‘The Dixie Swim Club’ opens May 26

Southern Ladies take centre stage in comedy at Centre 64

Mike Redfern

Five southern ladies, former college friends and members of a college swim team, share the trials and tribulations of their lives when they meet annually in a cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Their revelations are both poignant and hilarious and are the stuff of which the comedy, The Dixie Swim Club, is made. In scenes spread over 33 years, this play by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, playwrights of The Golden Girls and other stage and television hits, takes us through four of these annual reunions, revealing the changes in each of their lives.

Kimberley’s Off Centre Players bring this very funny comedy to the stage of the Theatre at Centre 64 for a 5-day run from May 26 to May 30. The curtain goes up each evening at 7.30, door open at 7 p.m.

The play features Karen Vold-Oaakley in her debut stage role as Sheree, former swim team captain and the group’s leader, desperately trying to maintain her “perfect” life. Joanne Wilkinson plays wisecracking, overachieving lawyer Dinah, dealing with the frustrations of her private life. Michelle McCue is pampered and outspoken Lexie, trying to hang on to her looks and youth, and Nola Doiron is self-deprecating, acerbic Vernadette who, faced with a dark cloud over her life, decides to embrace chaos. The cast is completed by Michelle LeMay who plays eager-to-please Jeri Neal, who ends up surprising them all.

Director Brigitte Franyo, who last directed Murder by the Book seven years ago, is excited about this all female production. “The ladies have worked so hard to pull together a top notch show,” she says.

Franyo has worked hard herself, also stage managing the show and helping build the set. Assisting behind the scenes are producer Terry Macham, set builders Terry Miller, Lloyd Lancaster, Tom Martin, set decorators Tylene Turner, Liz Adler, along with cast members Nola and Joanne, property assistants Marge Lasdigne, Margaret Moe, and Lannie Clarkson, and back stage crew Jaime Funk.

Tickets for the show are available for $15 in advance from the Snowdrift Café or at the door.