For Selena Tan, real life imitates “reel life” every December when her schedule gets a little crazy.
The 42-year-old actor-director’s theatre company, Dream Academy, will once again stage its delightfully twisted Christmas comedy song-and-dance extravaganza, ‘Crazy Christmas’. It will be the sixth edition this year.
“(When) ‘Crazy Christmas’ is on, it gets especially crazy because I produce, write, direct (most times) and perform in the show. Then, I have to buy many presents and organise a mega cast party as well as a Christmas Eve party all at once. It’s madness but I love it,” Tan said.
RETURN OF THE DIM SUM DOLLIES
The Dim Sum Dollies
Running from 11 to 22 December at the Esplanade Theatre, the show also marks the return of the Dim Sum Dollies, with Denise Tan as a new member of the comedy-cabaret trio.
The radio deejay has also starred in productions such as ‘Beauty World’ (2008), ‘Broadway Beng’ (2013) and ‘Into The Woods’ (2011).
The Dollies, made up of Selena Tan and Pamela Oei, took a break after actress Emma Yong died last May from stomach cancer. Yong had been part of the trio since its debut in 2002
Director Tan told inSing: “The go-getter, brave and daring spirit behind the Dollies will definitely stay. Denise, our newest Dolly, has also brought many fresh ideas to the table. With her DJ day job, she is always up-to-date with the popular tunes and music genres of today, making the Dollies younger than ever.”
The Dollies will be making a full-length comeback to the stage in the second half of 2014.
The revue show is also taking on a female-centric theme this year.
Besides the Dollies, the audience can also look forward to the Ting Tong Belles with Petrina Kow, Judee Tan, Seong Hui Xuan, Glory Ngim and Mina Ellen Kaye, who will ring out Christmas tunes and familiar songs to get the crowd into the festive mood.
Adding to the riotous atmosphere are comedians Kumar as the Naughty Elf and Sebastian Tan’s stage character Broadway Beng.
“When all these talented ladies (and I mean, even the gentlemen) get together, it’s always a riot,” Tan said.
“We are making it really mad this year with different genres of music and some great comedy. You can expect that energy level to rise a few notches when we go on stage.”
The Ting Tong Belles
13 YEARS OF DREAM ACADEMY
The show will wrap up a successful year of productions for Tan’s Dream Academy, which celebrates its 13th year in the theatre scene.
A former lawyer, Tan went into full-time acting with her debut performance ‘Selena Exposed’ in 1999, before starting Dream Academy a year later.
“The journey has been a rollercoaster – packed with plenty of punches, some low moments but lots of highs. Definitely a steep learning curve,” Tan mused.
One thing that she is learning is that it is more challenging to be funny and to get people laughing in this age of social media and YouTube, but she enjoys the challenge.
“The laughs are more instant and round-the-clock these days. It means that you can’t really get away with just stating what everyone already knows and the humour behind it, you have to dig that little bit further and really work the premise of your skits and scenarios.”
And that is really no joke.
Crazy Christmas: Ting Tong Belles | Date: 11-22 December 2013 | Time: 8pm (Tue-Fri); 4pm, 8pm (Sat); 2pm, 6pm (Sun) | Venue: Esplanade Theatre | Address: 1 Esplanade Drive | Tickets: $19-$127 from Sistic