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Mary Alderson 

Mary has been a fan of live theatre since her first visit to the Stratford Festival as a child, where she saw Christopher Walken and Louise Marleau in Romeo and Juliet. As a teenager, she had a summer job at the Grand Bend Tourist Information booth. Huron Country Playhouse founder James Murphy gave her free tickets to his inaugural season so she could promote it to visitors. She has a vivid memory of sitting in a tent on a folding chair, with her feet up on the seat in front of her, to avoid the rivulets of rain flowing through the mud and gravel towards the stage. Unfortunately, the productions that summer were less memorable, but improved greatly over the ensuing years.

Mary holds a B.A. in Honours English and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario, London. After graduation, Mary was a reporter for the Exeter Times-Advocate and reviewed shows at Huron Country Playhouse.

Mary returned to writing theatre reviews in 2004 on a freelance basis. She has supplied publications such as the Strathroy Age-Dispatch, The Focus, and Sarnia’s First Monday magazine, as well as the website www.theatreinlondon.ca. In 2013, the well-known website Broadway World started posting her reviews. Her reviews have been heard on MyFM Radio Strathroy-Caradoc 105.7 and MyFM Exeter & Grand Bend 90.5.  All her reviews are on this website, either in “Now Playing” or “Archives”.

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Mary and her husband, Victor, always made their home in Grand Bend or in that area of Ontario. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, they moved to beautiful, historic Port Hope. Victor is an artist who paints in oil and acrylic.  As well, he  does scenic photography.

Their daughter Chelsey is a social worker. She, her husband, Jonathan, and their two children, make their home in Northumberland County. 

Their son Thomas is a professional actor/singer/dancer and director.  As a graduate of the Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College, Oakville, he received the Triple Threat Award.  It was Thomas’ work in theatre that re-kindled Mary’s interest in writing reviews. Since then, Thomas has performed in theatres from coast to coast in Canada, in roles such as Tommy Djilas in The Music Man, The Artful Dodger in Oliver!, Moody Spurgeon MacPherson in Anne of Green Gables, Gordon in A New Brain, Charlie in Brigadoon and Mary Sunshine in Chicago.   He has performed in all  Drayton Entertainment’s venues in various roles including Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Prince Herbert in Spamalot.  He was part of the cast of Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, 2015-16. As well, his credits include a North American tour as Mordred in Camelot.

He is David Martin in the movie Stage Fright, a horror-musical-comedy starring the late Meatloaf and Minnie Driver, and Bug in A Very Country Christmas.  He has also filmed several episodes of the children’s TV show, The Odd Squad, as a member of the boy band, SoundCheck, which also appears in The Odd Squad movie.

Most recently, he has moved into directing, and has worked as an Assistant Director on Saturday Night Fever for the North American Tour and Mirvish, Once at London’s Grand Theatre,  The Secret Garden at Theatre Calgary, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver, and as director of Mary Poppins for YES Theatre in Sudbury, and director of Sweet Charity and The Drowsy Chaperone at St. Lawrence College. Most recently, he was Assistant Director of White Christmas at the Shaw Festival and is currently Assistant Director of Rent at Stratford Festival. 

Mary is a member of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association (www.canadiantheatrecritics.ca).

With Mary’s move to Port Hope, she will be attending theatres in Toronto and points east, while Vicki Stokes will be going to theatres in southwestern Ontario.  Both women look forward to the end of the pandemic and a return to regular live performances.

Vicki Stokes 

Vicki has always been passionate about the performing arts.  As a young girl, she took theatre arts classes in which the students developed a play and performed it on the McManus Stage at The Grand in London.  Fortunately, she realized that her talent lies in writing as opposed to performing.  Over the years, she has enjoyed theatre big and small from The King and I with Hayley Mills to Shakespeare performed by students in Waterloo Park.  She is a huge fan of small town theatres and homegrown talent.

Vicki has an Honours B.A. in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and has studied library tech.  She was employed at Kitchener Public Library for over 13 years until making a major life change in 2017, moving back to her rural roots.  Besides being an avid gardener on her beautiful two-acre property, she writes novels, short stories and non-fiction, just for pleasure.

She lives with her husband and two wonderful sons near Grand Bend, where she met Mary through the local writers’ group.  She currently assists with the business and marketing end of her husband, Shaun’s, business, Aerodynamic Driving School (of Forest and Stratford).  Together they own several classic vehicles and enjoy attending car shows.

By using search on this website you can find reviews from these theatres and more.  We review shows at various Toronto Theatres, including the Mirvish productions.  Now, we cover theatres across Southern Ontario

A special Thank You to Matt Mullen of Red Chair for his technical expertise in the creation of this website and blog.  www.redchair.ca