MOUNT VERNON — Hers was the voice that sold over 80 million records and three Grammy Awards for hits like “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays.” After being called chubby as a teenager, she began dieting. When she slimmed down from 145 to 120 pounds, her friends and family praised her weight loss. It was only after her weight continued to plummet, dropping to a skeletal 90 pounds in the mid-1970s, that they realized her health was in jeopardy. At the time of her death, most people were unaware of a condition called anorexia.

This Thursday, meet Karen Carpenter as portrayed by Mary Spence. As part of the Chautauqua Series, Elixir Presents with support from the Ariel Foundation bring talented writers, actors and scholars to the community, presenting first person living history. The wide variety of historical people from George Washington to Lucille Ball, Mozart to Jim Morrison, the Chautauqua Series goes beyond the history books and presents as close to the real person as possible to enrich the community. The programs are donation based with all money collected going to the presenters on stage.

Mary Spence is making her Chautauqua debut with her presentation of Karen Carpenter and opening the program will be the acoustic music of Desmond Wall.

The Chautauqua will be presented at ThePlace@TheWoodward (101 S. Main St. in downtown Mount Vernon) on Thursday, at 7 p.m. Doors open at this first floor theater at 6 p.m.

For more information on this program and future programs in the series, visit or, or call 740-392-6102.



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