The show went on for four performances, and I loved every minute.
The Dixie Swim Club is the story of five friends from a college swim team who spend a weekend each August on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I played the part of Jeri Neal McFeeley, described in the script book as “a ditzy ray of sunshine.”
In the photo above, I arrive at the beach house eight months pregnant. This shocks my buddies because the last time they saw me, I was a nun.
I really shake up the weekend by going into labor. Sheree, our team captain in the striped shirt, takes control of the situation.
Scene Two opens five years later. The lawyer, our friend Dinah, is coaching me for job interviews, without much luck.
A few minutes later, I model the interview dress Mama made for me. It gets a fast thumbs down from the other girls. Dinah says I look like “an upholstered footstool.”
Then I try on a dress that Lexie, the sexpot in the show, thinks might work for my interviews. Vernadette (wearing a clown suit and also the show’s real director, Lisa Woodward) announces I look like a “hooker with a stolen handbag.”
In Scene One of Act Two, I’m newly married to a younger man. I have to fuss at Brice because he wants to talk sexy on the phone. I’m worried one of the girls might hear (and one does, much to my embarrassment). Here I am below, later in the scene, pondering the hurricane that is quickly brewing off the Outer Banks.
In the last scene, with one of our five beloved friends now dead, we gaze at the ocean from the cottage window. We’re 77! Lexie, never one to give into aging, dons a blonde wig.
I messed up some lines, but not too many, and I did not trip, faint, or spill the martini glass of milk Sheree hands me after I arrive pregnant. I’m not headed to Broadway, but I received lots of compliments. Thanks, everybody!
And thanks to all of your for your enthusiasm, to Cliff and my friend Bernie for their encouragement, to my friends who came to the show, and to the cast and crew of The Dixie Swim Club. Hats off to Lisa, our director; Debbie, our stage and sound manager (below); and Bob, our producer.
I’m going to miss Jeri Neal and the other colorful characters. I’ve saved the sticker from my dressing room chair, the pink bathrobe and the frog slippers, and an ocean full of happy memories.