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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 15, 2010

'Dixie Swim Club' looks deep in friendship

By Dave Dondoneau
TGIF Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Suzanne Green, left, and Stefanie Anderson argue during a scene of Manoa Valley Theatre's "The Dixie Swim Club." Holly Holowach, Bree Bumatai and Karen Meyer look on.

Malia Leinau

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Manoa Valley Theatre

8 tonight and Fridays, 7:30 p.m.Thursdays, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays; through Jan. 31

$30 adults, $25 seniors and military, $15 25 and younger

988-6131, www.manoavalleytheatre.com

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Manoa Valley Theatre's third production of its stage season — and first of the new year — is all about friendships and how they endure the test of time.

Anything else about "The Dixie Swim Club"production is purely coincidental.

It's a comedy that will make you laugh, but it's also a drama that most everyone, male or female, can identify with.

Opening last night, the play follows five women whose friendships began when they were on the college swim team more than three decades earlier. Every August, they reunite at the same beach cottage on North Carolina's Outer Bank, free from husbands, kids and jobs. The production focuses on four of those weekends, and spans 33 years of their friendship.

The stars consists of five women who are Käne'ohe and Kailua residents. All play fiery Southern women, each with quirks that the others have had to endure over the years:

• Sheree Hollinger (played by Suzanne Green), the perennial team captain, is practical, supportive, hyper-energetic and a health nut who always carries her to-do lists.

• Dinah Grayson (Bree Bumatai) is the wise-cracking cynic of the group, successful at most anything she tries, except relationships.

• Lexie Richards (Stefanie Anderson) is a true Southern belle: vain, youth-obsessed, and reveling in her status as a man-magnet.

• Jeri Neale McFeely (Karen Meyer) is the group's innocent friend, a former nun who has never really seen the seedier side of life.

• Vernadette Simms (Holly Holowach) is the group's hard-luck case, often self-deprecating and dark.

The play is not recommended for keiki 10 and younger and lasts about 105 minutes. (There is an intermission). Advance tickets can be purchased at www.manoavalleytheatre.com or by calling 988-6131.