Saturday, February 04, 2006

Broadway Beng Review

Reveal? What reveal? Not a strip show ok? Wrong concept. Review? Oh. Solly.

Long-ish entry.....

Caught the musical today with primary schoolmates. Wasn't interested in going initially because I was thinking I'd probably be busy during this period of time but things seem to be letting up. Anyway, the second chance presented itself when one of my former classmate's father passed away so she decided last week not to watch this. So I decided to take over the seat.

No regrets.

It was laugh-a-minute, thigh-slapping, rolling on the floor, tears streaming down local humour. 90% of the musical was in Hokkien. 5% was mandarin. English forming the rest (including 2.5% Queen's English - by way of the Queen, who else! and 2.5% American English - by way of Michael Jackson). The songs in the musical was a mix, 50% English and 50% Hokkien.

But the humour was 100% Singaporean.

The 8 minute summary of Miss Saigon (complete with helicopter on stage, don't play play) reflecting Sebastian Tan's UK stint in Miss Saigon was fantastic. There was a number he was doing when he took things out from the suitcase that went along with him as he toured UK. Maggi instant noodles, condensed milk, maggi chilli sauce, lee kum lee oyster sauce....that's quite accurate I think. When I first flew over to UK and opened my luggage in my room, there were about 32 packets of instant noodles.

The 3 chiobus (yes! there is a wikipedia entry on it!) added a necessary touch of kitsch. They weren't the usual just-there-to-be-bimbotic. They were all-singing and all-dancing lian wannabes and boy do can they sing. Especially Leigh, who was the only ang moh in the quartet. She sings a mean thee orh orh (sky black black). And used to cheong with sebastian in ang suar (redhill or bukit merah). She's got a lovely singing voice and her duet with Sebastian, Sun and Moon I think, was memorable. One minute, the three could be wearing some cheena cheongsum, next minute it's some tailcoat and tophat broadway sequence. Not forgetting feather boa from Spotlight and feather fan chinese dance. Jacky, the chupcheng (mixed-blood) in the tri of chiobus, has a serious case of bad psycho-motor skills. Not really sure if it was deliberate at all! (yes, it was that bad, so her acting must be damn good). Then there was Denise Tan, the sole true blue ah lian, who turns up the raunch factor several notches.

Then there is seabass(khim bak lor)tian. Obviously the star of the show. He was improvising all the time because there was so much free banter going on between him and the audience (nice going Joyce, whoever you are, you do a mean cha cha hahahaha).

Among the stuff I noticed in the theatre, was this ang moh (I dunno how many there were in total) in the front row on the left. He OBVIOUSLY didn't understood a single word of Hokkien but sat through the entire proceedings and laughed along periodically when the ongoings were in English. I don't know who else among the audience don't understand Hokkien but if you don't, perhaps you may not want to watch it. Or you can pester your friend, if you are bringing any, to explain every single Hokkien joke.

About the beng-ness of sebastian tan, well, not wanting to doubt his redhill upbringing, there are some very accurate portrayals and exposé of what ah bengs do like tao liang (release coolness) in KTV, oh, and that guys who go theatre don't go KTV, if you believe him.

P.S. former VJC GP tutor Yo Shao An was the lighting designer.

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