Oct. 30, 2019 — The arrival of three men to the (mythical) Greek island of Kalokairi for a wedding is the event that launches the Last Resort Players’ fall musical “Mamma Mia!,” opening this Friday at the Florence Events Center.
On the eve of her wedding, a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings the three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The potential fathers, three very different characters, are played by James McKinney, Matt Korso and Jason Wood. McKinney is relatively new to Florence theatre but Wood and Korso are familiar local talent and have been in several LRP productions.
McKinney, who plays an intrepid adventurer, has been performing since high school. In one of his roles he played the dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors,” which is to date his favorite role. He appeared in “A Christmas Carol” at the Florence Playhouse 12 years ago as the Ghost of Christmas Present.
His dream role is Meatloaf’s character, Eddie, in “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Over the years, McKinney has developed the ability to use over 20 dialects, one of which he will use in his role as Australian Bill Austin.
McKinney is enjoying his character and says he loves every line in the show. He comments, “I truly feel that the entire cast is going to blow away the audience.”
Korso, who is no stranger to the Florence stage, began performing in the second grade, where he debuted as Dancing Camel No. 3 in his school Christmas pageant. He is playing Harry Bright, a former headbanger turned London banker. It may be surprising to some that Korso is a huge fan of the Bee Gees and he loves disco. Mat’s favorite stage show — besides “Mamma Mia!” — is “Hairspray,” but if he had a magic wand, the next show he would like to do is “Sweeney Todd.”
Sam Carmichael is played by Wood, who started his acting career in his third-grade production of “Cinderella,” where he played Fairy Godmother.
He says, “I still dress up as Fairy Godmother, I’m just better at it now.”
When asked what he does when not doing theatre Wood replied, “I’m never not doing theatre.”
His advice to the audience is to “Keep your eyes on that ensemble! Every one of them has a fully realized character. They bring energy and enthusiasm to every rehearsal and they do an amazing job with the choreography. I’m working hard to keep up!”
Last Resort Players’ “Mamma Mia!” will play at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St., Nov. 1 to 3 and 7 to 10. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission and student tickets, with ID at the box office, are $15. Get your tickets now at 541-997-1994, www.eventcenter.org or the box office at 715 Quince St.