MAMMA MIA! North American Tour 2010Pictured: North American Tour Cast(c) Joan Marcus 2010
ATLANTA -- "Mamma Mia!" Here we go again. The Broadway musical inspired by the Swedish group ABBA's pop hits is back at the Fox Theatre Wednesday night with a special guest -- former Duluth resident, Ethan Le Phong.
Le Phong plays the cougar chasing bartender, Pepper, in the play, which he has a lot of fun with nightly.
"Pepper is a goofball and big flirt, who chases after Tayna (an older wealthy woman)," he said. "I get to be funny, and sing and dance on the stage. On some occasions, women try to give me their number after the show."
But Le Phong didn't get to Broadway overnight. He has been on stage since he was a young boy.
"Both my parents are singers, so I was always in theater as a child," he said while talking about wanting to be part of the Disney empire. "I remember when my dad got transferred down to Georgia, I wanted to be at a school with the best theater department."
That's how he ended up at Duluth High School and graduated in the class of 1994. Over the years, Le Phong performed in community theaters, had a role in "Miss Saigon" in Germany, worked in London and now lives in Los Angeles. "The rest is history," he said.
Le Phong's sister and parents still live in Gwinnett County and will attend the show.
"I've been on 'the big stage' since 1998, but this is my debut at the Fox," he said while talking about his previous performances.
The actor believes that everyone can "get into the show," especially since his brother-in-law "hates musicals, but this is one he could dig."
"It's a great story of mother and daughter and the love between them," Le Phong said. "This musical is light-hearted and fun, but (the cast) brings in the drama when needed. People cry because they can relate with Donna raising single child."
At the end, the cast is anticipating audience participation.
"We want people to get up and dance at the end of the show," he said. "There needs to be singing in the aisles."
The show runs through Sunday evening.