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Comedian Ana Gasteyer shows off singing skills in PBS series

Former “SNL” actress Ana Gasteyer and her music director, Tedd Firth, on “The Kate” season premiere. Gasteyer shows a new side of herself as a singer. (Courtesy of Jonathan Olson)

Former “SNL” actress Ana Gasteyer and her music director, Tedd Firth, on “The Kate” season premiere. Gasteyer shows a new side of herself as a singer. (Courtesy of Jonathan Olson)

Ana Gasteyer became famous for her comedy on “Saturday Night Live.”

For years, she honed her comedy skills and found success in both TV and film.

But the entertainer knew there was more she wanted to do.

And now she’s done it.

Gasteyer is an accomplished singer and showcases her chops on the series “The Kate.”

“People don’t realize that I went to college to sing,” she says during a recent interview from her home in Brooklyn, N.Y. “When most people see me singing on stage, they are surprised. It’s great to be able to do that.”

Gasteyer’s episode on “The Kate” will air on PBS at 9 tonight.

“The Kate” is a national music series with artistic credibility 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.”

The first season features Heart’s Ann Wilson, Rickie Lee Jones and Gasteyer. The concerts are filmed in the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Conn.

“The approached me to do the show,” she says. “From what I understand the series is to honor unconventional women.”

In her performance, Gasteyer pays homage to the nightclub acts of the Roaring ’20s. Her set consists of songs such as “Book of Love,” “Crazy People,” “Proper Cup of Coffee,” “Before He Cheats,” “Defying Gravity” and “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate.”

She says that in the ’20s, many entertainers had to be triple threats.

“They sang, danced and did comedy,” she says. “We don’t get that a lot today. It’s like when people see me sing and don’t realize that I have other forms of entertainment I love. They are confused at first.”

When Gasteyer isn’t filming “Lady Dynamite” for Netflix, she finds herself crisscrossing the country performing concerts.

The entertainer tries to find time to visit her parents in Corrales. Her father, Phil Gasteyer, is the former mayor of Corrales.

“It’s been way too long,” she says of visiting New Mexico. “It may have been last Christmas. I love going there for Christmas, and I find it particularly magical and spiritual.”

Gasteyer jokes that maybe she’ll perform a concert in New Mexico.

“If someone will have me, why not,” she says. “The only venue I really know is the chapel in Corrales. That’s where I got married.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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