The evening was filmed on the Grammy winner's birthday, Oct. 2, 2013, and features music from his forthcoming Broadway musical The Last Ship. The production will premiere in Chicago in June prior to a Sept. 30 Broadway arrival at the Neil Simon Theatre. Read more about it here.
Sting also released an album of the same title last September. The "Great Performances" broadcast is set to air at 9 PM ET (check local listings).
According to PBS, "Drawing upon his childhood memories growing up in the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England, Sting provides a glimpse into the narrative of the play through the songs on the new album, inspired by the story of 'The Last Ship.'"
The concerts feature Kathryn Tickell on violin and Northumbrian pipes, Peter Tickell on violin and mandolin, Julian Sutton on the melodeon and vocalists The Wilson Family. Also featured is actor and singer Jimmy Nail, who will appear in the upcoming stage production, as well as Rob Mathes on acoustic guitar, piano and keyboards and background vocals.
The Last Ship
Coming Home's Not Easy
What Have We Got?
What Say You Meg?
Dead Man's Boots
Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint
Jock the Singing Welder
So To Speak
Show Some Respect
The Last Ship (Reprise)
As previously reported, The Last Ship features a score by Sting and a book by Tony Award winners Brian Yorkey and John Logan. Tony Award-winning director Joe Mantello (Wicked, Other Desert Cities, The Normal Heart) directs the musical.
Here's how the musical is billed: "Life in the English seafaring town of Wallsend has always revolved around the local shipyard, where the hardworking men of this close-knit community construct magnificent vessels with tremendous pride. But Gideon Fletcher dreams of a different future. He sets out to travel the world, leaving his life and his love behind. When Gideon returns home fourteen years later, he finds the shipyard’s future in grave danger and his childhood sweetheart engaged to someone else. As the men of Wallsend take their fate into their own hands and build a towering representation of the shared dream that has defined their existence, Gideon realizes that he left behind more than he could have ever imagined."