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Friday, January 25, 2008

Beauty World Cha Cha Cha

We cha cha-ed our way to the Esplanade last Thursday to catch Beauty World.

It’s so Singaporean lor! Me like!

"Set in Singapore in the mid-Sixties, Beauty World is a musical melodrama about the adventures of Ivy Chan Poh Choo, a small town girl in the big city.

A mysterious jade pendant brings her from her hometown in Batu Pahat to Beauty World, a fabulous if somewhat seamy 1960s Singapore nightclub, where she hopes to locate her long lost-father.

In her adventures, she meets up with her dotty pen-pal, gets a extreme make-over for her stage debut, crosses the path of the cabaret’s vindictive star, and learns some heartbreaking truths about love and life.

Set to an original score, the comedy is an affectionate tribute to the black and white Chinese soap operas at the cinema and on TV."

The plot is far fetched but who cares about plot when the songs and performance are all that matter in a musical?

Elena Wong who plays the lead role of Ivy Chan has a voice like a Disney princess-- crisp and clear. I really admire people who can sing like that.

Denise Tan is every bit the tarty, fire spitting, evil and conniving Lulu.

Dwayne Tan as Ivy’s boyfriend Frankie Wong Fei Hong is so geekishly yan dao. The whole theatre roared with laughter each time he sang his famous "Ah (I).. ah (I).. ha (I).. Ivy, I love you…” In fact, the reprise garnered more laughter. Even though we were way back at the last row on the highest level, I could vividly remember the way he shook his leg as he went “Ah.. ah.. ha..”

Daren Tan as Ah Hock is the ever endearing Ah Beng who falls for Ivy during her stint at the cabaret. Bad boy with a good heart never fail to pull the heart strings of the fairer sex. Ain’t I right, you Ah Lians out there? His singing is not that zai for a champion of Project Super Star leh but I tink hor… his role require him to sing like a Hokkien Beng lor.

Alemay Fernandez as Ivy’s Singaporean pen pal, Rosemary Joseph drew lots of laughter during the High Class, Low Class, No Class song segment with Lulu. That also happens to be the only song I remember from the 1998 PCK musical, besides the cha cha cha song. I don’t remember all the other characters except Sharon Aw as Lulu or is it Candy Chew (Can I help chew?)

Neo Swee Lin as “Mummy” had no salient moments but I liked the way she portrayed the kind hearted mummy.

Irene Ang as Wan Choo, the resident gossipmonger and kay poh queen lagi BEST! Albeit being in a minor role, her impeccable comic timing and spot on delivery stole the whole show.

After the show, we bought the CD and queued up for autograph signing session.

Daren Tan super talk cock lor. Hahaha… but in a funny way la… kh told him that we love his curry-pok hair and he started talking cock to him, majiam hou peng you. “You’re also Ah Beng right? I think we got sit down drink coffee before leh.” Then when we were talking to Elena, he turned to her and said, “Eh, this guy got drink coffee with me before.”

Elena Wang was really quiet. She looked really petite and demure.

Neo Swee Lin was every bit the serious veteran who didn’t talk much too.

Denise Tan was still in her alter ego state. Check out how she signed off.

So far I was really quiet. I didn’t really know what to say to the cast. However, when I got to Dwayne, I could not resist telling him that I loved his cool geek look and that he could just go to cheong a geek party then. He liked his geek look too!

Alemay Fernandez was the most chatty after Daren. I was complimenting her colourful A-Go-Go dressing and she started acting like the friendly bimbo, saying she had every colour of her hair band to match with each of her polka dot dresses.

Too bad Irene Ang was not around. I was looking forward to seeing her.

Oh I haven’t mentioned about how impressive the stage set was right? It was like a live sized doll house with carpets and winding stairs which led up to the second floor where the band played. Most beautiful.

My only gripe was that my degree has increased and sitting at the back, I could not see the stage and screen very well. I’ve missed out on the funny moments in Cantonese when the translation was flashed. The people on stage had blurry faces too.

I dunch know ah I really dunch know why I like Beauty World so much. The chorus, the dance sequence, the songs, the slapstick, the inside jokes… it really made me proud to be a Singaporean. The theatre wasn’t full house on a weekday but the audience were very spontaneous and generous with their applause and cheers.

I would have shout it out loud for all of you to catch the show...

Only that this post came a week too late.


  1. i watched, i loved.

    it's very funny how you try so hard to sound singlish when your review for this musical is packed with a punch. it's so funny seeing you reverting from cheem ang mo to singlish time and again.

    are you an acclaimed critic or a singapolian?

    in case the above come across negative, i'll add KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

  2. Eh... very funny meh? If you hear me speak in real life, I can be pretty Singlish you know. I'm not like some cheem ang mo pai person trying to sound Singlish.

    That's because...

    I am a Singapolian!


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