Derby Dinner Playhouse - Dixie Swim Club

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Derby Dinner Playhouse - Dixie Swim ClubLast night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night performance of Dixie Swim Club at Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, IN. For several hours I was whisked away with what felt like my very own group of good friends to glance inside what it is truly like to have a sisterly bond with other women. I must say that because I personally know and have worked with two of the fine ladies in the cast of Dixie Swim Club, it can be difficult for me to not see “them.” But, both Rita Thomas and Janet Essenpreis had me convinced that they were the fine Southern women their characters portrayed.

Within 5 minutes, I was engulfed in the story of Dinah and Sheree, the women they played so well! Set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the 5 women of this story come together every year for a weekend in August at a beach cottage. It is a heartwarming comedy about how a group of college swim team members bond over a lifetime. As you watch, you see their lives unfold year after year and take a hilarious romp through their trials and tribulations. Jill Kelly does a perfect “Rue Mclanahan-esqu” depiction of Lexie Richards. She is very concerned with appearances and men and her line delivery is spot on! Michelle Johnson plays loveable Jeri Neal. She makes you want to be happy for her! Tina Jo Wallace rounds out the cast playing Vernadette, who inevitably seems to have some sort of broken bone or bodily injury every year. By the end of the show, she can barely remember who she is at 77 years old, but you like her all the same.

Even through some tough challenges and catfights, this story proves that having a close knit group of women to confide in and love is important to making your life full! Director Bekki Jo Schneider has pulled together this amazing cast to weave a beautiful story of the power of women being there for each other no matter what. The show made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all, it made me leave with a sense of urgency about calling up some of my dearest friend to reminisce and say all the “things” people claim you shouldn’t hold back on, because you never know what tomorrow may bring. I highly encourage everyone to grab a group of their closest girlfriends and head out to catch a showing before the run ends on July 1st.

Performances run nightly Tuesday – Sunday and matinees occur every Wednesday and Sunday. Ticket prices include a full buffet, a pre-show by the “Footnotes,” and the main stage performance. For more information or to find out how to order tickets go to