Theatre review: Dim Sum Dollies steam ahead in night of rollicking, irreverent fun

After a seven-year break, popular cabaret trio Dim Sum Dollies are back. PHOTO: COURTESY OF DREAM ACADEMY


Dim Sum Dollies: Still Steam
Dream Academy
Friday (Aug 26), 8pm

Multilingual jokes? Check. Wry digs at socio-political issues? Check. Singing and dancing nuns, giggly schoolgirls and SQ stewardesses? Check.

After a seven-year break, popular cabaret trio Dim Sum Dollies are back - and they are still going strong.

The Dim Sum Dollies was founded in 2002 by Selena Tan, Pam Oei and the late Emma Yong. After Yong died in 2012 from late-stage stomach cancer, actress and DJ Denise Tan filled the role before leaving to focus on radio hosting.

On Friday, Selena Tan and Oei were joined by new dolly Jo Tan. While the chemistry was not electric, their voices blended well and they made the combo work.

Jo Tan, who came into her own, was all warmed up by the time her character strode onstage with pointy boobs and a robust rendition of part of Anita Mui's Cantopop classic Huai Nv Hai ("Why Why Tell Me Why").

The dim sum basket would not have been complete without a "Chopstick" - played with pizzazz and panache by veteran actor Hossan Leong.

Leong, reprising his old role, slipped effortlessly into his many roles and was a delight to watch - be it as a Singlish-spouting convent girl surrounded by disapproving nuns, or as a Moon Rabbit tinkling the ivories. 

Then there were the six sexy "Loh-Mai-Guys" - a feast for the eyes - who supported the main action with grace, flair and the occasional acrobatics.

This show touched on various topics relating to womanhood - from former chicks of Jurong Bird Park who worry about being past their sell-by date, to wives of politicians, and the perils of being a Disney princess.

A few segments dragged on a bit too long, such as one involving moon goddess Chang'e and a multi-level marketing scheme. For the most part, however, this was a slick production - benefiting from Glen Goei's masterful direction, and tight writing from Oei and the two Tans.

Credit must also go to music director Elaine Chan and the rest of the five-piece band for their lively musical accompaniment; as well as the hardworking costume designer and hair and makeup crew behind the countless outfit changes.

For people looking to kick up their feet after the stresses of school or work, Dim Sum Dollies: Still Steam promises 90 minutes of rollicking, irreverent fun. Was it memorable? Not really. Provoking satire? No, but that is not the point either. It was a blast while it lasted, and the audience - if their howls of laughter were anything to go by - clearly loved it.

Book It/ Dim Sum Dollies: Still Steam

Where: Capitol Theatre, 17 Stamford Road
When: Till Sept 10, Mondays to Fridays, 8pm; Saturdays, 4 and 8pm
Admission: Tickets from $30 at this website

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