Friday, December 16, 2011

Event : Crazy Christmas 2011 (R18)

Venue : Esplanade Theatre (ed : along the N-S line)

Date : 15/12/11 .. (ed : the day the N-S line stood still)  8pm

This was the 2nd Crazy Christmas that I have attended the last being Crazy Christmas 2010. I really enjoyed myself then and when tickets were made available for this years edition, I scrambled to get my tickets.
Why I enjoyed Crazy Christmas 2010 was the joyful singing by all the cast, the great music provided by the band and Kumar. This year was the same .. good singing, great band Kumar.

There has been quite a bit of coverage on this event lately due to the withdrawal and subsequent demise of Mr RJ Rosales and the very recent withdrawal of Ms Emma Yong for health reasons (get well soon :ed). Somehow, the mood would be a bit more sombre due to these and this could be felt at certain points of the performance.

I was there really and seated by 7.20pm and looked at the audience as they came streaming in. The audience demographics were pretty different from that at the SSO Xmas concert a couple of days ago. There were a large number of office colleagues who bought entire rows of tickets, a large number of Hokkien speaking middle-aged ladies and no children. YES no kids as this show is rated R(A)18 !!! The show started promptly at 8pm with Selena, Denise and Pam in their beautiful dresses. The first number was a swing piece with three main men of Sebastian Tan, George Chan and Robin Goh. This was meant to set the mood for the rest of the evening. The solo rendition of “Have yourself a Merry little Xmas” by George was quite good except that the stage lights could have shone more of his whole face rather than just illuminating just his chin and lips. This was followed by a quasi-group (3 guys) medley of Fireworks, Toxic and Born this Way. I personally felt that this was a bit flat as it needed a bit more oomph. Also the arrangement of the songs made it a tad difficult to identify the songs until the chorus.

Kumar then did his stand-up routine. And as usual .. it was brilliant. All fresh jokes and nothing recycled. TOTALLY R(A) !! YEAH !!! The audience were very appreciative of his jokes and were rolling around in laughter. I could hear the aunties behind me laughing loudly when he went on about sex tests and his “fish head.” (who says Singaporeans are prudes and have no sense of humour???) (Don’t forget to see Kumar’s Amazing Race Re-run next year .. I saw it already and it was brilliant!!!)

Selena then did a very upbeat .. (“UP”) .. very happy .. and very jiggly song about finding love in the strangest of places ... Pity she had a bit of an issue with her over-the-ear- mic which resulted in her ending the song with her right hand against the side of her head. Good job Selena!! RING THEM BELLS !!!!

Vocaluptous then did what they are so good at. They did jazzy renditions of two very well-known Christmas carols. I liked the “I’ll be home for Christmas” more because it really allowed the audience to hear the blending of each member’s unique voices. Brilliant.

Bat-girl (ala Pam) then made an appearance again. Again, this was a bit of a dip just after Vocaluptous. The back story was very funny but in my personal opinion a bit irrelevant. (Housing Designated for Bats was SUPER FUNNY though) The bit of the Playboy Bunny was kinda shoe-horned in and could be better told. Again there was a lot of energy on stage with the cast dancing and jumping (no pun intended .. heck YES pun intended) around on stage.

This was followed by Sebastian-time !! The ovation he got shows how much the crowd loved him. I think he should do more Broadway Beng shows. Almost 85% of his part was in Hokkien but everyone was laughing away with his un-restrained used of flowery Hokkien words. One aunty behind me was going .. “Aiyo .. this guy ah .. so vulgar ..” but yet she was laughing and laughing.. His singing was again a class above and excellent.

Towards the end, the cast did a sublime and very good acapella version of 12 days of Christmas culminating in the LMFAO mega-hit Party Rock Anthem... complete with dance moves !!!

The evening closed with two very special songs. The first was about friendship and dedicated to Ms Emma Yong.

The second song to me was the highlight of the night. This was a song dedicated to the recently departed Mr RJ Rosales. The entire crew stood in a line and sag a beautiful Pilipino song which he shared with them last year. Each of them sung a portion of the song and I could feel their emotions so strongly as they sang. This is what Christmas is about. Remembering and honouring those loved ones who have passed on. If RJ were looking down on them, he would have been so happy and proud. The cast could have only learnt this in the past 1 week and yet they did it so well. RJ’s spirit must have been there too.

Overall, RJ’s passing and Emma’s health will definitely have an impact on the cast. Denise did a good job filling in Emma’s shoes. But yet, I feel that they were a bit more sullen and withdrawn this year compared to the exuberance of Crazy Christmas 2010. The dance routines seemed to be a bit more strained and stiff.

You guys did really good ... and hope to see you again next year ..

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