East meets West in Singapore with local artiste and comedian Sebastian Tan, who celebrates 10 years of Broadway Beng the musical show on the live theatre stage. Broadway Beng, a musical comedy filled with songs and bits of stand-up comedy in between, is a critically acclaimed comedy show series by actor-singer Tan, a Dream Academy ® Artist since 2006.
Charismatic, energetic and humorously honest, Tan infuses stand-up comedy with a musical performance to give a concert of sorts. His set list consists of songs that Tan draws from various themes mostly from his life, such as family issues, matters of the heart, aspirations of pop stardom as well as current affairs, to much laughter from the crowd.
Even more unique is his use of Hokkien, which is best associated with the “Beng” in the show’s name. One of the few dialects of Mandarin used in Singapore, Tan sings plenty of Hokkien songs, most of which are classics that will resonate with the older generation in their 40s and above. That being said, a large percentage of the audience drawn to this aspect of the show are in that age group.
The musical talent in Tan is evident and can easily be felt and heard through his performances of a medley of songs in English, Hokkien and Mandarin. Furthermore, Tan occasionally switches between songs effortlessly, even at times providing literal translations of Chinese songs into English on the spot.
Audiences new to his shows and the Generation Y crowd, such as this reviewer, may find it hard to relate to or appreciate the songs, most of which are old hits and famous tracks. Nonetheless, his superb vocals and comedic timing in between songs will keep you engrossed and impressed. Should you not understand Hokkien, lyrics are also provided onscreen. If anything, Broadway Beng would be the ideal theatre show to bring your elderly parents to enjoy.
Directed by: Selena Tan
Running time: 90 mins (excluding intermission)
Venue: Capitol Theatre
Tickets from $48 (buy tickets here)
Broadway Beng: 10th Anniversary Concert is now showing at the Capitol Theatre and runs until 31 July 2016.