An evening of show tunes and fun is planned for the Grand Bend Beach on August 2, starting at 7:00 p.m. Four young, Canadian, musical theatre performers will take the stage and wow the crowd with great acting and even better voices. Onstage will be Grand Bend’s own Thomas Alderson alongside Tess Benger, Robert Markus, and Jennifer Rider-Shaw.
On Wednesdays, beach parking is free after 7:00 p.m. and Main Street parking is free after 5:00 p.m.
Broadway on the Beach is the third in the Grand Bend Beach concert series “Wednesdays’ Familiar Favourites.” Organizer Mary Alderson volunteered her time to see the Rotary Stage used more often. The concerts are sponsored by Lambton’s Creative County, the municipality of Lambton Shores, the West Coast Lions Club, and Denny’s Drive-In.
“Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the beautiful Lake Huron sunset,” said Alderson.
Thomas Alderson grew up in Grand Bend and has often appeared on stage at the Huron Country Playhouse. He frequently appears 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. Alderson was a musical theatre student at London’s H.B. Beal Secondary School and appeared in four high school musical projects at the Grand Theatre.
Last summer, Alderson performed a benefit concert for the Huron Shores United Church, where over $4,000 was raised for the church’s building and renovation fund.
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 the 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 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.
Tess 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. Benger 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 the Huron Country Playhouse.
Robert Markus wowed audiences as Tommy, the pinball wizard, in The Who’s Tommy at the Stratford Festival. Markus 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 the Huron Country Playhouse, Markus 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.