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Those of us who are lucky have forged a bond with friends that the years can never break — even if time and circumstances threaten to fray them.

Such are the strong women of "The Dixie Swim Club," a comedy by a trio who have a strong bond themselves: the playwriting trio of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, writers for film or beloved TV fare such as "Golden Girls" and "Teacher's Pet" before they joined forces 15 years ago. The Marco Players bring one of their best-known comedies to the island for a Southern-fried run through Jan 19. 

"Swim Club" details selected reunions of a championship collegiate swim team as they age into their twilight years, carrying their sense of obligation, their wacky humor and their personal problems along with them. Snappy repartee and strongly held persona don't crowd out their understanding of — and support for — each other. 

Most of us will recognize someone we know in each of their personality types: the youth-conscious center of attraction, the organizer, the jinxed one, the forever-willing-to-please sweetheart, the overachiever.

It's directed by Anna Segreto, whose last local work was directing The Studio Players' "Venus in Fur."

The cast includes Patti Caroli (Lexie), outspoken and determined to hold on to her youth; Rhonda Davis (Vernadette), acutely aware of the dark cloud that hovers over her life; Kay Wylie-Jacob (Sheree), the spunky team captain trying to maintain her “perfect” life; Judy Scribner sweet and eager-to-please (Jeri Neal); and, Carla Grieve (Dinah), wisecracking overachiever.

This is the second play from the Jones-Hope-Wooten trio that The Marco Players has done. Last season they presented "The Savannah Sipping Society," about four Southern women who develop a regular weekly happy hour, and in it their triumphs, hopes, woes and worries all begin to come to the fore.

Beverly Dahlstrom, executive director for The Marco Players, said she's especially happy that Segreto, who also directed "The Savannah Sipping Society" last season, is directing this one. "She really has a knack for getting the most out of her characters."

What Segreto sees as the play's irresistible ingredient is its theme of "enduring friendship. That's so important."

"Of course, it's a comedy and people laugh and that's very appealing," she said. "But there's poignancy." Things happen to its characters, and they have to deal with that, she added. That is when enduring friendship is so valuable.

"They're very popular here," said Dahlstrom of the Jones-Hope-Wooten dramatic canon. "They're about relationships that have been long-term. And they're easily identifiable characters."

The interesting thing about the plays, she added, is that they might be considered "chick flick" material because they're about women: "But the men seem to really enjoy them too."

Harriet Howard Heithaus covers arts and entertainment for the Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com. Reach her at 239-213-6091.

What:  The story of five lifelong friends whose lives shatter or shed layers as they age together at their annual reunions

When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 19

Where: The Marco Players Theater, Marco Town Center Mall, 1089 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island

Tickets: $32, $34

To buy: www.TheMarcoPlayers.com or by phone at 239-642-7270

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