'Best musical' (CBC.ca). 'Divine voice ... Highly recommended' (FringeReview.co.uk). 'Cute, charming and funny' (PlankMagazine.com).