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The Hossan Leong Show (Episode 3)

September 10, 2011

Event: The Hossan Leong Show (Episode 3)
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre
Run: 8th Sept – 25th Sept 2011

Firstly, we would like to say that we are flattered that the “Hossan Leong Show” marketing team had decided to use one of our quotes from last year’s review for their promotional material for this production.

This is the third episode of the “Hossan Leong Show” in as many years, and it has fast established itself as one of the most well-known theatrical comedy franchises in the local scene, considering our beloved Dim Sum Dollies have been rather dormant for quite some time now.

(Selena, Emma, Pam, where are you?? We miss you.)

George Chan directs and choreographs, and the writing duties are shared by Mr Miyagi (Benjamin Lee), Edmund Shern, and Hirzi Zulkiflie.

Familiar faces in the cast include Chua Enlai, Judee Tan, and DJ Shigeki Ito.

The main point of note is that Siti Khalijah, who also happens to have had won the Best Actress award in this year’s Life! Theatre Awards, joins the cast for the first time.

Truth be told, even though this is the “Hossan Leong Show”, I think that it is the twin pillars of Chua Enlai and Judee Tan that truly carry the show and make it what it is.

Siti, while immensely talented, might perhaps be an unfamiliar face to most people who had not seen “Gemuk Girls” or “Model Citizens” or “Those Who Can’t, Teach”, and thus, it felt as if the audience was slightly apprehensive towards her and hence, she did not receive the lion’s share of the laughs.

Comedy is as much about familiarity as it is about humour, and it might perhaps take a bit more time before we all finally get warmed up to Siti the comedian.

While Hossan is the regular ACS boy that we’ve all grown so familiar and comfortable with by now, it is Judee Tan and Chua Enlai who let their hair down and truly flaunt their boundless reserves of zany comedic talent.

Judee Tan had indeed struck comedic gold when she conceived the “TCM” character in last year’s show, and milks the same character to the fullest effect once again this year, much to the sheer delight of the audience.

I commented on Twitter earlier that watching Judee Tan play “TCM” is always worth the price of admission alone.

It is that good, folks.

However, the “Bibik Lily Lim” character played by Hossan still makes an appearance once again though it felt as if it had already overstayed its welcome last year.

Somehow, for some reason the “Bibik Lim” character doesn’t seem to resonate too well with the audience any longer, and the creative team might want re-evaluate the necessity of including this character in future installments.

Hossan’s opening monologue was highly entertaining, although the rest of the scenes in the show could perhaps been described as hit and miss.

It was hard to decipher the point of the whole IRAS skit (why IRAS?), although it has to be said that it was still the most entertaining portion of the show, thanks in no small part to the brilliance of Judee’s portrayal of TCM, while playing off the equally competent Enlai.

As for the “So You Think You Can Tahan?” skit, while the premise was entertaining, it didn’t exactly feel as if the skit actually managed to break into its stride the whole time.

But don’t get me wrong.

The “Hossan Leong Show (Episode 3)” is still an incredibly entertaining show, with enough fresh and witty lines to keep you tickled no end.

Enough entertainment to leave you with a wide grin on your face as you walk out the theatre.

Kudos to the 3-man writing team for coming up with some truly wonderful new jokes, just when you thought you had heard it all about the General Elections, the four Tans and everything else Singapore.

I’d like to think that the “Hossan Leong Show” is starting to finally find its feet and establish itself as one of the main staples in the local theatrical comedy scene.

It’s certainly got all the tools it needs to conquer new heights, although it could perhaps borrow a page or two from the “Dim Sum Dollies” playbook on how to conceive skit premises that truly hit the mark.

(“The Hossan Leong Show – Episode 3” runs at the Drama Centre Theatre till 25th Sept.)

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