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Wit and wisdom flood Dixie Swim Club


Show follows five friends through four decades

by: COURTESY PHOTO: THEATRE IN THE GROVE - Lexie (Patti Speight) arrives unexpectedly at the house where the swim-club friends are holding their annual weekend retreat and catches Sheree (Jeanna Van Dyke) dancing around the house with wild abandon.For the finale of its 43rd season, Theater in the Grove will present “The Dixie Swim Club,” a comedy-drama about five Southern women who reunite every August for a weekend free from husbands, children and jobs.

Over the years, the members of the Dixie Swim Club grow to rely on each other more. Their weekends together are marked by jokes and insights on the various challenges of life — men, sex, marriage, children, divorce and the prospect of growing old. Before long, fate crashes down on one of their lives, further solidifying their friendship and highlighting the power of teamwork.

Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten and directed by Jeanine Stassens, the friendships portrayed in “The Dixie Swim Club” start on a college swim team and last through the rest of their lives. To stay in touch, the five women agree to get together every summer for a long weekend at a beach cottage on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. There they catch up, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives as only old friends can. The play focuses on four of those weekends, spread out over a 33-year period.

The cast is made up of five “unforgettable” women, according to TITG spokesman Ken Centers:

Sheree, played by Jeanna Van Dyke, the spunky team captain, desperately tries to maintain her organized and perfect life, and continues to be the group’s leader.by: COURTESY PHOTO - Follow these five friends on their journeys after college.

Dinah, played by Anne Kennedy, the wisecracking overachiever, is a career dynamo. Her victories in the courthroom are in stark contrast to the frustrations of her personal life.

Lexie, played by Patti Speight, pampered and outspoken, is determined to hold on to her looks and youth as long as possible. She enjoys being married — over and over and over again.

The self-deprecating and acerbic Vernadatte, played by Virginia Kincaid, is acutely aware of the dark cloud that hovers over her life and has decided to just give in and embrace the chaos.

Finally, sweet, eager-to-please Jeri Neal, played by Tanja Crouch, experiences a late entry into motherhood that takes them all by surprise.