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The Hossan Leong Show (Flying Solo!)

September 1, 2012
by

Event: The Hossan Leong Show – Flying Solo!
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre
Run: 30th Aug – 16th Sept 2012

On My Own

It’s technically the fourth installment of “The Hossan Leong Show”, although this current production makes no overt mention of the number “4” in any of its publicity materials, choosing to go with the title “Flying Solo” instead.

And what an apt title it is, considering budget airline Scoot has come on board as the show’s major sponsor this year, plus the fact that Hossan has decided to go back to basics, back to the roots of stand-up comedy if you will, by attempting to carry a show all by himself.

That means no more wacky antics from the likes of the loveable Chua Enlai and Judee Tan, who had featured so prominently in past shows.

I suppose the big question in all of this is: Can Hossan Leong pull off a 90-minute show all on his own?

The show started with a Broadway-like opening number, with the gorgeous white Boston baby grand forming the centrepiece of the stage, and it is immediately apparent that the idea of flying and travelling will be a major theme for the rest of the show, as Hossan and his chorus of four lovely ladies sang and danced their way through a somewhat amusing but unaffecting number describing the perils of flying.

And if the audience was not sufficiently warmed up by this opening sequence, Hossan’s subsequent monologue, which lasted a good 25 minutes or so, surely did the job of raising the temperature in the room.

The extended monologue touched on predictable but still ultimately entertaining topics of the antics of Singaporean travellers abroad and such, with Hossan playing a big part in the effectiveness of the material with his uncanny caricature ability.

Also, it has to be specially pointed out that Hossan does a totally wicked Thai accent, amongst other things.

After exhausting all possible jokes about Singaporeans and travel in the monologue, Hossan then proceeded on to the piano to render a thoroughly entertaining medley of a girl named “Shirley”, drawing from as diverse songs as “Scarborough Fair”, “La Isla Bonita”, “Unchained Melody”, “The Girl from Ipanema”, “Take On Me” (amazing vocal work there, by the way), “The Lonely Goatherd”, and so on…and ending with – what else? – “Home”.

It was not entirely apparent why he had suddenly burst into song about a girl specifically named “Shirley”, but one might surmise that only this name would have worked so well in the line “This is home, Shirley, where I know I must be.”

Hossan’s pianistic abilities have always been truly outstanding, and one wonders why he had not tried to milk his musical talents to fuller effect in all the previous episodes of the show.

And even in this show, I wished he would have showcased even more of his piano chops, since the Boston grand was already on stage anyway, but alas, he only did a total of two full numbers at the piano – one being the “Shirley” medley, the other being a song about taxi drivers a little further on in the show.

The Monica Chng as CEO of 48 d’Spa segment was mildly entertaining, although one couldn’t help but feel reminded of a Malaysian version of Barbarella.

One of the highlights of the entire show came just after the Monica Chng segment, when Hossan showcased some astoundingly impressive pole-dancing moves, which no doubt took weeks upon weeks of intensive training to master.

You’d have to witness it for yourself to believe it.

The alien segment was a curious one, although it did help to add a bit of variety to the proceedings.

I thought the material featured some clever ideas, poking fun at celestial-sounding brands like StarHub and Universal Studios, and although attempts were clearly made to gingerly skirt round the issues of xenophobia and integration, they were never really tackled full on.

And of course, toward the end of the show, there were the inevitable digs at all and sundry, such as superhero movies, the Miss Singapore Universe pageant, the merging and reconfiguration of government ministries, Diner en Blanc, NDP parades, and the CHC saga as well.

Hardly anything of current relevance was spared.

As with most local comedy shows, there will be the odd mixture of fresh original jokes and jokes which have probably made their numerous rounds around the Twittersphere by now.

“Flying Solo” was certainly an entertaining evening, thanks in no small part to the singular comedic talents of Hossan Leong, which we’ve grown so familiar with by now.

It’s not ground-breaking material or cutting-edge humour by any stretch of the imagination, but then again, that’s not why people come to watch “The Hossan Leong Show”.

People come to see the good ol’ “Singapore Boy” delight and entertain audiences night in night out with his own peculiar brand of zest and zaniness, in the way that only Hossan Leong can.

And if you evaluate the show from this respect, then yes, you could probably say that Hossan Leong has delivered the goods once again.

But this time albeit on his own.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2012 3:13 am

    Dear Mr Writer,

    You have surely proven once again your ability to revive the performance to your readers. Excellent!

    And your amazing memory to remember almost all the details in the show.

    真是佩服,佩服!=)

    • Jeremy permalink*
      September 3, 2012 10:51 am

      Thanks very much, ST. Bringing a pen and notebook into the theatre certainly does help a bit, haha!

  2. September 10, 2012 4:58 pm

    hi

    any idea where we can get the “shirley” medley 😀

    • Jeremy permalink*
      September 10, 2012 5:15 pm

      Hi Bryan,

      I’m afraid I’ve no idea either. Probably have to ask Hossan himself! =)

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