The number of giggles, chuckles, and full-on belly laughs you will experience while taking in The Sweet Delilah Swim Club at Swift Creek Mill Theatre will far exceed the ticket price for this delightful show.
Playing through July 1 at South Chesterfield’s historic theatre, the show is directed by Tom Width, artistic director at Swift Creek Mill.
Five southern gals, whose friendships were forged decades earlier on their college swim team, set aside a weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from spouses, kids, and careers, they meet at the same cottage, the Sweet Delilah, on the Outer Banks to catch up, laugh, and reconnect with each other.
Whether or not you consider yourself a southerner, you will see bits and pieces of yourself and perhaps other special friends of yore in Sheree, Dinah, Lexie, Jeri Neal, and Vernadette. The friends run the gamut: there’s the type-A organizer, a workaholic, and an alcoholic. There’s a nun, a class clown whose life hasn’t really worked out by society’s standards, and a classmate who’s determined to stay forever young while searching for the husband of her dreams – again and again and again.
The characters are relatable and made especially lovable and genuine by fabulous acting from Joy Williams, Kathy Parker, Donna Marie Miller, Jacqueline Jones, and Robin Arthur. The ensemble is so tight, it’s impossible to highlight one performance over another. The material – the show is written by Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten – rolls off the actors’ tongues like it’s second nature. The comic timing is impeccable, especially important in a venue as cozy as Swift Creek Mill where you might feel like you’re in an actual beach cottage.
During The Sweet Delilah Swim Club, two acts are portrayed in four scenes, taking place in order: twenty-two years after the group’s college graduation, five years after that, five years later, and finally, twenty-three years after that. It’s important to have a handle on these timeframes because the lively script and banter is not weighed down by current events to mark the time.
At the start of the show, Width introduces the show and sets the scene for lucky audience members by reminding us that the play we were about to see was designed to be fun. Period. There is one more serious element that allows a few characters to connect in a less than fun way, but even that plot twist is handled with love and compassion, the way very close friends of a certain age would handle it.
Of course, despite what Width said, I spent a fair amount of the first act waiting for a dramatic shoe to drop. I figured something would be cringy, dated, or overly judgy, but that was not the case. Just lots of giggles, chuckles, belly laughs, and in the end, lots of reasons to see The Sweet Delilah Swim Club, showing at Swift Creek Mill Theatre through July 1.
Where to get tickets:
Recommended for anyone really, although younger kids probably won’t enjoy it as much. For showtimes, tickets, and information about pre-show dining at The Mill Room, visit Swift Creek Mill Theatre.