Laughs and love in ‘Dixie Swim Club’

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com From left, Jeri Neal (Wanda Palmer), Vernadette (Tina Velasquez) and Dinah (Marlene Hannon) fondly recall their swim club days on a summer retreat in Baldwyn Main Street Players' "Dixie Swim Club."

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
From left, Jeri Neal (Wanda Palmer), Vernadette (Tina Velasquez) and Dinah (Marlene Hannon) fondly recall their swim club days on a summer retreat in Baldwyn Main Street Players’ “Dixie Swim Club.”

By Sheena Barnett

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Time adds a wrinkle or two, but never tarnishes the friendship of five women in “Dixie Swim Club.”

Vernadette, Sheree, Dinah, Lexie and Jeri Neal were all on their college swim team and get together once a year at the Outer Banks to remember the good old days and make new memories. “Dixie Swim Club,” presented by Baldwyn Main Street Players, follows the women for 33 years of friendship, marriages, divorces, parenthood and aging.

“It’s a good comedy to end our season on. It has a beachy, summer theme,” said director Clark Richey. “It’s about how they change over time, but how their friendship lasts throughout time.”

Richey saw the Tupelo Community Theatre production of “Dixie Swim Club” a few years ago and was so impressed, he knew he wanted to produce it at Baldwyn.

“We have five super actresses in this,” Richey said. “There are heartfelt emotions and a lot of laughs.”

Marlene Hannon stars as the overachieving lawyer Dinah. “Dixie Swim Club” is her first play, but she can relate to Dinah’s drive to succeed.

“I love, love, love the story of keeping friendships strong,” she said. “If you love chick flicks, this is the perfect chick flick. The friendships pull you in, and it’s so funny.”

Vernadette works as hard as Dinah, but can’t get ahead in life thanks to a streak of bad luck.

Vernadette is played by the Players’ set designer, Tina Velasquez, who’s pulling double duty for this production.

“She has a black cloud following her, but she’s very comedic,” she said. “(Playing her) has been really fun.”

She said audiences will find at least one character they can relate with in “Dixie Swim Club.”

“These five women are all very different, but they’re very special women,” she said. “So much of this is true to life.”

sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

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DIM THE LIGHTS

What: Baldwyn Main Street Players present “Dixie Swim Club”

When: 7 p.m. tonight, Saturday, Monday, May 8 and 10; 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Claude Gentry Theatre, Baldwyn

Cost: $12

Info: (662) 678-3931

“Dixie Swim Club” cast: Karen Davis (Sheree Hollinger); Marlene Hannon (Dinah Grayson); Rothann Richey (Lexie Richards); Wanda Palmer (Jeri Neal McFeeley); Tina Velasquez (Vernadette Simms)