About

Please Entertain This Thought –

And enjoy reading theatre reviews & news

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 of 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 the Grand Bend area. 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 baby daughter, Hazel, make their home in Durham Region.

Their son Thomas is a professional actor/singer/dancer and director.  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 also 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).

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.  The list will expand as theatres reopen following the pandemic shut-down.

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