Review: The Dixie Swim Club

Saturday, June 4, 2016

By Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and
Jamie Wooten
Directed by Simone Barron
Production Stage Manager: Becky Plant
The Phoenix Theatre
June 3 – June 26, 2016

Review by Doug Gochanour

Set in a beach cottage in North Carolina’s Out Banks, there is an annual gathering of five special friends. These women were mates on their college swim team, and their continuing friendship has covered decades. This play offers glimpses into four of those sessions, with all the emotions that can bubble up within such affairs.

Since the gatherings require an aging process, it is interesting to see how this challenge is addressed. Characters are viewed four times between ages 44, and 77.

The women enjoy their week together as a time to get away from jobs, husbands, and / or children. They can recharge their lives, while catching up on all the events affecting each other’s lives. There are lots of laughs and a few tears, along with some real surprises. There is ample opportunity to meddle in the affairs, which are revealed, as well.

The cast gives an enjoyable performance, rich with humor. The characters are interestingly diverse. Sheree is the organizer of event activities, always trying to maintain a perfect life. Dinah is a successful attorney, but is less successful in her personal life. Jeri Neal enters a convent, but decides later in life, being a mother is more important to her.

Lexie is determined to hold on to her good looks as long as she can. She rotates through multiple husbands as the thrill of the chase gives her the most pleasure.

Vernadette seems to have many woes in her life, with personal injuries, poverty, family members in prison, and ultimately a declining memory. Melanie Calderwood, as Vernadette, is always quick to fire off very funny zingers. This is frequently the case at Phoenix Theatre, as Melanie is an audience favorite.

When she can no longer recall her life circumstances, Vernadette asks if the memories she has lost were happy. Her friends assure her that they were.

Entropy - the gradual decline into disorder - is the most pervasive and ultimate law of nature. Flesh-and-blood bodies are no match for it. In the final scene, the years have taken their toll on these ladies. You will be happy to see how their spirit of caring is still present, proving the enduring power of friendship.

The Phoenix Theatre Season 9 is now taking subscriptions. Don’t miss out on the fun!!

$19.00 adults, $16.00 Seniors/Military
Friday and Saturday 8:00 pm - Sunday 2:00 pm
Tickets by calling 206-533-2000 or email


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