No less crazy than it was a family affair

Title of performance: Crazy Christmas 2012 – Silver screen meets silver bells

Theatre Company: Dream Academy Productions

Date of performance: 30 November 2012

Performance venue: Esplanade Theatre

Ever since I had my virgin Crazy Christmas experience last year, I realized that the extravaganza is a staple to many people at this time of the year. It’s not a musical, or a pantomime, and hardly a play. When asked, I still hold to the description that it is more like a gathering of exceedingly talented friends and family who sing and dance of Christmas cheer.

Image courtesy of dream Academy Productions

Despite the absence of some Crazy Christmas regulars, this year’s show boasted the talents of new Crazy Christmas faces like Judee Tan and Adrian Pang. It was refreshing, and the family-friendly feature was a standout. Crazy Christmas offspring, as I would like to call them (Zack Pang, Xander Pang and Rachel Quek) performed a number with parents Adrian Pang and Karen Tan respectively, presenting rocked-up versions of Christmas favourites like We wish you a Merry Christmas. Suffice to say that the audience was really impressed with Rachel’s angelic and full-bodied voice at the tender age of 16. Hossan Leong’s impression of Charlie Chaplin was a nice PG alternative to the more risqué Kumar during the stand-up comedy section, and his mime of Silent Night was gold.

Image courtesy of Dream Academy Productions

The promos of the show were a bit misleading though, as it hinted at a more integrated 1930s – 50s-esque collection of famous entertainer impersonations. There were at least two segments which were divorced from that theme, one being the cleverly parodied Wizard of Oz, and the other being the section featuring Judee Tan’s caricature of Dr. Teo Chiew Muay a.k.a. TCM, both of which were funny nonetheless. Judee managed to plug the event’s support of World Aids Day in an accessible manner, and she also literally blew her own trumpet on stage!

Image courtesy of Dream Academy Productions

Special mention goes to Selena Tan and her Marilyn Monroe impersonation. From jibes on the recent scandals in Singapore, to proclaiming she was “Marilyn, and more”, Tan pulled it off with aplomb. She sang an uncanny version of Monroe’s famous Happy Birthday, Mr. President, with a Christmas twist. George Chan’s impersonation of Gene Kelly in his jazzy Singing in the Rain number was impressive too, supported by the lively dancing of the 8 Merry Miss a Toes who were all decked out in yellow bathing suits and transparent PVC raincoats. The 8 girls were a little nondescript throughout the show, but their wardrobe was so, so creative – think candy-striped knee-length socks and angel-winged hairpieces.

Image courtesy of Dream Academy Productions

Music-wise, Crazy Christmas has always been big on its mash-ups, and this year did not disappoint. It takes a lot of skill and practice to carry off an a capella song featuring disjointed song stanzas and sound effects from movies like JAWS, The Little Mermaid, Xanadu, Titanic and the like. Adrian Pang can really beatbox.  As for the rest of the music performances, I noticed that Christmas classics were not featured so heavily this time around, which may or may not have worked for some, and the luscious sounds of Vocaluptuous were only showcased during one song.  Robin Goh and Michaela Therese’s beautiful duet for What are you doing New Year’s Eve did however bring some fine music to the show.

With the right mix of comedy and heart, Crazy Christmas managed to pull off a night of great entertainment that got the audience in the festive mood for celebration and remembering the source of all blessings. And all this, in its 5th year running too. Bravo.

Jtbeans is grateful to Dream Academy Productions for the invitation and ticket to review the production. The views and opinions in this piece are purely the author’s own. “Crazy Christmas 2012 – silver screen meets silver bells” is playing at the Esplanade Theatre from 28th November to 2nd December (Hossan Leong) and from 4th December to 9th December 2012 (Kumar).

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