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It's a big little theater weekend

Community theaters are in full swing this weekend, with vampires, love-struck senators and innocent maids each taking their turn in the spotlight.

Gulf Islands Civic Theatre kicks off its fall season with The Sensuous Senator, tonight only as dinner theater at Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club.

Then The Sensuous Senator will move to the West Citrus Community Center at 8940 W Veterans Drive, Homosassa, for three weekends as straight theater.

"The Sensuous Senator is a prequel to The Amorous Ambassador, which we did earlier," said Jane Smith, the play's director.

Sen. Harry Douglas (Phil Isasi, reprising the role from The Amorous Ambassador), on the eve of announcing his candidacy for presidency, decides he needs even more excitement in his life.

"So he tries to seduce his neighbor, but she won't come over," Smith said.

Then he calls an escort service, and as the play progresses, he finds himself engaged with a call girl, his neighbor (who changed her mind) and a couple of Senate buddies.

"It's a bedroom farce," Smith said.

Tonight's show begins with dinner at 6 p.m., and the performance at 7. Call Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club at 746-6855. Ticket are $30. A postshow champagne reception with playwright Michael Parker and the cast costs an additional $15.

The cast list includes Mrs. Lois Douglas (Francene Barnett); Congressman Clyde Salt (Edwin Martin); Congressman Jack Maguire (Kevyn Arms); Betty Morrison (Bonita Martin); Veronica (Pam Schreck); Fiona (Dee Forsyth) and policeman (Steve Bagby).

The play then moves to the West Citrus Community Center with performances at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 3. Additional performances there are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9; 2 p.m. Oct. 10; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 and 16; and 2 p.m. Oct. 17.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Buy tickets at www.gulfislandscivictheater.com, or call 795-8009.

If you missed the April performance of Foiled by an Innocent Maid, you'll have another opportunity to enjoy the comedy today through Sunday at Sugarmill Woods Country Club, 1 Douglas St.

This old-fashioned melodrama centers around a family and the tragedy that befalls them. Typical of melodramas, good prevails over evil.

The play is directed by John DeSantis with the original cast: Beryl DiBattista as the innocent maid; Jim Smith, the villain; Felicia Kelly Smith, the mother; Anne Facer, the grandmother; Kathy Alexander, the neighbor; and Bob Hagaman, the stalwart young man.

The dinner theater performances start with a cocktail hour at 5, dinner from 5:30 to 7, and the performance at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.95 by reservation only. Call Angela at Sugarmill Woods Country Club at 382-3838, ext. 10.

The show is presented by Stagecrafters theater group of Sugarmill Woods.

Other community theater presentations this weekend include:

The mystery comedy Count Dracula has its final performances today through Sunday at Playhouse 19, 865 U.S. 19 S, Crystal River. Performances are at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Call the box office at 563-1333.

Steppin' Out, a tribute to Irving Berlin, continues through Oct. 10 at the Angel Cabaret Theatre, 5201 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. Shows are at 8 p.m. Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays, and 1:30 p.m. some Wednesdays and Saturdays. Doors open two hours before each show for dinner and cash wine and beer bar. Dinner and show are $35.50; show only, $21.95, plus tax. Call (727) 847-0019.

The Fabulous '50s and '60s Review continues through Sunday at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Shows are at 8 p.m. today, 1:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Doors open two hours before each show for buffet and full cash bar. Dinner and show are $39.50; show only, $28.45; children 12 and younger, $21.95 and $16.95, all plus tax and tip. Call (727) 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll free elsewhere 1-888-655-7469.

Guys and Dolls continues through Sunday at Richey Suncoast Theatre, 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. Shows are at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15. Box office is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Saturday and an hour before each show. Call (727) 842-6777.

Jorge Sanchez covers arts and entertainment in Citrus County. Call (352) 860-7313 or e-mail sanchezsptimes.com.

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