The ongoing play on stage at Citrus County’s Art Center Theater is a wonderfully sensitive piece intertwined with comedic phrases.
“The Champagne Charlie Stakes”, by Bruce Graham and directed by Mac Harris, tackles the universal subject of the adult child’s acceptance of their aging parents’ mortality with sensitivity and gentle humor.
Aging Champagne Charlie (Edwin Martin) and his 53-year-old wife, Mary Lee, (your servant, Sharon Harris) enthusiastically enjoy a day at the racetracks where their bookmaker friend Jackie (Collette Watson) hosted the sixth race of the day to be named in honor of Charlie, an adorable track regular. Their daughter Mary (M Rollins Fox) and her fiancé Paul (Carlos Tavener) joined them for the special occasion.
The lively exchange of comedic lines from all the characters throughout the play elicits laughter and applause. The laughter is then skillfully contrasted with brief touching moments about the realities of our mortality as their daughter, Mary, learns to accept that her parents have aging conditions.
The remaining performances are on 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. on February 19. Friday and Saturday show times are at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinee hours are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $21 and available online at ArtCenterTheatre.org or call the box office at 352-746-7606; open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. The theater is at 2644 N. Annapolis Ave, Hernando.
Also on stage March 1 at 7 p.m. is internationally acclaimed fingerstyle guitarist Richard Gilwewitz. A favorite son of Citrus County, he included the Art Center Stage as one of his touring events for many years.
A special treat for this time of year for those who enjoy hearing his extraordinary skill in creating the sound of two guitars on his 12 string guitar. You have to hear it to believe it. Tickets are $25 and are available as listed above.
Sharon Harris is the Past President of the Art Center of Citrus County and Ocala Art Group, an artist and signature member of APUSA, director and actress. She is currently a member of the boards of Acrylic Painters USA, the Ocala Art Group, and an art teacher at the Art Center of Citrus County.