Dim-sum lovers, be prepared to rethink and evaluate what Dim Sum means to you. In dim sum’s literal sense, we welcomed Hong Kong based one michelin star Tim Lo Wan to Singapore shores. But wait, yet another refreshing addition to Dim Sum has emerged. Yes, we do mean everyone’s favourite dollies with their newest member – actress and DJ Denise Tan.
The Dim Sum Dollies return after a year’s hiatus following former Dolly Emma Yong’s death from stomach cancer last year. This year, Denise Tan will join seasoned veterans Pam Oei and Selena Tan as the final member of the Dollies. We ask Selena, Denise and Judee Tan, who will also be performing in the special Christmas musical some questions.
1. Why should the audience catch Crazy Christmas 2013?
Denise: We are really going to make it crazier than before with different genres of music and some great comedy! Plus, with the Dim Sum Dollies returning to the stage, it’s gonna be triple the crazy, comic, Christmassy fun!
Selena: Its INCREDIBLY FUNNY and really crazy, especially this year since The Dim Sum Dollies are making our comeback! There’s also Kumar, Judee Tan, the Broadway Beng and lots of other wonderful actresses, so there will be lots of comedy skits – really a Ting Tong Belle of a time! Great Christmas tunes and familiar songs to get us all in the mood to celebrate LOVE, JOY and LAUGHTER!
Judee: The Dimsum Dolies are back!!! Broadway Beng is back with us this year too. It’s gonna be full of local flavours and so if you want to celebrate Christmas Singapore style, you have to come celebrate it with the Crazy Christmas Ting Tong Belles cast!
2. Could you share a funny/favourite moment of the show?
Selena: There’s a great segment where The Dim Sum Dollies play the 3 wise men looking for a baby. It has me in stitches – also because I get to play a character even bigger in stature.
Denise: My favourite part of the show has got to be when I’m on stage with the Dim Sum Dollies. I love my fellow dollies Selena and Pam! Also, in a cast this big, we get up to all sorts of crazy, noisy shenanigans and when you’re trying to do a number that has different time signatures, different keys and no lyrics, just weird vocal bleeps and bloops, ALL ACAPELLA! Things get very chaotic, especially when you add choreography. For this particular acapella number, we literally were all on our hands and knees on the floor, drawing diagrams and making mathematical calculations to try and work out our dance moves. It was ridiculous. And hilarious!
Judee: My favourite moment is I get to be a K-pop sensation without having to starve for it!
3. How are the dynamics with Denise joining the Dollies?
Selena: Of course the dynamics have changed, Emma is irreplaceable. Denise, Pam and I have worked very closely on other shows and are great friends, Denise is a wonderful talent and very accomplished in her own right. We are good friends and work well in the rehearsal room. We enjoy each other’s company and work well together. In a way she is similar to Emma as they are both perfectionists, so we understand each other.
Denise: Simply put, it’s bitter-sweet. Pam, Selena and Emma had always been so lovely and encouraging to me. Emma is dearly, dearly missed. But ultimately, sharing the honour of being part of the Dim Sum Dollies with people I have worked with and admire is a gift and a lesson in putting aside my fears to do something bigger than myself. I believe it’s important to continue a legacy that Emma began with Pam & Selena. Pam and Selena have been nothing but warm, encouraging and patient with me and I see what a tight, supportive unit the Dim Sum Dollies are – there’s a lot of comfort to know you’re not performing alone.
We discussed things from every view possible. I just needed to hear what both Dollies had to say and what their friends and families had to say, before I could make a decision and it was no way a snap decision – it took me more than a month to think things through carefully. The last thing I ever want is to replace Emma. She can never be replaced. I’m not in this to duplicate what Emma did, only to do my best to honour her wishes. Knowing Emma was supportive of this was the biggest deciding factor for me.
4. (To Judee) We’ve seen you in Channel 5’s household favourite ‘The Noose’, and in a more serious sketch like ‘Cook a Pot of Curry’. Do you prefer doing comedy or serious, poignant sketches? Please elaborate why.
Judee: I know it is might sound cliche but as an actress, I really have no preference over so-called serious sketches or comedy. What really matters to me is telling a good story and the best is always to have both light and dark elements within the story. As one of my character Dr Teochew Moi would say, “it’s all about balance.”
5. What’s next for the Dollies after Crazy Christmas?
Denise: We’re planning a full-length Dim Sum Dollies show next year, but that’s all I can say for now! Watch this space for updates!
CRAZY CHRISTMAS TING TONG BELLES (ft. DIM SUM DOLLIES)
Date: 11 – 22 December 2013
Venue: The Esplanade Theatre
Tuesdays – Fridays: 8pm
Saturdays: 4pm & 8pm
Sundays: 2pm & 6pm
*Family-friendly shows at 2pm & 4pm, R18 shows at 6pm & 8pm
Tickets: $127, $107, $87, $67, $37, $19 (Standard) available from Sistic