One of the nicest ways to celebrate summer is to enjoy a musical concert outside. The Covid pandemic has been hard on theater-goers and performers alike, but an opportunity to enjoy an in-person cultural event is coming up.
The Pike County Historical Society at the Columns Museum has opened its lawn for a special event: an afternoon concert of Broadway tunes, including those of shows that had to shut down because of the pandemic. The concert will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29 (rain date Aug. 30).
Proceeds will benefit American Readers Theatre (ART), a not-for-profit performing arts organization that promotes literacy through dance, music, and drama.
It’s more than a fundraiser. “A major reason for doing this is there are no theaters open across the county for movies or plays, and we want to keep live performances thriving,” said ART director Jeffrey Stocker.
Sandy Stalter, the musical director, said “performers are still out there, and they’re dying to do something. We have plans in the future to do some online streaming performances, but for now, this is outdoors. People want to be outside, and we’re taking advantage of this beautiful location.”
Stalter and Stocker will abide by safety measures for the audience and performers. The audience will be asked to observe social distancing and wear masks.
There is limited space on the lawn but an area near the sidewalk can also be used. The performers will be on either side of the porch, and, except for the person singing, they will be wearing masks.
“I’m rehearsing with people individually online,” said Stalter. “We will have one dress rehearsal a week before the show. Mikes will be cleaned, and social distancing will be in place.”
She said there will be solos and duets -- the latter with family members -- performing songs from “Hamilton,” “Jagged Little Pill,” “Waitress,” and “The Prom,” but also tunes from older musicals.
Stocker and Stalter invite the public to bring a lawn chair, a blanket, and a mask and enjoy the music. There is a suggested donation of $20, but donors are welcome to give whatever they can afford. Take note that the museum will be closed, so bathroom facilities will not be available.
“Performers are still out there, and they’re dying to do something. People want to be outside, and we’re taking advantage of this beautiful location.” --Sandy Stalter, musical director