062520-du-mural

Dr. Bob Palmer of Bethany, Oklahoma, puts the final touches Wednesday on the mural he painted on the south wall of the Junction City Little Theater annex building.

Saturday evening from 7:30 until 9:30 p.m. outside the Junction City Little Theater at 135 W Seventh St., the still of the evening will be broken by song.

An outdoor event called meet me at the mural: a night of music under the stars hopes to bring some light to the night — and back to Junction City’s performing arts scene.

The event is free to attend.

People are invited to bring their lawn chairs and take in the music for a couple hours.

A variety of musical performers are lined up to provide the free, live music for the evening, including area group the Church Ladies. Mary Louise Stahl, who is a member of acoustic group the Church Ladies, helped to organize the event. The group has worked extensively, she said, with the Little Theater in the past.

Stahl said the Junction City Little Theater board of directors invited her group to perform as the headliners for the concert, where they will perform a roughly 45-minute set.

The Church Ladies are a harmony-based group that feature a mandolin and a guitar. They cover a variety of genres, including oldies, gospel, and country and western songs.

“We’re looking forward to singing and performing and playing,” Stahl said. “I think people can look forward to hearing some of their golden oldies and some of their favorites. Getting back with people — connecting with the public — is really what makes us tick."

The program will be filled out with other singers who have worked with the Little Theater in the past.

“In my opinion, it’s the Little Theater trying to say ‘we’re alive and well, we’re still here, and we’re going to have this outdoor event at this beautiful new mural,’” Stahl said.

The City of Junction City has granted the performers permission to use the parking lot off the side of the Little Theater where a mural was painted earlier this year. The area will be well-marked and lit during the event, according to Stahl. The alley will be closed off and a small stage will be put up.

“It’s not a rock concert by any means,” she said. “But it’s free."

Individually wrapped baked goods and canned adult beverages will be available for purchase during the concert. All proceeds generated will go to benefit the Little Theater.

Because the event is being held outdoors, social distancing will be an option during the concert and people will be asked to adhere to it. Attendees are also asked to wear masks.

“The board of directors went to the city and they went to the health department, so they have done everything according to regulation,” Stahl said.

She said she feels confident attendees will be safe at the concert.

“It’s an event that people can feel very safe about attending … I think it’s a great thing that they’re doing and I think people can feel very safe,” Stahl said.

This event takes place in the wake of multiple shows by the Little Theater and the C.L. Hoover Opera House being canceled due to COVID-19.

“I’m looking forward to being able to perform again in public,” Stahl said. “I think this will be a really nice venue. It’s fun to celebrate that mural … I am a person that loves to do music and loves to perform."

Stahl, who had been on track to serve as music director for a Little Theater showing of Mama Mia, said Mama Mia was still on, but had been pushed to roughly a year from now. Though there are a handful of shows planned for the spring of 2021, the coming seasons will likely be drastically diminished.

Saturday evening’s event hopes to mitigate that somewhat.

“I think people are looking forward to being together again, even though you are six feet apart or even more than that,” Stahl said. “You can wave, you can talk, you can share a snack and a drink together and sit in your lawn chair and hear some good, live music. I think people really are hungry for that — I really do."

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