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Dixie Swim Club Presented By the Visalia Players

IN THE September 19 ISSUE

FROM THE 2018 Articles,
andTheatre
SECTIONS

by Nancy Holley

Special KRL coupon code at the end of this article.

Dixie Swim Club, as its title suggests, is set in the south and revolves around members of a swim club. To be exact, it is a delightful comedy that occurs in North Carolina involving members of a college swim team, who meet each year to reminisce, catch-up, and support each other.

The swim team’s faithful devotion to each other is exemplified in the snippets of their reunions which we get to enjoy 23, 28, 33, and 56 years after graduation. Times are not always easy or kind to these five very different women, but their situations are presented with humor. You will be smiling, laughing, and thinking – I’ve been there — or — I know I’ll be there one day.

theatre

Left to right: Samantha Muse, Mao Lee, and Jennifer Toledo

Jennifer Toledo, who portrays Dinah, sums up their relationship. “You find out who your friends really are when times are tough. I always tell people, ‘if I’m mean to you, then you know I love you.’ You see that kind of friendship in this show.” Dinah is a tough lawyer who has a softer side.

The “ring leader” of the group is Sheree, who has never lost her love of and need to be team captain. Robin Wessell-Hammond says of her character, “She is bossy and takes control of everything. As an example, when Jeri Neal goes into labor, Lexi quips, ‘you can’t—it’s not on Sheree’s schedule.’ ”

Jeri Neal became a nun after college, but obviously decided not to remain one! Actress Mao Lee notes that Jeri Neal is “really sweet and kind of oblivious to things most of the time. She’s like sunshine.” Lee is a business professional who has always been into her work, but said, “I wanted to do something different for myself. I have watched a lot of shows at the Ice House and decided to audition.”

theatre

Left to right: Robin Wessell-Hammond and Nicole Devol

Samantha Muse knew she wanted to participate in the show when she saw the Kings Players’ production in Hanford. “It was very funny. It happened that four other girls and I had just gotten back from a beach vacation! I related to each woman in the show. I have said and done things that each of them do.” Muse’s role as Lexi features a women who is “very into how she ages or doesn’t age.”

“Vernadette is kind of down on her luck in life,” comments Nicole Devol, “but keeps a good sense of humor through it. She’s very resourceful and figures out how to make things work.” Devol continued, “I have a special connection with the character because she reminds me of my mother.”

Director Sergio Garza explains that “the show speaks to audiences. It allows you to laugh and have a fun evening.” Acting is Garza’s first love, but he emphasizes, “I am working very hard to do right by the show, and I think I got the right mesh of women to portray characters who have been friends their entire adult lives. The actors are believable in their roles.”

theatre

Left to right: Samantha Muse and Mao Lee

Pointing out that the show is about friends and their love for one another, Devol returns to the theme expressed by Toledo, “The play shows the tensions in relationships. Nothing is perfect all the time. Friends in lasting relationships know how to resolve those tensions and remain close.”

Muse commented, “Their friendship is the one thing Lexi has had to hold on to—her chosen family of ladies. Nothing means more than this.” Muse continued, “I think this show is a good girls’ night out. Guys will chuckle too—if they are listening.”

Dixie Swim Club opens at the Ice House Theatre at Race and Santa Fe in Visalia at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2018 and runs for three weekends with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on 9/21, 9/22, 9/28, 9/29, 10/5, and 10/6, and matinees at 2 p.m. on 9/23, 9/30, and 10/7.

For more information about the Visalia Community Players and to purchase tickets, check out their website and KRL’s article about VCP. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 734-3900. For details about local arts groups in Tulare County, visit the Visalia Arts Consortium website.

Check out even more local theatre reviews & articles in our Arts & Entertainment section!

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. The first 5 episodes are now up! You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean.

To purchase two tickets for the price of one, enter KRLDSC in the Have a code? box on the Buy/Redeem Tickets Reservation page via the Players website.

Nancy Holley has been involved in the Visalia Community Players off and on since the 1970s, both as a director and actor. In 2010, she retired from 25 years as a software consultant and has since expanded her role at the Players. She is now Membership Chairman and assists with the Players on-line ticketing system.

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