By Heidi Sutton
Theatre Three continues its 52nd season with a lovely production of The Sweet Delilah Swim Club. The show opened last Saturday and runs through Feb 4.
Written by Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, the play features five very different Southern women who begin a friendship on their college swim team and make a pact to get together one weekend in August every year to catch up on their lives. For over 50 years, they meet at the same oceanfront beach cottage, the “Sweet Delilah,” on North Carolina’s Outer Banks for conversation, drinks, dinner and a dip in the ocean.
The audience is treated to four of these reunions — the first is 22 years after their college graduation, the second and third 5 years apart, and a final visit to the cottage before it is to be demolished 23 years later.
Expertly directed by Linda May and armed with a cleverly written script, the cast is superb and put on a beautiful show.
Tamralynn Dorsa is perfect as Sheree Hollinger, the perennial team captain who is always governing the group, from serving healthy mung bean appetizers that the others quickly dispose of in a houseplant, to distributing a written itinerary for the week and even packing her friends’ suitcases.
Stephanie Moreau is incredible as event planner Lexie Richards, the four-time divorcee who has her plastic surgeon on speed dial and is always on the lookout for the next cute guy to come along (think Samantha Jones from Sex in the City).
Lori Beth Belkin plays workaholic (and perhaps alcoholic) Dinah Grayson who has put her successful career as an attorney before her personal life and now has regrets. Armed with a dry martini, her character delivers some of the funniest lines in the show.
We see the most change in Elizabeth Ladd’s character, Jeri Neal McFeeley, aka Sister Mary Esther, who goes from being a nun to a single mother at age 44 and then finds the man of her dreams to spend the rest of her life with.
Suzie Dunn is outstanding as school teacher Vernadette Simms. Bad luck seems to follow her everywhere and she appears in each scene with a different cast. She also shares tales of her dysfunctional family, from an abusive husband to a jailbird son. Her appearance in the last scene suffering from dementia is one of the most poignant in the show.
The set, a cozy beach cottage designed by Randall Parsons; period costumes and wigs by Jason Allyn; and sound effects by Tim Haggerty tie everything together nicely. Grab the girlfriends, a box of tissues, and catch a performance of this hilarious and touching show before it’s gone.
Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents The Sweet Delilah Swim Club on the Mainstage through Feb. 4. The season continues with Side By Side By Sondheim from Feb. 18 to March 18, Pride @ Prejudice from April 7 to May 6, and Something Rotten! from May 20 to June 24. Tickets are$35 adults, $28 seniors and students, $20 children ages 5 to 12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.
See trailer here: