Broadway on the Beach

Written on July 21st, 2017

An evening of show tunes and fun is planned for Grand Bend’s Beach, August 2nd, 7:00 p.m., presented by Grand Bend’s own Thomas Alderson alongside three other top young Canadian musical theatre performers.  Alderson grew up in the ’Bend and has often appeared on stage at Huron Country Playhouse.

He was also seen frequently on stage at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre – both with Bluewater Musicals and Theatre Sarnia.  As a student at Northern Collegiate, he took part in the Sears Drama Festival.  He was later a student at H.B. Beal Secondary School in London in their musical theatre program, and appeared in four High School Project musicals at the Grand Theatre.

Last summer, Thomas performed a benefit concert for Huron Shores United Church, where over $4,000 was raised for the church’s building and renovation fund. “I am so happy to be back in Grand Bend. The audience last year was amazing, and I’m looking forward to seeing them all again,” Alderson says.

Alderson is best known for his role as an Angel in the Mirvish musical, Kinky Boots, which ran in Toronto for a year.  He has been on stage in Calgary, Winnipeg and Halifax, as well as different theatres across Ontario.  As a child, he had the role as little Louis in The King and I at Huron Country Playhouse, and later appeared in Spamalot, How to Succeed in Business, High School Musical, Hairspray, Camelot as well as many other productions for Drayton Entertainment at their various theatres.  As Mordred in Camelot, he toured North America.  He was featured in the film Stage Fright, and coming this December will be in the TV movie A Very Country Christmas.  He is also in the children’s TV show and movie, Odd Squad, as part of the band SoundCheck.

Joining Thomas on stage will be Tess Benger, Robert Markus, and Jennifer Rider-Shaw.

Benger is best known for the lead role as Anne, the feisty red-head in Anne of Green Gables, at the Charlottetown Festival.  She also starred as Carrie in the Canadian premiere of Carrie: The Musical, based on the Stephen King novel.  Tess spent three seasons with the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, appearing in the musicals Cabaret and Sweeney Todd, and performing lead roles in plays such as Top Girls and The Philadelphia Story. She appeared as Leisl in the 2013 production of The Sound of Music at Huron Country Playhouse.

Robert Markus wowed audiences as Tommy, the pinball wizard in The Who’s Tommy at the Stratford Festival.  Robert will be remembered for his pivotal role as Denny Doherty in Dream a Little Dream – The Nearly True Story of the Mamas and The Papas at London’s Grand Theatre.  At Huron Country Playhouse, Robert was part of the amazing singers in the 2014 production of Twist and Shout – The British Invasion, and in 2015 he was reporter Mary Sunshine in Chicago.

Jennifer Rider-Shaw is currently starring as Josephine in HMS Pinafore at the Stratford Festival.  She has been with the Stratford Festival for eight seasons, appearing in over a dozen musicals in featured and leading roles, including Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street in 2012. A true triple threat, she has wowed audiences with her versatility in dance and incredible vocal range.

Broadway on the Beach is the third in the Grand Bend Beach concert series “Wednesdays’ Familiar Favourites”.  Organizer Mary Alderson has volunteered her time in order to see the Rotary Stage used more often.  The concerts are sponsored by Lambton’s Creative County, the municipality of Lambton Shores, West Coast Lions Club, and Denny’s Drive-In.

On August 16th, Second Wind, a Lambton Shores band playing 50s, 60s and 70s music will be on the Rotary Stage.  Second Wind is back by popular demand after their very successful concert on the beach last summer.  Mary encourages everyone to come, and she asks that you please pay what you can!  “Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the beautiful Lake Huron sunset,” Mary adds.  On Wednesdays, Beach Parking is free after 7:00 p.m. and Main Street Parking is free after 5:00 p.m.


One Response to “Broadway on the Beach” | Add Your Thoughts

  1. What a wonderful concert. The young talent was awesome. Thanks Mary for such a great evening.

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