May 2, 2014
01:04 PM
Arts & Entertainment

Pure Prairie League to Mark 1,000th Show at The Kate; 5th Anniversary

Pure Prairie League to Mark 1,000th Show at The Kate; 5th Anniversary

Pure Prairie League

This is a big year for The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, which is named after the beloved actress who lived in town and affectionately known as The Kate.

Not only does 2014 mark the five-year anniversary of the theater’s opening, but the 1,000th performance on The Kate’s stage will take place tomorrow evening, Saturday May 3.

The legendary American country-rock band Pure Prairie League (PPL) will perform with special guest Craig Fuller, who helped found PPL and wrote the band's most famous hit, Amie. (listen here.) Fuller went on to found the group American Flyer and eventually joined Little Feat.

(PPL's album "Bustin' Out," right.)

PPL first formed in the 1960s, and toured heavily through the next two decades. The band reunited for the first time in the 1990s and again in 2004, and have been touring steadily ever since. (Read the band's full history here.)

Saturday's performance will bring the last five years at the Old Saybrook venue full circle. PPL gave The Kate’s first performance on Sept. 11, 2009.

“[PPL] means a lot to The Kate because they were the first,” says Executive Director Chuck Still. 

The Kate (below) opened its doors five years ago to bring a diverse array of programming—music, dance, theater and movies—to the Connecticut shoreline.

“Our first mission statement that we wrote was about diversity and variety of the performing arts,” says Still. “The town of Old Saybrook put a lot of money into the building …When the whole town, through bonding, paid for it, you want to provide something for everyone. We’ve always prided ourselves on that.”

The five-year-anniversary celebration will culminate at The Kate’s annual gala in August. This year’s theme is “Country Swing” and New Found Road, a Tennessee country swing band and longtime favorite at The Kate, will perform. 

Still says he’s “very proud” of what The Kate has been able to accomplish in the last five years.

“We have in many ways exceeded beyond what I imagined we would do, what the board imagined we would do.”

Tickets for The Kate’s 1000th show cost $50. For tickets and more information, see the website at www.katharinehepburntheater.org

Meanwhile, learn more about how Old Saybrook's most famous resident became the namesake for its beloved performance space. Also be sure to check out the small museum dedicated to Hepburn. "The world shared the talent of Ms. Hepburn, but it was the people of Old Saybrook who knew her not as international star, but neighbor," says the museum page on The Kate's website. "That is what makes the Center special and it is this connection the museum emphasizes with memorabilia and reminiscences about Kate, our neighbor and friend."

Contact me by email at khartman@connecticutmag.com and follow me on Twitter, and connect with Connecticut Magazine on Twitter, onFacebook and on Google +

Pure Prairie League to Mark 1,000th Show at The Kate; 5th Anniversary

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