Aunt Mary Pat will use laughter to help raise money for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
The popular character created by Wilmington’s Troy Hendrickson will appear on an indoor stage on Oct 29, the first time she has since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The 90-minute show at Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square will only be opened to 40 ticket holders to ensure social distancing. Tickets are $100 and can be found here. The show will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. Nov 5 for $25.
“My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor,” said Hendrickson. “It means a lot to me to be able to give back to the community.”
The live event includes a silent auction, food and drinks (two drink tickets are included in the purchase of a ticket) and a DBCC swag bag.
Hendrickson said Aunt Mary Pat’s 90-minute live comedy show will include music performances, crowd work and all things Philadelphia.
“I describe it as a variety show,” said Hendrickson. “Some of the stories come directly from my mom and others are just things that pop into my head.”
The character Aunt Mary Pat came to life after she was created by Hendrickson for a video making fun of his mom after the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018.
He sees Aunt Mary Pat as an archetype of the average South Philly mom who works in the area — in her case, a grocery store — and gossips about area wives.
Hendrickson grew up in Wilmington and went to Columbia College in Chicago for film and TV, but he has been performing in some way since he was in middle school. During the last decade, he’s focused on drag shows.
He set Aunt Mary Pat’s character as Philadelphian because there’s such strong personality types associated with that city.
“Wilmington doesn’t really have its own identity, so we all really cling to the Philadelphian area,” Hendrickson said. “I’ve also been working in the Philly area. You just pick up how people talk, and it becomes a part of your vernacular.”
Hendrickson partnered with Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition through a former coworker, Sue Murray, now operations Director of the DBCC. Murray has been supportive of Hendrickson’s career since the beginning.
He has been performing fulltime as Aunt Mary Pat since 2018 when the character became popular online. That’s meant producing 300 events per year between Aunt Mary Pat and drag shows, he said.
Stand-up comedy was a first for him when Aunt Mary Pat became a hit.
“We were doing our first national tour this year. The last show I was able to do was in New York before COVID put everything on hold,” Hendrickson said. “It was the trickiest thing for the entertainment industry because everything happened so quickly, and we all had to cancel events.”
Hendrickson has been able to do online shows as well as a number of in-person outdoor shows during the summer. The breast cancer event will be the first indoor event he has been a part of since coronavirus shutdowns were put in place.
“We’re well under the room’s capacity,” Hendrickson said. “I feel pretty safe about it.”
Patrons will be required to wear masks, but he doesn’t expect that to stop the laughter.
“There’s a great need for live entertainment right now, I think,” Hendrickson said, “especially where people get to be around other people.”