Please Entertain This Thought –

And enjoy reading the theatre reviews of 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.

This website is home to all Mary’s theatre reviews.  She welcomes visitors to return to Entertain This Thought regularly – after each opening night, a new review will be posted. From May to September, Mary goes to at least one show a week – sometimes two and three.  From October to April, she slows it down to a show every other week, but usually sees about 60 shows per year.  In addition to the ongoing supply of new reviews, there are over 600 reviews posted in the Archives pages.

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Mary and her husband, Victor, always made their home in the Grand Bend area. 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 creates driftwood boats and does scenic photography.  Their daughter Chelsey is a social worker. She, her husband, Jonathan, and daughter, Hazel, make their home in Durham Region.  Their son Thomas is a professional actor/singer/dancer.  He graduated from the Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College, Oakville, receiving the Triple Threat Award.  It was Thomas’ work in theatre that re-kindled Mary’s interest in writing reviews. Thomas’ credits include a North American tour as Mordred in Camelot, as well as Tommy Djilas in The Music Man, The Artful Dodger in Oliver!, Gordon in A New Brain, and Charlie in Brigadoon.  With Drayton Entertainment, he has appeared in High School Musical in Grand Bend, Penetanguishene & St. Jacobs,  in Hairspray in St. Jacobs and Grand Bend, and played Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, in Grand Bend and Drayton. In 2013, he was in Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary,  Spamalot at Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend and St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, Lend Me a Tenor at Cambridge’s new Dunfield Theatre and then back to St. Jacobs Country Playhouse for White Christmas.  In 2014,  he  was Robertson Aye, the butler in Mary Poppins at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre, and appeared in Footloose in St. Jacobs and Little Mermaid in Cambridge.  He was in White Christmas at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, and swing in La Cage aux Folles at The Neptune Theatre in Halifax.

He is David Martin in the movie Stage Fright, a horror-musical-comedy starring Meat Loaf 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 appears in The Odd Squad movie.

He was part of the cast of Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, 2015-16. In 2018, he was in Mamma Mia at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, and in 2019 he was Mary Sunshine in Chicago at the Globe Theatre, Regina.

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 co-director of Sweet Charity at St. Lawrence College.

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

Mary frequently attends shows at

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