Judy Collins to perform 2 shows at The Kate in Old Saybrook Dec. 22-23

December 19, 2017 GMT

Judy Collins is in that upper echelon of longtime performers who have weathered eras with stories to tell and a top-shelf talent. Which should be evident in two shows this weekend at a shrine to another great name, the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in also-lovely downtown Old Saybrook.

Collins, a child piano prodigy who became a folk singer and activist known to millions worldwide, was the subject of the Stephen Stills composition “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”

She hit the national scene with the Joni Mitchell tune “Both Sides, Now” and then “Someday Soon,” “Chelsea Morning” and her version of “Amazing Grace,” but her greatest hit was the Stephen Sondheim’s pensive and beautiful “Send in the Clowns,” which won her a Grammy Award. She has recorded 50 albums in various genres.

A real survivor at 78, Collins has outlasted not only polio as a child and tuberculosis as a young adult but alcoholism, depression, a bout with bulimia and the the devastating loss of her son to suicide in 1992, according to online reports. She has credited inspiration from her spiritual discipline for allowing her to continue in show biz for more than a half-century.

Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook. Friday, Dec. 22; Saturday, Dec. 23, both at 8 p.m. $78-$75. 877-503-1286