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Crazy Christmas Ting Tong Belles | 3/5

SINGAPORE — The fate of the Dim Sum Dollies had been hanging in the balance for a period of time. After Emma Yong succumbed to cancer last year, remaining members Selena Tan and Pam Oei had taken a break.

Crazy Christmas Ting Tong Belles.

Crazy Christmas Ting Tong Belles.

SINGAPORE — The fate of the Dim Sum Dollies had been hanging in the balance for a period of time. After Emma Yong succumbed to cancer last year, remaining members Selena Tan and Pam Oei had taken a break.

Enter Denise Tan, who, while staunchly insisting that Yong was irreplaceable, has slid into the beloved late actress’ shoes with ease.

Taking to the stage with enthusiasm, Tan evidently poured her heart and soul into ensuring her official debut as a new Dolly didn’t fall flat. Exuding a beguiling mixture of coquettishness and sweetness, yet without coming across as overly syrupy, Tan had the whole “naughty and nice” personality of the Dollies down pat.

Her chemistry with Tan and Oei was also unmistakable. This was most noticeable when they frolicked on the stage in a hilarious skit spoofing the princesses of pop, namely Beyonce, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. In fact, Tan had the audience in stitches as she pulled off her Beyonce gag with aplomb, mimicking the songstress’ aggressively sexual dance moves (not to mention those sleek curves, while wearing a corseted leotard) from her Single Ladies video. Meanwhile, Oei and Tan breezed through their parts with an effortless ease that spoke volumes of their affinity and familiarity with their famous alter egos.

But while the Dollies entertained, some of their collaborators fell short. Certain parts of the show were so gratingly unfunny and desperate that it felt like a troupe of secondary school students had hijacked the stage for their (badly choreographed) end-of-term song-and-dance. You’d have hoped that the Dollies would have exacted more quality control over their time-fillers.

Thankfully though, comedians such as Sebastian Tan and Kumar helped save the day and you wished they had more airtime. Local a cappella group, Vocaluptuous, also delivered pitch perfect vocal performances, although they appear to be more comfortable singing than dancing.

What: Crazy Christmas: Ting Tong Belles

Where: Esplanade Theatre

When: Until Dec 22, 8pm. With 4pm and 2pm weekend matinees

Tickets: $35 to $127 from Sistic

Advisory: R18 for all shows except family-friendly matinees

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