"The Dixie Swim Club," a comedy about friendship among five Southern women, will open this weekend at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, Rock Island.|
Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten -- the team responsible for the comedies "Dearly Beloved" and "Christmas Belles" -- this show spans 33 years in a friendship among members of a women's college swim team. The quintet sets aside a long weekend every August to recharge their relationships.
Sheree, the former team captain, is trying to maintain her organized and "perfect" life, while Dinah, a wisecracking overachiever, is a career dynamo. The pampered and outspoken Lexie is determined to hold onto her looks and youth as long as possible; the self-deprecating and acerbic Vernadette has decided to give in and embrace the chaos; and sweet, eager-to-please Jeri Neal experiences a late entry into motherhood.
A review of a January 2012 production in Indianapolis on nuvo.net said: "Sparkling, sassy, soulful, 'The Dixie Swim Club' surprises at every turn through crisp repartee centering on topics ranging from personal joys and trauma to global concerns. Humor arising from five well-defined characters mitigates heart-wrenching moments."
Directing Circa '21's "Dixie Swim Club" is Jim Hesselman, whose recent productions for the theater include "Legally Blonde," "Hairspray," "Peter Pan" and "Smoke on the Mountain." And helping him bring the production to life is Serena Vesper -- a veteran of "Crimes of the Heart," "Blithe Spirit," and "Ten Little Indians" -- the lone newcomer among a collection of Circa '21 favorites.
Those returning to the dinner-theater stage are: Rachelle Walljasper, whose stage credits include Circa '21's "Smoke on the Mountain" and "Oh, Mama! No, Papa!"; Lora Adams of the recent "Spreading It Around" and "Catch Me If You Can"; Autumn O'Ryan, seen in the theater's "Oklahoma!," "The Full Monty" and "Holly Jolly Christmas"; and Carrie SaLoutos, acclaimed for the venue's productions of "Whodunit?" and "Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical."
"The Dixie Swim Club" will play tonight through Sept. 15. Shows on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays begin at 7:45 p.m. (doors open at 5:45 p.m.; buffet dinner served from 6 to 7). Sunday shows start at 5:45 p.m. (doors open at 3:45 p.m.; buffet dinner served from 4 to 5). Wednesday matinees start at 1:30 p.m. (doors open at 11:30 a.m.; plated lunch served 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.).
Ticket prices for the dinner and show are $47.55 for the evening productions and $41.28 for the matinees ($2 off for seniors 60 and older). For tickets, visit 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island; call (309) 786-7733, ext. 2; or reserve online at circa21.com.