SHIRLEY -- Boston area singer/songwriter Krisanthi Pappas and her four-piece band put on a spectacular show at the Bull Run Friday night, channeling the bright lights of Broadway in a two-hour concert with all the right stuff.
Underwritten by the Shirley Charitable Foundation, which covered the performance cost, the event was both a stylish fundraiser for the First Parish Meeting House Preservation Society of Shirley and a big bang kickoff for its capital campaign.
The group seeks to raise $150,000 in donations over the next three years in its continuing mission to care for and use the handsome old church and former town meeting house as a community asset and event venue.
Now, for example, it needs a complete paint job, from wings to windowsills, columns to steeple. But this will be a major undertaking and not a job for volunteers, given the antique building's size and special needs, including proper removal of lead paint.
Beyond the structural basics -- from items already fixed to work pending -- there is much to be said about the old building and its importance to the town. About the parishes that called it home and the restored antique organ and historic library it houses; about its own unique history and contributions to history beyond the borders of the small town where it still stands, "the pride of Shirley's Historic Common" since 1773.
Memorable town events have been held there over the years, and ever since 1946, the Preservation Society has been lovingly taking care of the old building and for the last several years has extended its mission to encourage use of the Historic Meetinghouse for cultural, social and civic activities.
Much to be said, indeed. But other than a few short speeches early on, this evening was all about entertainment.
Pappas was an obvious hit, enticing the audience with every tune.
Highlighting the playbill, an array of toe-tappers from Broadway musicals spanning several generations created an electric performance that popped and crackled and lit up the room like fireworks decorating the sky on a sultry summer evening.
A ticket bought dinner, too, and from the look of the well-filled room, sales were brisk. Everybody seemed to have a great time and as society members were happy to point out, it was for a good cause.