Don't get me wrong. I've always loved the Dim Sum Dollies (also known as Selena Tan, Pam Oei and Emma Yong) but this time, they weren't as savoury. Completely whitewashed by their male counterparts, they'd have held their own better had they done their own show than be part of a bigger cast like they were in SING Dollar produced by Dream Academy. For some reason, Pam was a disappointment with the inconsistency of her Filipina accent. She'd done better in other productions and I'd set high standards for her. An immersion trip to the Philippines might have been useful for her to regain her tongue. Emma was better off, endowed with wittier lines for her character Lan Lan, a Chinese prostitute who was literally red hot in that figure hugging dress becoming of Geylang girls in the alley. The Tiger beer auntie played by Selena was largely unbelievable. From what I know, they don't quite speak the way she did in the coffeeshops. Way too polished to have been an accurate portrayal.
Thankfully, things picked up a little in the second half. You could call Hossan the hero. I'm not just saying that because he's my brother, but I've never ever seen such nimble footwork from him until his performance in SING Dollar. The way he moved, Michael Jackson would have cause to arise, pass on the baton, and go back to sleep. Hossan was also quite a sight in a tiny yellow dress (Sebastian was also very convincing as a Thai prostitute), but speaking as a brother rather than a regular member of the audience, it was scary.
The opening sequence was well presented, with the cast impersonating the political figures whose faces graced four separate currencies - the US dollar, the British pound, the Indian rupee and the Singapore dollar. The ending? Weak. Just like the songs.
One saving grace is the currency (no pun intended) of the characters that were spoofed, from Temasek's Ho Ching to vulnerable venerable Ming Yi. You bet the creative team led by Selena Tan are news junkies. I suspect she tunes in to 938LIVE to to stay on top of the news while it breaks.
SING DOLLAR is now on till 8th Aug at the Esplanade Theatre.
Tickets selling at SISTIC.