A Maple Grove resident and music teacher are taking the stage in the production of “The Dixie Swim Club” at Anoka’s Lyric Arts Main Street Stage running Jan. 13 through Jan. 29.
"The Dixie Swim Club" is the story of five college friends who reunite every summer for a weekend at a beach cottage. Together, they endure everything life has to throw at them and learn how important their friendships with one another are.
Maple Grove resident Lisa Denninger plays Sheree in the production, although it’s not her first time onstage in the Twin Cities. Denninger has performed on a variety of stages over the last 20 years, including Mystery Cafe, Theatre in the Round, Park Square, Shakespeare and Company, and the Plymouth Playhouse where she played Darlene Humde in "How to Talk Minnesotan" for four years.
The comedic opportunity of "The Dixie Swim Club" under the direction of Kari Steinbach drew Denninger to try out for the Lyric Arts production where she was cast as Sheree, a “team captain” in the play.
“I identify with her quite a bit actually, which is a tad alarming since she kind of irritates me,” Denninger said of her role. “But she has a lot of heart, and I have enjoyed creating this character very much.”
“This cast is a delight to work with both on and off stage. As one of my fellow performers said, ‘I have never laughed so much during rehearsals as I have in this show.’ We really found chemistry between all five of us very quickly, both on and off stage, and I think that is evident in our performances,” Denninger said. “The show is both very funny and very touching, and I think that people will really love the crazy relationships between these characters.”
Joining Denninger onstage in The Dixie Swim Club is Champlin resident and Osseo Area Schools teacher Denise Martineau, a music teacher at Zanewood and Birch Grove Elementary. Her resume of productions is lengthy, spanning more than 20 shows at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, and the Iowa City Community Theatre, appearing in shows such as Peter Pan, Sound of Music and Sweeney Todd.
After being away from the stage for several years to raise her children, she decided it was time to come back.
“I was familiar with the show and looking for a fun way to return to the stage after taking 12 years to stay home with kids,” Martineau said.
In the production of "The Dixie Swim Club," Martineau plays Lexie who she describes as “vain and frivolous and always looking for love.”
“She needs her friends to keep her grounded and is lucky to have people in her life who can see past all of her window dressing to the person she is inside,” Martineau said of her character.
The Dixie Swim Club opens Jan. 13 and runs through Jan. 29. Tickets for the production and reservations can be made by calling the box office at 763-422-1838 or by visiting the Lyric Arts website at www.lyricarts.org. Lyric Arts is located at 420 East Main Street in Anoka is considered a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
"The Dixie Swim Club" will feature an opening night Gala on Friday, Jan. 13. For $18 over the price of a ticket, guests can have appetizers and drinks before the show as well as dessert after the performance with the cast and crew. There will also be a free Talk-Back after the Jan. 22 performance that will give audience members an opportunity to ask questions about the production.