“The faster we swim, the more we win!”
This is the mantra that has brought the five former members of a college swim team together annually for a weekend in August at the Sweet Delilah cottage on North Carolina’s Outer Banks to re-connect and share the changes that have happened in their lives over the past year.
As we meet and get to know the five women, it becomes obvious that about the only thing they now have in common is their past swimming glory. Sheree (Marcia Tratt), the team captain, and the organizer of the group who attempts to keep the group in line; Dinah (Barbara Fulton), the impeccably dressed career-driven lawyer; the vain much married Lexie (Cara Hunter), who has tried to hold back the hands of time with plastic surgery; Jeri (Karen Wood), the “Nun gone bad,” who shows up with a big surprise; and the wisecracking Vernadette (Mary Pitt), whom we learn has led a not-so-happy life since college.
The play zooms in on four of their weekends and spans a period of thirty-three years. With each passing year, the friends come to rely on each other for advice and support about men, sex, marriage, parenting, divorce, and aging, sometimes with success, other times not so much.
Directed by Sheila McCarthy, The Sweet Delilah Swim Club is a hilarious and touching bitter-sweet comedy about the power of friendship. The cast is superb, but special mention needs to be made of Mary Pitt’s performance, who as Vernadette, gets to deliver some of the best one-liners in the play.
“Men always promise they’ll die for you, then they don’t,” she says at one point when the group is discussing relationships.
The Sweet Delilah Swim Club continues at the Huron Country Playhouse South Huron Stage until September 4.
Reviewed by Rick Young, The Beat Magazine.