Watch Saturdays at midnight April 2 - May 14, 2016 on WMHT TV
THE KATE is a new national music series with artistic cred and a bit of edge, infused with the essence of the unabashed, spirited Katharine Hepburn. The headline-heavy first season features artists who follow the Hepburnian philosophy that “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.“ Ann Wilson, Rickie Lee Jones, and former Saturday Night Live star Ana Gasteyer, are all breaking new ground in their already-established careers during THE KATE performances. These artists are iconoclasts, and their performances capture a particular feeling, an artistic vibe located just outside of the mainstream: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ann Wilson pushes her Heart aside and sings the blues; Rickie Lee Jones speaks openly about growing older in the music world; Gasteyer takes a turn as a sassy singer, weaving in comedic moments throughout. The intimacy of the venue means that THE KATE performers have a risky closeness to their material--and their audience. British song interpreter Barb Jungr and Broadway star Jarrod Spector round out the season, with the final artist to be announced soon. Insightful interviews with the performers open each episode, taped live at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, an intimate 250-seat venue in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Ana Gasteyer | Saturday, April 2
When Ana Gasteyer steps up to the mic, she evokes the swagger of an era when a lady ruled a nightclub and an audience knew they were in for a good time. Her performance is a perfect blend of the tongue-in -cheek comedy you can expect from a formerSaturday Night Live cast member combined with the vocal range of a seasoned Broadway star. Gasteyer’s eclectic range of covers and reimagined classics like “One Mint Julep” and “I Wish Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” to her surprisingly smooth rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”, are the perfect showcase of her musical chops and comedic genius. Gasteyer tells stories with humor, heartbreak…and just a little splash of soda. The patter is real, the themes adult, the lyrics are timeless, and the music swings like crazy!
One Mint Julep
Cheek to Cheek
Book of Love
Proper Cup of Coffee
Before He Cheats
I Wish I could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
Rickie Lee Jones | Saturday, April 9
Two-time Grammy-winner Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1978 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums. Her latest release, The Other Side of Desire,explores a new chapter in her life--her first album of new original material in ten years. In The Kate, Rickie Lee's performance provides a window into the meteoric rise and fade of the early days and the soul-stirring place her song writing emanates from now. Charming the audience with fan favorites like “Chuck E’s In Love” and the playful new tune penned for her daughter, “Jimmy Choos,” to the haunting piano-driven ballad “Infinity,” Rickie Lee Jones shares with audiences her signature bravado.
It Must Be Love
I Wasn’t Here
Chuck E’s In Love
Feet On The Ground
Christmas In New Orleans
J’ai Connais Pas
Jarrod Spector | Saturday, April 16
Actor and Broadway tenor Jarrod Spector channels the experience of playing 1500+ performances of Frankie Valli in Jersey Boysto deliver a dazzling storyboard of male vocalists from classic to modern. Experience the unstoppable energy of hits like “Good Vibrations,” “Uptown Girl” and “Walk Like a Man” paired with swoon-worthy renditions of “Maybe I’m Amazed” and Enrico Caruso’s “Una Furtiva.” Spector’s reverent interpretations illustrate his closeness to the material and his deep respect for these influential artists: Freddie Mercury, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, The Beach Boys, and of course, Frankie Valli. From “Star Search” to failed TV pilots, Jarrod’s story is told with humor, tender moments and powerful singing.
With a Little Help From My Friends
Present to Past Medley: When I Was Your Man /But I Gotta Have Faith / Good Vibrations
Sweet Home Chicago
Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing
Good Golly Miss Molly / Tutti Frutti
Maybe I’m Amazed
Una Furtiva / Somebody to Love
Walk Like a Man / Uptown Girl
C'mon Marianne / Beggin'
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Ann Wilson | Saturday, April 23
Ann Wilson’s musical gifts are legendary; she has created a truly impressive body of work with her equally talented sister Nancy as part of the rock band Heart. Her voice has moved legions of fans and great singers across every genre of music. Now, Ann is doing something she’s always dreamed of--performing the songs she's been thinking about all these years in “The Ann Wilson Thing” (TAWT) on The Kate. TAWT is the equivalent of a mix tape gifted from Ann Wilson to her fans, providing an intimate perspective on her musical influences and inspiration. Songs like Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” Jeff Buckley’s “I Want Someone Badly” and Ike and Tina’s “River Deep Mountain High” prove that Ann Wilson is a master—fearless on stage. Her impassioned vocals and eclectic song choices are drenched in devotion to the song or the artist of origin and often sprinkled with personal innuendo.
For What It’s Worth
A Fool No More
Every Grain of Sand
Isolation (off her Hope & Glory album-John Lennon)
We Gotta Get out of This Place
I Want Someone Badly
You Caught My Eye
River Deep Mountain High
Ain’t No Way
The Danger Zone
Barb Jungr | Saturday, April 30 & Saturday, May 7
Award-winning British songstress Barb Jungr is renowned for her vocal style, interpretation of song and radical approach to arrangements. Barb’s latest musical exploration, Shelter From The Storm, is a masterful take on healing songs arranged with the help of legendary jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood. Experience Leonard Cohen’s “Sisters of Mercy,” Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” through Barb Jungr’s provocative musical lens. It doesn’t take long to fall captive to Jungr’s cheeky British humor and charisma brilliantly paired with the conceptual weight and lyrical depth of her song selections. Jungr and Hobgood are joined by bassist Michael Olatuja (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan) and percussionist Wilson Torres (In The Heights,The New York Philharmonic).
Shelter From The Storm
Stars Lazy but Shining
Sisters of Mercy
All Along The Watchtower
Life on Mars
Rita Wilson | Saturday, May 14
Rita Wilson may be well-known for her acting roles (It’s Complicated, Sleepless in Seattle, CBS’s The Good Wife, HBO’s Girls)and producing chops (Mamma Mia!, My Big FatGreek Wedding) but her performance on The Kate proves that this Hollywood Hills native has a deep affection for songwriting and the joy that music brings. Rita Wilson charms the audience with her stories of growing up in the 60’s and 70’s—from teasing jingles from products like Charlie Perfume and Jordache Jeans—to her renditions of era classics like “Please Come to Boston” and “Wichita Lineman” from her CD of cover songs AM/FM.Wilson’s repertoire is varied mixing the influence of California pop on songs like “Girls Night In” and “I’m Guilty,”co-written with famed songwriters for her self-titled album, to a heartwarming homage of the sounds of Laurel Canyon and her admiration for Joni Mitchell. Rita Wilson demonstrates her vocal abilities, love of a good song and sense of humor, including her impressions of series muse Katharine Hepburn. She encourages the audience to have a good time and come “Along for the Ride”.
Along for the Ride
Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues
Medley: Will You Love Me Tomorrow / Love Has No Pride/ River
Girls Night In
What You See Is What You Get
Please Come to Boston
Angel of the Morning