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 and Sarnia’s First Monday magazine, and websites www.stage-door.com, www.theatreinlondon.ca, www.beatmagazine.ca and www.grandbendstrip.com. Her reviews have been heard on MyFM Radio Strathroy-Caradoc 105.7 and MyFM Exeter & Grand Bend 90.5.
This website is the exclusive venue for 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. In addition to the ongoing supply of new reviews, there are over 200 reviews posted in the Archives pages.
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Mary lives in Strathroy, Ontario, with her husband, Victor, recently retired from Lambton College. Their daughter Chelsey has degrees in Anthropology and Social Work, and works for the Canadian Mental Health Association. 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 in 2009. 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. He was in White Christmas at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg. Last year, he was swing/understudy in La Cage aux Folles at The Neptune Theatre in Halifax and filmed ”Stage Fright”, a horror-musical-comedy musical starring Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver. This year, he is in Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary and Spamalot at Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend and St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.
Mary is a member of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association (www.canadiantheatrecritics.ca).
She is also the Members Services Coordinator with the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations, (www.ontcfdc.com) where she sees first hand how a professional theatre can be an asset to the economic development of a rural community or small town.
Mary frequently attends shows at
- Drayton Entertainment venues:
- Huron Country Playhouse, Grand Bend
- St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, St. Jacobs
- Drayton Festival Theatre, Drayton
- Kings Wharf Theatre, Penetanguishene
- Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia
- The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford
- The Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake
- The Port Stanley Festival Theatre, Port Stanley
- The Blyth Festival, Blyth
- The Grand Theatre, London
- Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton
- Theatre Sheridan, Sheridan College, Oakville
- Port Hope Festival Theatre
- Various Toronto Theatres
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