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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Monday, November 27, 2006

3 down . . . 7 to go

It is day seven here in Jersey Boys techland. We have gone three days of our ten days straight. Seven more days before our next day off!! We've teched all the way to the finale. Pretty darn good for 6 days!! Today is the first day that I got to sleep in. I don't have to be in the theatre until noon (yeah!). The average day has been 10:00 am - midnight.

The theatre staff is great, and tech has gone pretty smoothly. Here's our fab prop crew standing in tiny, cozy, cramped stage left:

Stage left is very small, and we have no crossover (an onstage path from stage right to stage left). Sometimes we have a blackout drop in that allows for an onstage crossover, but the dreaded words here at tech (especially when it comes time for a quick costume change) are "you have to take the basement crossover". Here's a picture of our lovely basement cross:

It is where you will find actors running at top speed to get from one side of the stage to the other. It is also the access to our elevator lift. The lift that carries up all the mics, some of our furniture, and of course the Four Seasons in the final number.

The offices are also in the basement. Ours is a room just large enough for our two road boxes, and a small table. That's one of the other Stage Managers, Tripp, sitting in our tiny space. Note the talking Crusty the Clown doll. He goes everywhere with me. My pal Tom gave Crusty to me, and my fellow SM Tripp ADORES it!

The company manager's office is right next door. It's even tinier than ours, but there's only two of them, and there are four stage managers. Here's Doug & Michael in their office

The road boxes are kind of instant offices. Just open em up, pull up a chair, and you're good to go.

The dressing rooms are on the two levels above the stage. They're small, but there's a lot of them. Here's one of our ladies, Melissa Strom, in her room:

Here's the men's floor. The hallway is so tight that when two doors are open at once, they hit. Here are the men of Jersey Boys lured out of their rooms to say hi.

In the world of knitting, I've almost finished the back of my winterwonderland sweater. I manage to get a row or two done at dinner break each night.

As in most theatres it doesn't take long to find the other knitters. I found out last night that our hair supervisor is an expert knitter. One of our actresses, Sandy DeNise is a big crocheter. Here's Sandy fresh from the hair room, half nurse, half Sandy:

Erich Bergen, one of our Four Seasons, mother is a huge knitter & crafter. She has her own podcast. I think it's called CraftCast.

(Erich Bergen)

That's all the news from San Francisco. More later. Back to techland.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

We've finished our first three days of tech on Jersey Boys here in San Fran. All in all things are going pretty well. We are slightly ahead of schedule. The local crew at the Curran are FANTASTIC, some of the best I've ever worked with. We got up to the Sherry/Big Girls/Walk Like a Man sequence. For those of you who know the show, it's a huge tech section of the show, so it was the perfect place to stop before our day off. It is NOT something you want to be teching at 10:30 pm. It is the perfect place to start after a day off.

The producers are treating us to a Thanksgiving lunch today at some restaurant. It will be over by 3:00 pm, then we will still have our evening off. Then comes our 10 days without a day off (yikes!).

My trunk (full of yarn) arrived a couple of days ago, and I am finally all unpacked at my little apartment. We're staying at the Oakwood apartments. Here's my room, half way through unpacking (thank god for those space saver bags!!).

My knitting life has been restricted to the six hours on the plane. I cast on for a new sweater on the plane. It's a big, soft, chunky sweater from last winters Vogue.

I cast on with my e-bay purchase of Rowan Polar (why oh why was this delicious yarn discontinued???) It's a soft and yummy blend of Wool & Alpaca. Here's what I got done on the plane. Some of the time was spent sleeping and working, so I didn't get a ton done.

Now it's time to get a little more work done before Thanksgiving lunch. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and family. It will be a while before I will be able to post again. See you all after we open!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I left my heart . . .

in Park Slope Brooklyn (really)

So, my bags are packed, my friends are coming over in 15 minutes for my goodbye dinner, the car picks me up at 9:15 am tomorrow, and then . . . it's "San Francisco here I come".

I finished my Spring Fling FINALLY. Not really spring anymore, but I was desperate to cast off one damn thing before leaving for the Jersey Boys tour.

I have to pack my cable scarf project, because I don't think they allow cable needles on the plane. I'm casting on a big chunky sweater out of vogue magazine. I'll photo it later.

Today we took our last walk in Prospect Park (sob).

okay, my friends are at the door. More later.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

How much yarn CAN you fit into a trunk

It's almost here. The time to leave for god knows how long. I leave a week from today - oy.

Last week we had a little goodbye party at one of our fave local restaurants, Long Tan. It was a mellow, nice evening with a couple dozen friends. Thanks to all who braved the subway to get to Brooklyn. A big shout out to my pal Beth Leavel (Tony winner for Drowsy Chaperone - can't help it, I'm so proud) who came out to Brooklyn for the FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE . . . girl, ya gotta get out more.

(me & Beth - god I look short!)

Today I've been on the computer doing show paperwork from 9:00 - 1:30 pm. Now it's time for a quick post, and to start to pack the trunk.

I started to set out all the yarn I was going to take, and I realized it would fill my whole damn trunk. Ah, the Stage Manager's hamper is the way to go. Thanks to a giant tote that I got when working at Lincoln Center, I managed to cram 4 or 5 future projects in one place. Thank goodness for 5 tour hampers!

The trunk will hold my beloved TIVO, the next few knitting projects that I need right away, needles, spinning stuff, some knitting books, shoes, coats etc. . .

I finished spinning the roving my pal Francesca brought me back from Rhinebeck. It's gorgeous! I'd love to leave it a single ply, but I don't know how spinners get all the twist out if they don't ply it. Any suggestions all you spindle guys and gals???

Thursday, November 09, 2006

knitting for spatial justice

This will mean more to New Yorkers. . . Knitting on the subway.

We've all seen them, we've all sat next to them, or tried. The people on the subway, usually men, sometimes women, who just take up more space than they should. On the newer subway trains, the bench between the door and the post seats three, normal human buttocks. Usually when I see those men that sit with their legs spread wide open trying to take up two seats, I say "excuse me", take my seat next to them, force their legs closed with mine and enjoy my rightful seat on the subway. Today there was a woman who decided, in rush hour, to take up two spaces. I said "excuse me", she moved two inches, I squoze between her sizable self and the post. There was still 4 or 5 inches to her other side, which she chose to keep open. I took out my knitting, and in the normal action of knitting, knocked her arm (that was hanging directly over me), with every stitch. She said "why you knocking into my arm, do you have to do that?" I replied with a smile that would melt butter "no I don't, you're free to move over the 5 inches to your right". A few more stitches and she started to slowly inch to the right. By the end of the row, she was taking up the space of one large person.

Tonight we ended rehearsal early so our director, Des McAnuff could attend the dedication of his cartoon at Sardi's. I opted out of going so I could get a little work done. Now it is 8:15 pm and I am stopping work for the night YEAH!!!! I'm going to do a little spinning, knitting, watch some TV and try to spend the night not thinking about Jersey Boys.

We got our trunks delivered today. I could fill the whole thing with the yarn I need to take for my upcoming projects. Thank god that Stage Manager's also get a touring hamper and a road box. Knitters do not travel light!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The show that ate my knitting

At the end of my second week of rehearsal for Jersey Boys, I've barely had time to knit (or sleep or eat). For those of you who have never had the joy (and I mean that both genuinely and sarcastically at the same time!) of working on a Broadway show or National Tour . . . it is 15 hours a day, 6 days a week. Today is my day off. It's 3:30 pm and I'm finally sitting down to do something other than work.

The subway is my time to knit. If I time it just right, I skip the 8:17 train (packed) and take the 8:20 am 2/3 subway line from beautiful Brooklyn to Terrible Times Square. I can usually get a seat, and get at least a few rows in. The ride home is usually reserved for a 20 minute subway nap (the BEST) before arriving home and hitting the computer to work on the show.

I've made some progress on my Spring Fling:

Just need to finish up the sleeves. I work on that on the subway, because I can do the lace pattern from memory. The cable scarf for the Red Scarf project is coming along a bit slower. I still need to refer to the cable chart, because it's my first cable job.

The other thing I finally had time to do today was work a bit in the garden. It was time to take in the last of the vegs. What cracks me up about our late season vegetables is the scale. They are either too small . . . the ones that started to grow last, and will not have time to finish growing before the frost, or HUGE. There were beans that I missed when harvesting the last batch, and then the GIANT potato I dug up after getting rid of the sweet potato vines.

Tiny eggplants and tiny beets:

Crazy huge green beans and sweet potato:
Right now my life feels like those vegtables, totally out of scale. Too much work, not enough - anything else. I'm living for 5 weeks from now. Then the show will be opened, I'll be settled in in San Francisco, and knitting again. One of the cast members knits, and there are two other women who are anxious to learn. We're all going to go to Chicks with Stix, a Monday night knitting group that meets up in a bar - brilliant!